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August 30th, 2010

DAILY BIBLE READINGS

Aug 30: Ezek 13-15
Aug 31: Ezek 16-17
Sep 1: Ezek 18-19

Sep 2: Ezek 20-21
Sep 3: Ezek 22-23
Sep 4: Ezek 24-27
Sep 5: Ezek 28-31
Sep 6: Ezek 32-34

 

NOTES ON THIS WEEK’S READINGS

·         I don’t know about you, but I’m increasingly ready for the New Testament.  That’s a good thing.  But it doesn’t mean I should skip or devalue the Old.  The Old Testament is a setup for the New, and I can never fully appreciate the coming of Jesus or the nature of his church until I have fully appreciated the foundation.

·         I try to stay a week ahead on the readings, so I can prepare you for what’s coming.  If you’re at all like me, Ezekiel will feel a bit like slogging through sludge.  It seems like whoever create this “chronological” plan slowed down to 2 chapters a day when I would have probably preferred to speed up and spend more time elsewhere. 

·         Still, there are incredible passages in Ezekiel, and I wouldn’t want you to miss them!  Ezekiel warns and pleads because his heart lines up with God’s heart of love.  “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” the Lord says in Ezekiel 33:11, “but rather that they would turn from their ways and live.”

·         See devotions below – but it seems to me that Ezekiel’s age is not that different from that of the Judges – or our own – namely that “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

 

DEVOTIONS

I’ve been reading some good “Christian” theology in a book that’s not written from a Christian perspective.  And I’ve been learning some new words in the process.

Dan Meyer’s “Why We Hate Us” is about how Americans enjoy greater freedom and prosperity than ever – and are more unhappy.  We are not only discontent with our own lives; we are increasingly frustrated that others don’t share our values.  

“Selfism” is an American value.  “Know who you are.  Stick up for yourself.  Get yours.  Before everyone else gets theirs.” The problem, of course, is that nobody else seems to know as well as I do that I’m the center of the universe.  That makes me cranky, to say the least.

“Truthiness” is how we validate our selfism.  Truthiness has replaced truth as an American value.  It’s “truth according to me,” and we are able to validate our view of the world because with a zillion cable TV channels and the Internet we can limit our input to those who tell us how right we are – and model belligerence toward the rest of the world who are so wrong.

“Selfism” and “truthiness” will never lead people the admit their need of God.  They are among the gods of our day which replace the God of the Bible. 

In Ezekiel’s day the people tried to be more like the world by embracing their idols and so finding new meaning in life.  But Ezekiel responded, “What you have in mind will never happen” (Ezekiel 20:33).

Living for self based on carefully screened partial truths (what Meyer calls B.S.) will never bring the joy and fulfillment of discovering the purpose for which we are made – loving God and loving others.

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