December 10 Read Ezekiel 12
Judah did not seem to learn from Ezekiel’s earlier prophecies and words, so God sent the rebellious captives another sign. Ezekiel had to move all of his belongings out of his house through a hole that he made in the wall. This would be a picture of how Zedekiah would attempt to flee Jerusalem. Second, Ezekiel had to eat as if someone was near him to snatch it away from his plate. The rebels tried to ignore these signs as something that would be coming in the distant future. Do we see the signs God is sending us about the end of this present world? If we see them, do we heed them? Sing Psalter 191.
December 11 Read Ezekiel 13
False prophets have been a plague on God’s church from its inception until now, and they will continue until Christ returns. The greatest of evils that these false prophets commit is to make the church comfortable in their sins. In Israel’s day they promoted idol worship and strange worship practices in the temple. In our day they seek to assure God’s people that all kinds of sins are not so bad. Not only must we not heed those false prophets, but we must also root them out of the church when they appear. This is not easy work, but it will be blessed by God. Sing Psalter 184.
December 12 Read Ezekiel 14
Most of us have never bowed before a three-dimensional idol. But most of us, like the men who came to see Ezekiel, have idols in our hearts. We must realize that our idol worship is no better than and just as heinous in God’s sight as the sin of bowing before some man-made object. We must rid ourselves of those idols in our lives. We must not, again like the men who came to see Ezekiel, hold on to a false hope of deliverance other than what God has ordained. Our sins, like their sins, cannot be atoned for by the holiest of men. For the true child of God, whether in Israel of old or in today’s world, there is a grace given to him by God alone. Pray for that grace and be delivered from idolatry and false hopes. Sing Psalter 157
December 13 Read Ezekiel 15
Throughout scripture Israel was compared to a vine. We see that again in this chapter, but in a different light. True Israel was compared to a grapevine that brought forth much fruit. Wicked Israel was compared to a useless vine that grew in the forest and had to be cut down so the good trees could grow unhindered. After it was cut down, it was burned. Apostate Israel of any age will be cut down by God and burned in the fire of his wrath. Are we learning anything from Israel of old? Sing Psalter 218.
December 14 Read Ezekiel 16
Judah had the advantages of an orphan found drowning in its own afterbirth and blood, but preserved. God took her, showered his unmerited favor upon her, and exalted her among all the nations. Judah despised her inheritance and was punished for her despicable actions, which because of that inheritance, were far worse than Samaria and Sodom. Yet God in his mercy would preserve a remnant unto himself. We must learn from Judah’s history to be the faithful bride of Christ. May he find us faithful at his return. Sing Psalter 125.
December 15 Read Ezekiel 17
Four kings are portrayed in this parable. There is an apostate king, Zedekiah, who in seeking to escape the wicked Nebuchadnezzar, attempts to make an agreement with the wicked king of Israel. Ezekiel delivers this parable to the captives who are still holding on to a false hope that Zedekiah would throw off Babylon, and that they would return to Judah. The final king is the branch out of the root of Jesse. We have a prophecy of the coming Messiah, who would take a portion of that crushed vine and replant it in Zion. Out of that kingdom would come the present day church, of which we are members. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. Sing Psalter 198.
December 16 Read Ezekiel 18
Man does not like to hold to the truth of the sovereignty of God. He would like to blame anyone and everyone, including God, for his troubles and wretched state. Judah was no different. Instead of examining themselves for the faults that had caused their present troubles, Judah said that it was their fathers’ faults. In this chapter God through Ezekiel sets forth the truth that everyone is responsible for his own actions. The righteous, in their righteousness as given to them by God, will be rewarded. The wicked in their own wickedness have their reward as well. Let us walk in an acceptable way and receive the reward of grace. Sing Psalter 24.
December 17 Read Ezekiel 19
In this chapter we find Ezekiel’s lament over the royal house of Judah. David’s descendants were reaping the reward of their wickedness. Ezekiel is looking at their demise not only from the aspect of the promise to David, but also as these men had the responsibility of leadership in the church of Christ. Those of us who are leaders or aspire to be leaders: are we walking in these men’s shoes? Because of these kings’ wickedness the nation of Judah, the vine, is plucked up and destroyed. May leaders today be warned of the seriousness of their calling. Sing Psalter 223.
December 18 Read Ezekiel 20
The elders of Israel came to Ezekiel to ask him to seek God for them. God’s answer was that he would not be sought of them because they would not follow him. He recounts several of their sins. Chief of those sins were idolatry and sabbath desecration. Both of those sins deal with the worship of Jehovah. How do we worship Jehovah? Do we do it as he has commanded? Do we keep the regulative principle of worship as it is found in God’s word? Or do we seek to worship him in ways of our own inventions? Worship is a blessed part of the relationship we have with God. When we obey him in worship, the blessings of that worship flow down upon us. Sing Psalter 261.
