A Visionary Journey to Jerusalem

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Ezekiel 8:1-18, Ezekiel 9:1-11, Isaiah 26:20-21, Revelation 7:1-3

Today’s passage brings the nineties R&B hit, “Who Can I Run To?,” to mind in which the girl group quartet Xscape sang of longing for someone to meet their needs for love, acceptance, and security. However, it seems no one within their sight was capable or willing as they wailed over and over in the chorus, “Who can I run to?”. 

Growing up in a home where listening to secular music was not allowed, I didn’t get to enjoy this number eight Billboard-charting hit until some youth leaders in my church developed a Christian version of it. Though their efforts to be hip and convince young people to run to God and not the club still makes me cringe, I am thankful for the intentional ways they sought to get it through my thick teenage skull that God was the one I could and should run to when I’m in need or trouble.

Yet, this is where the people of Judah found themselves. With Babylon physically present each passing day, they came to believe God did not see or care about their impending doom. They allowed their circumstances to deceive them into thinking He had abandoned them. Ironically, however, their circumstance—receiving the Lord’s judgment—was proof God saw them. He saw their idolatry and sent Ezekiel to give them a heads up that His judgment was on the horizon.

Instead of looking to the Lord who promised to forgive and heal their land if they humbled themselves and asked for help (2Chronicles 7:14), they turned their backs to Him and sought salvation from the sun as well as gods they could hold in their hands. 

Sounds like nonsense, right? Put your trust in the sun or the One who made it? What’s the better option? But, truth be told, on the days when I’m anxious and unsure of how God will show up for me, I run to created things as my source of comfort and hope. Ezekiel reminds us that whether it be a smartphone, or a friend, book, or workout, when we’re in trouble we, like the people of Judah, can run to created things for peace, love, escape, and refuge. 

When we believe God doesn’t see our hardship and has abandoned us, we will make an idol out of anything that makes itself available. When we allow our circumstances to dictate how we interpret God’s character, we, like Xscape and Judah, will be singing, “Who can I run to?”.  In Christ, we can and should always run to Him as our first choice, not our last resort. 

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119 thoughts on "A Visionary Journey to Jerusalem"

  1. Brandy Deruso says:

    I look to you lord!

  2. Marichris Bernardo says:

    This is so true! We run to created things that comfort us instead of running towards the Creator. Life is so hard, exhausting, pointless outside the will of Christ. I am here to keep myself within that will and continue running the race for Him!!! Praise God! All glory and praise and honor to the One True King! Keep us, Oh God. ❤️

  3. Leslie Reese says:

    It’s so easy to allow myself to become distracted and start to turn away from keeping God front and center. This is a reminder of how God sees us, and he doesn’t forget us, but that we are the ones who don’t see/forget Him, and that there are consequences for doing that.

  4. Lisa Daigneault says:

    Yes Katie! Thanks for this prayer.

  5. Sarah Coe says:

    Yana- i cannot believe you made an xscape reference within a bible commentary! I am hear for it- along with all the 90s girls! I love the freshness and authenticity in your writing! May we see our uncomfortableness as opportunity to run to him!

  6. Pamela Randol says:

    Oh Lord your word is immeasurable!
    I found a study podcast on Ezekiel to help me dig deeper. It is overwhelming. Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.

  7. Pamela Randol says:

    Oh Lord your word is immeasurable! I found a study podcast on Ezekiel to help me dig deeper.

  8. Mary Stephens-Clark says:

    John uses symbolism and symbolic language throughout the book of Revelation – this was not a scientific description of the physical earth.


    Hana’s words really spoke to me. How often have I come home from a hard day of teaching to lose myself in a workout, a good book, or a bubble bath when I should be losing myself in His word.


    Hana’s words really spoke to me. How often have I come home from a hard day of teaching to lose myself in a workout, a good book, a bubble bath or even a

  11. Ally Coffey says:

    I had no idea that Ezekiel had so much depth to it. It’s a great book to read for lament. Every chapter has a way that the people have sinned that I can sadly relate with. Thank God we can have a relationship with Him and can turn back to Him whenever we choose.

  12. Karen Jaeger says:

    Issa have you read the scriptures, have you looked around to see the beauty of the One true Gods creation, I pray you’re eyes be opened to a saving relationship with Jesus .

  13. Lizette Martinez says:

    It’s crazy how in the worldly man believes that earth is round but clearly states in bible there was an angel in all four corners of the earth .

