Today’s readings.. (1 Chronicles 3), (Ezekiel 16), (Luke 12)

Ezekiel is told by the LORD to “make known to Jerusalem her abominations” [Ch.16 v.2]  He develops an elaborate parable that begins with all the blessings the people had experienced through the LORD who “entered into a covenant with you” [v.8]. This was at Sinai – through Moses.  In v. 14 we read “your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendour that I bestowed on you, declares the Lord God.”  And so it happened; under the leadership of David and Solomon – it was a time of great blessing – the times were somewhat repeated under the reigns of good kings like Asa, Hezekiah and Josiah.
Ezekiel states that God now sees the nation as a “prostitute”  – totally given over to godless ways, disgracefully misusing his Temple in Jerusalem.  However, the chapter ends with God stating how, although the nation had “despised the oath in breaking the covenant, yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant.” [v.59,60]
History shows how God dealt with them – destroying the city and its temple both in Ezekiel’s day and again in AD70 after they had rejected Jesus.  But we believe God’s word that his covenant is truly everlasting, in our lifetime the nation has been re-established – so the last 2 verses are most significant.
“I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, that you may remember and be confounded … when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord GOD.”   The time is coming when the people of Israel “shall know” God and his covenant and how it was re-affirmed to them through – Jesus.
But there  are words of tragedy in our Luke reading (Ch. 13)  Some Jews, raised for judgement, will say in that day, “We ate and drank in your presence and you taught in our streets.  But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from. Depart from me …” [v.26,27]
In contrast “people will come from the east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God” [v.29]  Will we be among these people?  Will some, who are not allowed to “recline at table” say something like – ‘We had a Bible in our house and sometimes read it and listened to preaching?’  What did Jesus say when someone asked him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” [v.23]  The answer is in the verses that follow.

 

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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