Ezekiel 20-21, Hebrews 8
I agree Kensley! Sometimes it’s comforting to see the “happy God” and scary or concerning to see the wrathful side of God.
We need to know and understand and embrace ALL of who God is. I hope this study will help you to do that!
God is all powerful and deserving of all praise and worship. It may seem like in times of negativity that we need to read the happy psalms or read of Jesus’s birth, when really we need to see how God uses the sin of man and uses it to further his kingdom. The lord can speak with all of us differently, but from past experiences when studying the Bible, the judgement of God is an important part of truly understanding God and his ways.
I completely agree with you and understand what you were saying. My comment was merely to share my struggle during this particular moment. RIGHT NOW, at this moment, I’m struggling. Some have had a hard time through the names, others through the hamstringing of horses and war and I’m having a hard time right now. I wasn’t sure why and was just voicing my struggle wondering if others felt the same. It’s not an attempt to diminish Gods worth of praise or asking for a happy reading, it was specific to what we are celebrating this time of year that feels lost in the circumstances and sermons I’m experiencing. I realize you may not have meant to sound judgmental but it certainly felt that way this morning. Even the below comment of needing to embrace ALL of God- is that saying I don’t do that? Because I’m having a hard time? I apologize if I took it wrong.
Christina, thank you so much for your kind words and understanding. And I join you in your prayer. I have three little ones and my church has been doing a series on revelations (as they do every year around now). My pastor fully believes we are living in the last days. It’s hard to reconcile that with living a life looking forward to watching my children get married and have babies of their own. Growing old with my husband. Building a house together. Just dreams we have. I know that God doesn’t want us to give those up and I also know that even being in the last days doesn’t mean we will see it within our lifetime so I try to stay focused on the positive (the rapture and Christ’s return) without feeding into fear (of all that is coming) or anxiety (for my children’s and my future). I know God is good, I know I need to know these things, I need to be aware and live with purpose. It just has felt so heavy lately. The sermons, these readings and so on. I appreciate you helping me to pray for joy because I know it is there and it’s all a matter of both perspective and relationship with our Savior. Trusting that he is always working for us. :) blessings to you my sister.
Kristen I’m not sure you will read this bc it’s been a couple of days (and I missed the reading yesterday so I’m just responding to this now) but I COMPLETELY empathize with you. I have a young daughter also and have literally had the exact same thoughts that you described (that tension of reconciling the world in which we live and our heart’s desires for our own lives/futures). I also saw the comments below and just want to encourage you…you are not alone or the only one feeling this way. Often times I have actually thought about commenting for the same reasons you did but decided not to, anticipating that I would have others reprimand me for not appreciating-so to speak-whatever particular passage is giving me trouble. I don’t think we need to apologize for struggling through any of these passages. I really honestly have not enjoyed every passage of reading. But you know what? I also really think it’s ok. The Lord desires intimacy and growth with us and here we are…kneeling before His throne every day to read this scripture (thanks SRT!) and humbly ask for His wisdom. I also believe God wants us to be honest with Him. I just want you to know I personally appreciate you being so candid and transparent. Your words and response to my original comment were an encouragement to me and I appreciate you. Thank you Lord that SRT has provided us a platform to know You more and find community with others who are doing the same. Thank you for the encouragement I have received through others here and help me to pass that encouragement on.
Ladies, loving this thread. We all struggle! Love to you
Agree! Thanks for transparency and honesty.
I get the overall message from Ezekiel and Hebrews but I have to admit that for the first time I’m having a really hard time in my readings. It just feels so heavy. And I know it is but God just seems so… Mean? And I get that it’s because He’s been blasphemed and needs to protect His name and ultimately is trying to get us to turn from our ways but it’s just “the sword this” and the “the sword that” and every day has been pestilence, famine, the sword, death, destruction, chaos. And maybe it’s just the timing of it all. With Paris happening and the end of fall (while I love this time of year, it can be a bit dreary too) I just would love to focus on the joyous birth of our Savior. Instead, I know that the end of the world parts are coming and it just feels so heavy. I feel awful saying this. I know Jesus coming/returning is wonderful news. Does anybody get what I’m saying? I’m loving reading the bible, I’m loving these OT and NT combos, I don’t want to sound ungrateful at all, I’m just having a hard time. I guess I just want to see happiness and joy and something light which may be a little naive on my part.
Kristen I don’t have anything insightful to say other than I don’t feel you are naive at all. This IS heavy stuff. It is hard to read especially with all of the external things happening that you mentioned. And I totally resonate with yearning for lightness, happiness, joy. As we continue reading through this heaviness and look ahead to lots of the “end of the world parts” I am praying for all of us that God shows us truth through those passages that deepens our understanding of Him and our desire to know more of Him. And Lord, please bring your joy to us. We love you.
Ez 20:25. God gave something that was not good.
I had a hard time with that verse as well – the MSG made it a little clearer though:
Since they were determined to live bad lives, I myself gave them statutes that could not produce goodness and laws that did not produce life. I abandoned them. Filthy in the gutter, they perversely sacrificed their firstborn children in the fire. The very horror should have shocked them into recognizing that I am God.’
44 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
Thank you Lord! In You we have our identity, not in our deeds!
Foreshadowing Jesus! First He will make the last first and the first last. First he comes to save, and then He will come in final judgment. ” …Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.” Ezekiel 21:26-27
I loved that part too…these prophesies of the coming of Christ and then reading in Hebrews about the new covenant.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.” Praise the Lord, though I am sinful I am redeemed and counted faultless by the grace of God.
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