  14. Issa says:

    There’s no GOD for Israel and GOD for the Christians and GOD for the Moslems and another GOD for the Buddhist…. Every one thinks that GOD belongs to him and depicts GOD in a way to serve his selfish interests. All the religions are man made. There are no angels and no hell or heaven. Paradise is on Earth if we can cooperate altogether and make it a reality. But as long as we fight each other in order to possess what the other has then it’s hell for all of us. I wonder how can people be so stupid to think that GOD wants them to kill one another. If GOD wants to kill a people or a nation HE can do it by Himself in a fraction of a second. Let’s be human and make our Earth a paradise for all of us.

  15. Latrice Zebouchi says:

    I am a few days behind. I’m making an effort to catch up today. This is the first time I’ve read through Ezekiel and I can see our current world much like it was back then. Lord, give us a new heart and spirit!

  16. Morgan Milbourn says:

    This really has me thinking about where I turn to first for my peace, affirmation, and help!

  17. Melissa Mcronney says:

    Lord help me to run to You

  18. Bethany O'Mullane says:

    Thanks for a clear explanation

  19. Linda Fenwick says:

    I know I do this same thing! When I feel negative emotions I tend to tamp them down with food. If I’m worried I just worry instead of praying. Same for being actually scared. Why? I know God saves, He’s done it for me repeatedly!

  20. Terri Baldwin says:

    God wants justice! They turned their backs on God and sought salvation through idols.

  21. Kirsten Adams says:

    This article cleared up the passage for me – thank you so much for sharing it!!

  22. Sherree Hunsberger says:


  23. Susan Clifton says:

    What a testimony he has given you to share. Amazing how much time if often takes (or how God unfolds things for each one of us in HIS time)

  24. Susan Clifton says:


  25. Bri Tieperman says:


  26. Tiffany Farrar says:

    To be in the midst of discipline with the Lord is better than being in the middle of disobedience without Him. *** Have I added or taken away from true reliance on Him? *** Is God’s presence precious to me? *** Familiarity with God can become the detriment of fear of God. *** There were some who, rather than joining the sin that surrounded them, grieved it.

  27. Rebecca Watford says:

    My mom said to me yesterday, “I keep ending up in the same situation. What is God trying to teach me, if He keeps putting me back here?”

  28. Paola Hidalgo De Lara says:


  29. Zuri Berg says:

    Oh my glob so good so deep. No shallow waters here.

  30. Sarah Morrison says:

    Amen!! My idols are my phone – relationships – food – work!

  31. Leigh Gorham says:

    Thank you ladies for your words of echo and just letting me talk it through. I do believe these events did actually happen, though, Tracy. These were warnings of what would happen, we are just coming into the very beginning of it being explained to Ezekiel. Am I mistaken? MAGGIE, thank you for your comment and sharing your thoughts. It was so helpful and I will ponder that. ❤️ JENNA, & SUSIE, thank you so much for walking through it too and admitting that the things we don’t understand can be hard. But that trusting in the holiness and goodness of God will bring wisdom and the Spirit will continue to awaken my understanding. And that it’s okay to take these things to Him and be honest that it doesn’t sit well. To share the burden and to let Him continually teach me and bring me closer to Him. LAURA, the reading you mentioned wasn’t part of your comment. Could you please share it again? Thank you ladies, again.

  32. Terany Garnett says:

    I love how the devotional describes how I see God through my circumstance and not above it. It reminds of Col 3:16-17 how Christ is all in all and we have to put the death earthly things and give God His throne back

  33. Marissa Wright says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the podcast that goes along and kind of guides through the week. It has been helpful to see things and relate them.

  34. Shana Fields says:

    I thought all the references to God saying “you will see” again referring to Ezekiel seeing and the people not seeing. I think the HRT for the day talks about their spiritual blindness.

  35. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love that God sees his people who are following after him, and he spares them from his judgement. I pray that I would be one of those people. ❤️

  36. Tina says:

    A tad late to the party.. I think, our default is always going to be all other avenues until we remember..

    BUT GOD..

    Wrong though it may be, as believers, trusters of God, and believers of a faithful and loving God, we still fall totally and absolutely short, when it comes to waiting on Him.
    In this culture of need everything today, get everything today, when we have to wait, we don’t understand or want to.. it is only when we have tried other avenues from family to strangers or helplines, do we then remember …

    BUT GOD..

