KG Oct. 2-8

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October 2, Sunday

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Love and Justice — We have seen these characteristics of God before; He is both a God of love and a God of justice.  In love, He seeks to bring people to Himself.  He wanted to restore Judah after they spent 70 years being disciplined in Babylon.  He said He would “bring them into their own land” (v. 13) and “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep” (v. 15).  But not all those sheep would be good, so God would act in judgment against those who “muddy the water” for others (v. 19).  God then looked forward to the time of the Messiah, when “I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them” (v. 24).  Jesus would be God’s Shepherd of Love, gathering those who would believe Him to be the Messiah.  After His death and resurrection, the Church would bring the Shepherd’s message of love to the whole world.  Some are coming to Him, while most are continuing to go their selfish ways, and will experience the Shepherd’s justice.

Shepherd of Love – YouTube

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October 3, Monday

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Not For Your Sake — This important section of Ezekiel emphasizes the priority of God’s holiness over His love and mercy.  Yes, God would restore His people to their own land in love and mercy, but twice He said, “it is not for your sake” (vv. 22, 32), forming bookends for the paragraph.  God’s reputation was the main thing at stake.  He had dragged His people out of the Promised Land, which He had powerfully given to them over 800 years earlier, and then punished them in Babylon for 70 years.  People were talking (v. 20) and it made God look bad.  He seemed powerless to protect and care for His people.  So, God said, “I will vindicate the holiness of my great name” (v. 23a) by bringing them back to Israel.  That act would restore the respect of the surrounding nations (“And the nations will know that I am the LORD” — v. 23b).  The goodness God showed to His people had an evangelistic purpose: that others might know that He is real and powerful.  That is also our message to the world around us: God is real and powerful.  We need to help restore His reputation in their minds.  It is for His sake.

Not To Us, O Lord – YouTube

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October 4, Tuesday

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Hopeless Odds — This famous vision is filled with information about God.  One of the things it shows is that nothing is impossible with God.  Standing in the midst of this valley full of very dry bones, God asked Ezekiel, “can these bones live?” (v. 3).  Most of us would have exclaimed, “No way!”, but Ezekiel said, “O Lord GOD, you know.”  God is omniscient; He knows everything.  Then God gave Ezekiel a seemingly fruitless assignment: “Prophesy over these bones” (v. 4).  Really?!  Talk to bones?!  Ezekiel probably felt like we do many times when we try to share the Lord with someone who seems hard and insensitive.  Whenever we have those feelings, we should think of Ezekiel’s task, and remember that it is not our words that change people’s minds and hearts—it is God’s power.  He is omnipotent.  Jesus gave us the Great Commission, and when we are obedient, He will use our willingness to do what might seem hopeless, performing miracles of His grace and power.

Breathe On Me, Breath of God – YouTube

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October 5, Wednesday

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Return to Me — What a loving and forgiving God we serve!  When we fall into sin, our normal reaction is to avoid God in shame, but His instruction is, “return to me with all your heart” (v. 12).  We are to come with our shame and confess our sin wholeheartedly without making excuses.  Why?  Because “he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (v. 13).  When we turn and He heals, we can then “be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things!” (v. 21).

Bless His Holy Name – YouTube

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October 6, Thursday

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Ten Times Better — There are three primary actions of God stated in this chapter.  The first is that God gave just judgment to Judah’s King Jehoiakim, who had led his people further into rebellion against God: “…the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] hand” (v. 2).  Yahweh is a God of justice.  Secondly, “God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs” (v. 9).  This was God’s work in the mind and heart of the pagan Chaldean leader.  God did it to direct His plan for elevating and using Daniel and his three friends.  Here, God showed Himself to be sovereign.  God’s third action was that He “gave them [Daniel and his three friends] learning and skill in all literature and wisdom” (v. 17).  How good was their learning and skill?  King Nebuchadnezzar “found them ten times better” (v. 20a).  They were not only that much better than the other captured and trained Israelites, but better than “all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom” (v. 20b).  That included those whose native language and culture were Chaldean—the professionals.  That is not just a fingerprint of God, it is more like an emphatic fist print.  Ten times better!  He is a God of excellence.

This fitting verse may be sung to the tune of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

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October 7, Friday

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For His Purposes — Daniel knew the God of heaven.  He knew that God knew everything.  After being given the content of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation, Daniel’s blessing to God revealed his understanding of God’s greatness: To Him “belong wisdom and might” (v. 20).  God knows everything (omniscience) and can do anything (omnipotence).  He knew the content of the king’s dream and He gave it to him for this purpose: He wanted to elevate and utilize Daniel and his three friends.  He also caused the king to recognize His greatness, as he would later tell Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings” (v. 47).  God’s sovereignty is shown in that “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings” (v. 21a).  He controls and directs history for His purposes.  The king’s dream of the image with the head of gold and feet of mixed iron and clay predicted the flow of history for the coming centuries.  God also chooses to give His wisdom and knowledge to others (v. 21b).  And He gives us knowledge about Him for the purpose of sharing it with others.

God Is Working His Purpose Out – YouTube

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Meditation: There is a wonderful sequence shown in this passage.  First, Daniel had faith.  He asked for an appointment to reveal the interpretation to the king even before Daniel knew the content of the dream (v. 16).  Second, Daniel prayed and asked his three friends “to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery” (v. 18).  We need to have faith that God is going to answer our prayer even before we present it to Him.  Thirdly, Daniel gave thanks to God after he was told the dream and its interpretation.  Don’t forget to thank God for answered prayers!  Finally, Daniel gave credit to God alone.  When the king asked, “Are you able to make known to me the dream …?” (v. 26), Daniel replied, “No … but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…” (vv. 27-28).  We should avoid taking any credit for what God does for and through us.  He is involved far more than we realize.  Look for ways to give Him honor!

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October 8, Saturday

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The Son of God — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew the God they served—Yahweh.  Nebuchadnezzar should have known Him, too.  When he saw that God gave Daniel both the king’s dream and its interpretation, he declared, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings” (v. 47).  Why didn’t he then forsake his own gods to follow Yahweh?  God gave him enough evidence to believe, but he continued in his superstitions.  When the three Hebrew men stood firm in their faith, they were bound and thrown into the furnace.  They willingly faced death for their belief in God.  Many people are martyred for their faith in God, but God chose to rescue these three men in a dramatic way.  Since the fire was hot enough to kill the soldiers who threw them into the furnace, the king was astonished to see the three Hebrews walking around unbound in the fire with a fourth person described as being “like a son of the gods” (v. 25).  The king got it almost right, since it was likely a pre-incarnate appearance of “the Son of God,” the Messiah.  It is a good reminder for us that, no matter what trial we go through, God goes through it with us.  The presence of the Son of God assures us that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

He Is Able to Deliver Me – YouTube

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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