Day 324, 21st July: Ezekiel, James and Proverbs
Wisdom and Discernment
By Nick Gaughan, Soul Survivor:Called to Lead
Ezekiel has a prophecy against a group of northerners (north of Israel, not north of England so you guys are okay) that God is very clear on his reasons for. Firstly God says that he is going to reveal himself to all the nations by dealing such a crushing blow to several nations. Though this might seems a little severe, the second reason the armies are going to get decimated is that they are going around attacking villages without walls (vunerable). These guys are exploiting the weak and the poor for their own profit, they have attacked the peaceful and the innocent. God is letting himself be known has the defender of the just, righteous judge, enemy of the evil and restorer of broken ….sound familiar?
Living outright for God can be really difficult but here James reminds us of how great and important our relationship is with him. He points out the fruitlessness of living just for yourself. God’s purposes are always for good, be that for us or someone else (doesn’t really matter which one), and this passage clearly talks about this in verses 2 and 4. He also points out how when we are talking to God we can’t fake or perform because he sees our hearts. Any masks we choose to wear God sees through, after all he is God, so we need to challenge ourselves to make sure that our motives are pure and Godly if we are serious about knowing him better.
Proverbs, as ever, has lots of relevant wisdom though the theme of this section is self-control and discernment. Long words and not exactly traits desired by our culture of no boundaries and excess. We should celebrate such qualities instead of feeling embarrassed that God has revealed how we can avoid damaging ourselves and others.
It just seems to me that today’s reading is a little summary of what the whole Bible is about. God is good, our relationship with him is worth giving up the empty vessels we choose to pour our time into and we should try as far as we can to live our lives maintaining and growing our relationship with him. If we just spend more time getting to know Jesus a bit better every time, we start to act like he did. Have wisdom like in proverbs, discernment like in James and seek to relieve the oppressed like in Ezekiel.
Today’s picture was taken by…
Snatch Youth Group from Capital Church Cardiff. Thanks Snatch!
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