    Speaking for myself, I have looked to others in and with my groans, my disappointments, my hurts, my waiting.. even my joys, when my first and only port of call should have been to the One who is always present, always there, the One who sees, who knows, and in whom I can truly trust..

    BUT GOD…

    And only God..

    Happy Monday!❤

  37. Sky Hilton says:

    Ezekiel has continued to be close to my heart. People could see God as a tyrant, distant, and someone who never loved us at all, but Ezekiel, time and time again proves that wrong. Throughout everything we read, we know that behind every verse, that God loves us and wants us to do better and follow Him. God sees what we are doing, all the time, so I hope we can do the right things when an opportunity rises up. May we be His, always

  38. Carrie Weldon says:

    Hi Teresa, I am so sorry for yours and Maggie Ham’s losses. I also have recently and suddenly lost my father who was pivotal in my life. I found myself distracting my grief with social media, phone calls, and shopping. I gave up social media and shopping for Lent to really focus on God and lean into Him during this difficult, dark time. It hasn’t been easy, but I also feel so much more meaningful comfort from Him than the small distractions I was using. I pray for His continued comfort and strength for us.

  39. Ayla Nichols says:

    I know that God is trying to show me/teach me something when it shows up repeatedly in unrelated circumstances. My pastor preached on centering my life on Jesus, the chapter in a book I’m reading touched on avoiding attempting to become God to people and allowing things other than God to be your rock and now SRTs devotions brings it all together. I have some work to do in re-centering Christ in my life where He is supposed to be.

  40. Rachel Spurlock says:

    Proof that he HAD seen them. Wow.

  41. Angela Cantrell says:

    The ones who received the mark that spared them were the ones who grieved over sin.
    O, God, help me grieve over sin and not be caught up into tolerating or committing it.

  42. Angela Cantrell says:

    The ones who received the mark that spared them were the ones who grieved over sin.

  43. Dorothy says:

    Lord, I turn to You in the bad times and in the good times. You are my cornerstone, my rock, my Savior, my One and Only. I know I can turn to You when times are hard. I know I can rejoice with You when times are great. Lord, watch over my sisters in Christ, watch over Finley and her family as we near the time of her surgery, watch over my family and friends and watch over this world. In Jesus name, Amen.
    Sisters, be blessed and remember the Triune is with you always.

  44. K Swenson says:

    Even after listening to the podcasts, I was struggling with Ezekiel and it’s meaning. As they said in the podcast, it’s a pretty trippy book. I found the Bible Project videos(there are 2) on YouTube very helpful for a more detailed overview. I just wanted to through that resource out there in case it’s helpful to anyone. We always, thank you for your vulnerability and insights!

  45. Tracy Mccullough says:

    Leigh , One thing to keep in mind in this particular reading is that this is merely a vision and isn’t actually happening. But as you pointed out, there are other instances as in the flood when all but Noah,

  46. Teresa Donley says:

    Maggie Ham, my heart goes out to you in the loss of your mother. You hit a definite chord in me when you said that we can run to food or anything else that numbs us. My mother died from Covid almost a year ago, and I have run to sleep, to food, and to books. There are days, when I read from the time I wake up until my husband comes in from work. And then once he goes to bed, I read again. I find that the only way I can keep the excruciating pain of my mom‘s loss at bay is when I’m reading, and not having to think about anything else. Yet I know that God is with me. I know that he cares about my loss. Today’s reading was especially appropriate for me. It is my desire to spend time in Bible study, in prayer, rather than in reading books or eating food or sleeping. May God touch us with his love, his strength, and his comfort. May we run to him rather than anything else.

  47. Jennifer Urena says:

    First of all, THANK YOU GOD FOR JESUS! I can’t imagine the kind of judgement we would face with the sin that’s on earth today. Also, what a great reminder to run to the father first and consciously think of all the times we’ve run to something else. Hope everyone is having a great week!

  48. Jamie T says:

    This was a tough one. I do seek salvation from tangible things, I think it’s human to do so. But remembering Him keeps me grounded. Daily SRT helps keep me focused on Jesus and not those tangible things!

  49. Annie says:

    I have that song stuck in my head now! But now it shall serve as a reminder to run to God first. Have a blessed week everyone (:

  50. Mallory Lara says:

    Don’t allow your circumstances to dictate how you interpret Gods CHARACTER. Love this!!

  51. Jenna Whitt says:

    Jennifer Loves Jesus – two things – first, Happy Birthday! I hope it’s a great new year for you! And secondly, I also did some research on Tammuz. There are many disconcerting things that show that satan really gets people by offering “close seconds,” and by that I mean that God way is the real truth and satan gets as close to that as possible to put confusion in the mix. Tammuz was the dying and rising god and gave power for new life. Eggs were dyed for him (in gruesome ways at times) in the spring and also trees cut down and decorated for him at the end of December. These last two practices were so disconcerting to me in that we are continuing in pagan practices even still. I know I am free in Christ but, in reading Ezekiel, we can see that pagan practice really is a slap to God’s face. I am definitely not advocating legalism but I am wrestling with how I can be in the world but not of the world when I see these things that God calls out.

  52. Ruth Farthing says:

    As I read this today I found myself thinking “How could the Israelites ever think this behavior was OK? We’d never do anything like this today!” and then the Holy Spirit brought to mind “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭CSB‬‬.

    I realized that actually I am just like the Israelites and any time I build an idol (eg work, family) in my heart then I am also allowing idol worship into God’s temple. It may not be as visible to the human eye as the Israelite’s idol worship in the temple but God can still see it.

  53. Ruth Farthing says:

    As I read this today I found myself thinking “How could the Israelites ever think this behavior was OK? We’d never do anything like this today!” and then a the Holy Spirit brought to mind “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭CSB‬‬.

  54. Heather Moore says:

    Yes! The enemy is at work but I declare victory through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for ME!

  55. Victoria E says:

    Great comments here today. Happy birthday Jennifer loves Jesus! There certainly are many things the ancient church adopted from pagan times. In fact I’m not even sure Christmas is supposed to be in December ! I do wonder if some of these things are like the meat sacrificed to idols Paul mentions. Heather Moore I am so glad you are sticking with the study. You are not alone in your feelings about it, I’ve wrestled with it too with God. Let’s continue to seek Him together, for me I found that after talking to God about it He showed me that the enemy would like nothing more than for me to give up on studying this Word and run and hide from God because of feelings of fear, condemnation, and shame. The enemy wanted me to focus on my inadequacy, not on Jesus’ redemptive work. Heidi and GramsieSue, praying for you and your family.

  56. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    Wow. What a reading today! Often times we only think of God as loving and caring. He sure is all that but he also can be angry. I am so thankful that because of the great gift he gave us I do not have to suffer his wrathb. I can know him as a good good father, and a loving and caring Savior.

  57. Siobhan Martindale says:

    These past few days have been full of lamenting for me. I also am realizing that I tend to “run to” other things to make my circumstances seem better but instead I am learning to run back to HIM. Leaning into grace is a powerful thing. So grateful for making time for reflection and scripture.

  58. Sarah Ritchie says:

    I absolutely love this and never thought of it this way.

  59. Samantha Nail says:

    “…when we’re in trouble we, like the people of Judah, can run to *created things* for peace, love, escape, and refuge.” This is hitting me pretty square this morning.

  60. Traci Gendron says:

    MAGGIE HAM – I understand the doubt. I was in a bad relationship years ago. I could tell he was becoming abusive. I prayed hard one night and it was the worst physical abuse I received from him. I turned away from God for a long time. I finally realized that God was showing me what this man was capable of. God actually protected me from a serious result of the abuse, but wanted me out of the relationship. It took me nearly 20 years to come back to Him. I regret that more than anything. I pray you can hold strong and trust God through this time.

  61. Traci Gendron says:

    I used to run to people. Sharing more than I should. Looking for answers, comfort, and guidance. I found myself running to Christ through Tanner’s last years. I found that I didn’t want to talk to others. God truly gave me comfort. I pray that I remember this and always turn to Him first.

  62. Mari V says:

    May my first choice always be Christ! Even if it’s Jesus with skin on. There are times when I just need to talk to a godly Christian friend to “hear” me out to pray and counsel me reassuring that I’m heading in the right direction. I am very careful who I talk to. I thank God for the godly women in my life who speak truth without holding back even if it means hearing something I don’t want to hear but it’s truth. And I listen.

  63. Paula Mullinax says:

    So many questions for me in this reading. Absolutely appreciate the fact that God is faithful. No matter what. Makes me want to be even more faithful to Him!

  64. Amy says:

    Amen! May we be women who walk hand in hand with Jesus each day so that when circumstances arise and tempt us to despair, we don’t have to look far to the One who is, and always will be, our refuge and strength. Praise God!

  65. Allison Bierly says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss ♥️

  66. Allison Bierly says:

    Really interesting insight, thanks for sharing!

  67. Cindy Hanna says:

    Well said Angie. God IS love but ACTS in wrath against all that violates His love and holiness

  68. Cindy Hanna says:

    Today’s reading filled me with sorrow. God did indeed have good reason for being angry with his people. Secret worship of abominable idols, fertility gods violence and deceit. Thank you Yana Connor for the meaningful devotional thoughts today. Who/.what do we (likeJudah) turn to when we are anxious. That was convicting. How often do I turn to books or binge watching a program instead of reaching out in prayer?

  69. Kristi Abney says:

    “We will make an idol out of anything that makes itself available” running to created things rather than the Creator for comfort

  70. Jenna Whitt says:

    Susie/ Leigh – I have also thought this – that God (in His great wisdom and sovereignty) absolutely knows whether or not a child would follow Him when an adult (and this gives me peace). Also, we can trust/rest in the knowledge that God will never be unloving and never be unjust and never be without compassion. He will always, always do what is right. Also, God did not design us for death – people ushered that in – and is meant to break our hearts when people die (of any age) because it is the ultimate reminder of our broken world and our great loss. I also think that we, who are in Christ, have God’s Spirit in us, and the sadness we feel is a reflection of His sadness. Perhaps He magnifies this great sadness in order to motivate us to tell people how they can come into relationship with the God who saves!

  71. Maggie Ham says:

    I don’t have hard set answers to this and struggle with it as well. A few loose conclusions I’ve come to are these… I think in our humanity we don’t take the “sin beings death” thing seriously. Sin doesn’t just bring death to the individual but to “the children and children’s children.” We see this in cycles of addiction, abuse, mental illness, etc. —the way brokenness is passed down. And I think our view of this life being everything is also off. We view our earthly life as the most important, but God who is eternal longs for our ETERNAL redemption. Earthly death/judgment does not equal damnation/hell. And knowing that child sacrifice and perverted sexual practices were part of idolatry, earthly death very well could have been a deliverance if resulting in eternal life. Does that make sense? Again, I don’t have solid answers. What I fall back on in these rough spots is that I don’t see the full picture in my sin and humanity. God has proven himself to me in other ways, so I choose to trust him in the areas where I’m confused, asking Him to lead me to greater understanding. But the one thing I have consistently seen is that we don’t realize just how holy He is and just how sinful we are and our DESPERATE need for Jesus. Praying for us both to come to greater understanding! ♥️

  72. Heather Moore says:

    Full disclosed here…after the pure beauty of our Advent study and the promise of provision in our Do Not Fear weeks, I spent last week in the book of Ezekiel with y’all and wanted to quit this study. This word is heavy, dark and scary. I spent the weekend journaling, praying and reflecting on my reaction to the dark visions and menacing words from My Good Heavenly Father. I searched the depth of my soul for why I was waking up with a heavy heart last week. Yesterday the Holy Spirit showed me that I NEED to see, touch, and hear this book of the Bible so that the goodness, truth and light will have a new and fresh meaning as we look to the death and resurrection of My King. I am the fallen sinner Ezekiel writes about, this is my story. Today I will look to God in my day instead of fill it with meaningless earthly lies. I’m nothing without My Jesus’ forgiveness. I will continue looking for hope in this study, knowing with all my heart that GOD WINS THIS BATTLE!

  73. Kelly Andresen says:

    This study has brought me to tears many times as I’ve read of the sin and detestable things – in the world and in my own heart. It is scary! And my heart is heavy for my children and this world.

  74. Deborah VG says:

    The usual idols we create or run to are concrete experiences. If GOD is only an abstraction, then HE becomes an afterthought. HE must be real to you only through a relationship nurtured.

  75. Maggie Ham says:

    Grief can make this so hard! We are so quick to lose heart and lose sight. My mother just passed away at the end of January, and I prayed for her healing all the way to the end. Although God revealed Himself in powerful ways all throughout and just after her passing, I find myself with lingering doubts about whether He can be trusted in this new season as my dad fights the darkness that is life without Mom. It’s much easier to run to food and anything else that is numbing than to run in faith to the Lord. Father, thank you for making a way for me to be set free from destructive patterns! Help me, Holy Spirit, to run to the Father instead of the things of this world.

  76. Annie Bergen says:

    Same! This is so good ❤️

  77. Churchmouse says:

    The leaders of Israel have determined that God has abandoned them. So they turn to other gods and idols right there in Jerusalem, the city known for worship of Yahweh and no other. Their sin is pervasive, both outside the walls and even in the temple itself. All would come to destruction because of their wilful wickedness except for God’s mercy towards those who mourn over all this evil. The church I previously attended went through two church splits due to a moral failure and the fallout from that. The church was not large and it was feared the fellowship would be abandoned entirely and the church building closed. There was however a group of older congregants who earnestly prayed rather than gossiped. Rather than fuel the rumor mill, they fueled repentance. The church survived and I believe it was due primarily to this remnant, on their knees interceding rather than just attending meetings. What about our churches today? Are there those who pray, who stand in the gap, to keep the Bride ready for the Bridegroom? Are there those who are committed to praying for her to remain pure and undefiled? The gates of hell will not prevail against the church but do not think there are not battering rams at the door.

  78. Heather Moore says:

    Full disclosed here…after the beauty of our Advent study and the promise of provision in our Do Not Fear weeks I spent last week in the book of Ezekiel with y’all and wanted to quit this study. This word is heavy, dark and scary.

  79. Jasmine F. says:

    Loved today’s devotional especially the 90’s R&B reference. It really is comforting that when we ask the question of “Who can i run to?” The answer will always be Jesus.

  80. Rachel says:

    “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24

    “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your Name. I will praise You, O LORD my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your Name forever.” Psalms 86:11-13

    “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalms 62:1-2

  81. Maria Baer says:

    This devotional is on fire! Which is why I’m so thankful God has put in my path this resource and community, because I don’t think I would’ve read certain books of the Bible on my own. I also appreciate the commentary here— makes it feel more like an in-person Bible study. Have a wonderful week ahead, SRTs!

  82. Victoria Fowlkes says:

    Gods is all knowing he knows who and what those children would have grown to be. God is eternal we are all his children/creations and human lives are but a blink of an eye. Whether 9 years old or 90 years old it’s all short to him.

  83. Molly R says:

    The accompanying scripture, Isaiah 26:20-21, resonates this time of Lent for me: “…enter into your rooms and close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while….the LORD is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; and the earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer cover her slain.”

    Current events can be overwhelming, but GOD. What a merciful time to enter in my room and shut the door; to focus on my own need for redemption. The earth certainly “no longer covers her slain,” and what a merciful gift to be called to lift up our eyes as I contemplate the wrath that Jesus bore on my behalf. His presence doesn’t ever leave me, He sees and knows. He doesn’t change, He is faithful and true. And He faithful calls me back every time I wander away thinking He has abandoned me. But instead of feeling the wrath for my unfaithfulness, I get to meditate on the work of the cross, and the glorious defeat of sin!

  84. Morgan Latham says:

    Sometimes I run everywhere but to You. Help me run to You first. I know my hope is in You – everything else results in disappointment.

  85. Susie H says:

    LEIGH – these are my thoughts on the children. Not saying I’m right, just my thoughts. It’s entirely possible that a large majority of the children were given marks on their foreheads for the very reasons you mention. Also, God knows our hearts and he knows the potential of our hearts to be drawn toward him. He knows what these children will become. Also, I think we can glean from other scripture that this is not something God delights in. There are certain times in Israel’s history when it was necessary in Gods sight. Hope this is helpful.

  86. Benita Whittle says:

    We will run to anything if we think God has forgotten us… we are such depraved people, it really is God’s mercy and grace that keeps us and pulls us back to himself. And thankful for Jesus who gives us his mark to save us from final judgment!!!!

  87. Jana Thomas says:

    You can find it anywhere that gives access to podcasts – I have a podcast app. It follows each week of study and gives so much insight!

  88. Laura Himler says:

    I struggle with that, too, Leigh. Here is a good reading that explains it. It’s still hard to understand though.

  89. Freddie Bennett says:

    Me too. It’s heartbreaking to read. I know we can’t fully understand but it doesn’t take away the sadness.

  90. Taylor says:

    Echoing @Katie Megee’s prayer for myself today! Thank you for sharing! I am definitely guilty of worshipping the idol of self, busyness, relationships, social media, etc. Lord may you continue to rid me of my idols and draw me closer to You so that I can walk in Your will for my life and be content <3 I hope everyone has a blessed Monday!

  91. Sarah J says:

    He sees us. We can’t hide from him. Lord, please bring my thoughts and words in line with your word. You see them and know me.

  92. Stacia Aragon says:

    On Spotify or shereadstruth.com/podcast Enjoy!

  93. Danielle Broadbooks says:

    God may my eyes be open to the times when I seek my comfort in anything but you.

  94. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    I am 49 today. I would not change a single thing in my life if it meant giving up this amazing wisdom from God. All the hard things, all my mistakes, all the losses and pain, have been mercifully woven into a tapestry of grace and joy. Each thread and scrap of torn fabric tied together by the wisdom of God. My eyes are open to the beauty of Christ, my hands are unclenched, letting go, and open to receive from God alone. He is the best birthday gift. Just as God showed Ezekiel the detestable acts of idolatry, my eyes have been opened to see how we, as Americans have been led astray in so many ways. The saying “once you know better, you do better” is so true. It has to be so with God. In today’s reading of Ezekiel, I was reminded about a jarring truth related to Easter eggs. I don’t have kids, so this one was something I heard once but never really took it to heart. Today, I can’t let it go. So I am sharing, not to shame or shout, just to shed some light. God will help us sort it out. Reading about the pagan god Tammuz, I did a little digging. Not only did the people worship and mourn to this god over harvest and barrenness, in Spring they would color and decorate eggs to celebrate the resurrection of Tammuz. I was jarred a bit for obvious reasons. Digging further I found this was not a coincidence. The church actually adopted this practice from the pagan rituals. So back to Ezekiel and the visions God showed him. These sins were happening in the sanctuary of God. There was only a small remnant of people who were grieved by what was going on then. And now, I am grieved at the deception and sins of people today. Including my own sin. I mourn the evil I see today. Lord, forgive me of my sins. Use me to shine the light of grace and forgiveness. Let Your light shine in the darkness of hard hearts. Use me to draw others to Your truth. Let us be known by Your love, but also truth. Lord, show us the way to stand for you in ways that we look different from the rest of the world around us. Show us what that means for us today. Let Your peace reign in our hearts. Show us the way in Your lovingkindness and steadfast love.

  95. Renae Welch says:

    “…we will make an idol out of anything that’s available.” This is such a powerful statement; false gods have changed throughout millennia, but our desire to seek out comfort from tangible things hasn’t. Anxiety is something I’ve dealt with for the last several years and some days it’s a lot easier to distract myself with the things around me rather than surrendering those overwhelming feelings to the one who holds the world in His hands. The lie that’s it’s better to handle it on my own runs deep, but this Lent I’m trying to give that “control” back to the God who made me.

  96. Renae Welch says:

    “…we will make an idol out of anything that’s available.” What a powerful statement

  97. Leigh Gorham says:

    Does anyone else have a hard time seeing the passages of children being killed? I understand the wages of sin and rejecting God, turning to idols, and before Christ came to take our place and absorb the wrath…but children. How can I reconcile that? They don’t yet have the awareness to reject their Creator. How can I see a good God directing the slaughter of the young? I know this happens in more than 1 place in Scripture. Can anyone help give me insight? I’ve been a believer for over 30 years but this has always been something I can’t fully take or know how to “accept”.

  98. Tara Beatty says:

    Amen to all written in the devotion and here in the comments. Our mark is our salvation, the Holy Spirit living in us. Praise the Lord! God, I pray that the hearts of stone in my family will be turned to hearts of flesh. You are the only One who can truly turn our hearts to the truth. In Jesus Name, Amen. Have a great day She’s!

  99. Emilee Dickman says:

    The opening is interesting to me. With all the interesting sign-acts that Ezekiel has performed so far, at the begging of chapter 8 he is sitting in his house with prominent people of Judah. Not only were they associating with him but were at his house. These acts that are very unusual must have got their attention enough not to dismiss him but to give him their attention.

  100. Shaena Elizabeth says:

    I’m grateful to be reading this in community. This reading has me feeling very heavy hearted. JO thank you for the insight that Jesus blood is the mark on believers foreheads. I often turn to “trying harder” when I am fearful over God’s wrath but I know I can never save myself, the blood of Jesus is my hope. ❤️ praying over this beautiful community this morning.

  101. Stormi Messmer says:


  102. Ally M says:

    I saw a photo of the aurora borealis last night and it always just blows my mind. God’s creation is so beautiful, but He is even better! Lord God, forgive me for not running to You when I need help. Please rid my mind and heart of idols and lead me only to You. Help me live in a way that honors and glorifies You and leads others to You. Thank you for saving me. Amen.

  103. Adrienne McPherson says:

    This is such a good reminder- idols come in all forms ans promise all sort of things and fail everytime – God’s always the one that delivers and love and is kind and good. Truth is simple, yet complex and today I really trot the truth sink in deeper today

  104. Heidi says:

    So true… when my eyes are fixed on anything but the Author and Creator of this life, my mind reels with all the things I could substitute for the Living God who wants to grow me and use me and be in deep relationship with me.
    We live in a world with more distractions than in any other time in history. There is offer for entertainment of any kind all around. It’s an obsession in our culture to not be still, not be bored. I’m praying for open eyes to create quiet, space, intention – even when life is uncontrollably loud and in my face (think: 2 year old ;)) – letting the quiet space be my heart and mind even when it can’t be my physical surroundings.

    Thank you all for your prayers and (please!) continued prayers for my niece and her dad (and if it’s not too much trouble- adding her 2 teenage sisters to the prayer list as they struggle further with their mother (who holds majority custody of the 2 girls) who continues to surround them in turmoil, selfishness, and instability… Literally only God could ever do anything with the situation they are all in right now… :(…. ).

    Happy Monday ladies!! God has immeasurable grace and mercy and purpose in store for you today!!

  105. Abigail Woodall says:

    I listen to it in the Spotify app, but I think it’s also on Apple podcasts app. It’s great! The episodes do go along with the study.

  106. Diana Davis says:

    I listen to it on Spotify…She Reads Truth. I think there’s also a link on the home page of the app

  107. Diana Davis says:

    Rationalizing sin makes it easier to commit, but rationalization does not convince God or cancel the punishment. God sees all. God hears all. He knows our hearts.

  108. Janice Milley says:

    Where can I find the podcast? Does it go along with the study?

  109. Mary Ann Graves says:


  110. Angie says:

    This scripture feels a little like the “wrath” of God. It reminds me of this from BSF this week:
    “God’s wrath is His holy response against all that dishonors Him. God IS love but ACTS in wrath against all that violates His love and holiness. His wrath flows from His intense hatred of sin and uncompromising love of righteousness…His concern for purity. He opposes anything that attacks His holiness and love. God’s wrath is measured and just. His wrath reflects His holiness, righteousness, and justice. God can be trusted to always do what is right. As much as God loves us, He hates our sin. Hope is found in Jesus alone. God sacrificed His Son so we do not have to experience His wrath.”
    The mark on my forehead, the blood that purifies and atones for me, comes from the sacrifice of the Son of God, who is Jesus Christ my Lord. Rejecting the things of God is a serious matter. Do we reject by simply ignoring-I’m too busy, there will be another time, turn completely away in brutal rejection, or bow in acceptance of the authority of the Triune God? Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. The way we respond to Jesus Christ is a matter of ultimate importance. We are patiently…compassionately called. Humble, reverent acceptance to the invitation results in Jesus as our authority, our place of refuge, and source. Unconditional surrender…for our good. The wrath of God is a holiness, righteousness that affords our reverence and awe. Trust Him and live. Beautiful beyond compare our God.

  111. Kristen says:

    Amen, Jo. Praying that the lost would be drawn, repent, and by His mercy and Grace be saved.

  112. Terri Richmond says:

    Yes! – to all of this!

  113. Kelly (NEO) says:

    O Lord, You see. You know the truth of what is in our hearts. You Spirit is in us to help us see too. May we be the ones who are found confessing and running to you for forgiveness.

  114. Katie Megee says:

    Father, thank You that You love me and mark me as Your own. Rid my heart and mind of any idolatrous temptations. Help me always be seeking Your glory, and pointing out Your presence to those who need to see You. Amen.

  115. Jamie Lewis says:

    Thank you, Jesus!

  116. Ashley N says:

    The Week 2 podcast really helped me understand Ezekiel and the message of hope it portrays so much better. Thank you, SRT staff for the podcast and wonderful study.

  117. Jo says:

    Those who had the mark on the forehead were saved from God’s wrath- Jesus took our punishment for our sins so we too can walk in His confidence. His Holy Spirit in us is our mark and we can walk without fear as He is with us and will gently guide us when we stray from the path. Praise God! But my heart cries out for those in my family who do not have that assurance of salvation. Lord, please don’t abandon them but keep nudging them to turn and seek You.

  118. Thes says:

    He sees!