December 19 Read Ezekiel 21
The last chapter closed with a parable of fire. That parable was a sign of the coming destruction upon Jerusalem. Ezekiel’s sighing was a sign of the deep distress he felt for the people of God. This destruction would be so great that when Zedekiah was forcibly taken from the throne, there would be no king until God would put a new one there. That king would be Christ. Christ would fulfill the promise made to David; Christ would bring deliverance for true Israel from all their distress. May we, like the remnant of that day, look eagerly for his return to take us all to glory in the new Jerusalem. Sing Psalter 224.
December 20 Read Ezekiel 22
In this chapter we find a list of the sins of which Israel was guilty. It is a long list, and it is a list that contains many evils. For those sins God had judged them and was coming to destroy them. There is no escape for God’s people, as his glory must be preserved to the nations around Judah. Those nations saw Judah’s sins and used them to mock God. What do the people of our communities think about us? Do we bring glory or shame to God’s name? God will not be mocked as he is jealous toward his most holy name. Sing Psalter 138.
December 21 Read Ezekiel 23
Israel and Judah are portrayed in this chapter as two harlots. Because they have left their husband, God, and have gone after other lovers, God has, is, and will continue to judge them for their iniquities. This is a long chapter spoken to those already taken captive so that they would understand their plight. The wicked among them would not hear the word of the Lord, but the righteous remnant, by grace, would hear and turn unto Jehovah. May we never leave our husband, whose coming we await on the clouds of glory. Sing Psalter 124.
December 22 Read Ezekiel 24
In this chapter Ezekiel is to prophesy of the beginning of the end of Jerusalem. As he is making this prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar is closing around Jerusalem to put them under siege. The picture of the boiling pot is a picture of the calamities that Jerusalem’s inhabitants must endure. Ezekiel also must personally be a part of his prophecies. God ends the life of his wife, and he is forbidden to mourn her death. This is to show that Jerusalem’s end is past all sorrows because of their sins. Through these judgments God will save a remnant, and out of that remnant Christ will come for our redemption. Sing Psalter 379.
December 23 Read Ezekiel 25
In the next several chapters Ezekiel prophesies of judgments to be brought upon the heathen. In this chapter four nations, Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia are mentioned. The first three nations are relatives of Israel from Lot and Isaac. These perpetual tormentors of God’s people will be destroyed for their heinous acts against the covenant people of God. Especially Edom is the nation that pictured the reprobate wicked throughout its history. These prophecies give hope to God’s people, who see that God is just in punishing the wicked and merciful in his preserving the remnant. Sing Psalter 380.
December 24 Read Ezekiel 26
Notice the words “the word of the Lord.” Jehovah’s word is powerful and leads to action. In the next several chapters Tyre is singled out for its gloating over Jerusalem’s fall. Tyre had quietly built itself into a world power by its gathering riches using its trading skill. Tyre had also given Baal worship to the northern kingdom through wicked Jezebel. Through Nebuchadnezzar God would bring judgment upon this wicked nation. Do we hear that powerful voice in our lives? Do we head it? Sing Psalter 76.
December 25 Read Ezekiel 27
In this chapter we find a detailed description of Tyre and her success in commerce. Tyre or Lebanon was known throughout the world for its trading acumen as well as it shipping ability. It plied all the known seas, stopping at every port to exchange its wares. Was this grace to her? Is there any hint of common grace here? The answer is no. What did they do with their wealth? They put it into service of their god Baal. What was God response to their excesses? They were destroyed for not glorifying him, and they had to endure the scorn of the nations around them. We must use the wealth God has given to us for his glory and his glory alone. Sing Psalter 308.
December 26 Read Ezekiel 28
In the destruction and judgment of Tyre we find redemption for the people of God. In the first part of the chapter, Tyre’s king is singled out for his scorn of the people of God, especially as they were taken to captivity and their country ravished by Babylon. He would suffer the same fate as directed by almighty, sovereign God. There would be no help for him. In the final verses once again we see God’s promise to gather his remnant from the four corners of the earth and restore them to glory. This is not an earthly glory, but this is the glory he has ordained for them, which will lead them to the new heavens and the new earth—the new Jerusalem. May we too wait for that glory, knowing that our home is not on this earth. Sing Psalter 224.
December 27 Read Ezekiel 29
The list of Babylon’s conquests is not chronological but geographical, starting with the nations nearest to Jerusalem. From Tyre the prophet turns his attention to Egypt, the picture of the reprobate whose land was the picture of hell. The Nile River was so important to Egypt that Egypt is known as “the gift of the Nile.” It provided them with one of their gods. Jehovah, who is God alone, will utterly destroy this wicked nation for their attitude toward the covenant people. They, along with other wicked nations, will know that Jehovah is God. The chapter closes with a word of grace to Judah, who will return from their captivity and bloom into fruitfulness once more. Sing Psalter 182.
December 28 Read Ezekiel 30
The prophecy of doom against Egypt is continued in this chapter. Not only Egypt is mentioned for its wickedness, but also those around her who were allied to her are destined to fall under the might hand of Nebuchadnezzar. Egypt’s fall is a signal event for the church. The wicked who seem to prosper will receive judgment at the hand of God. These prophecies should not cause us to gloat, but they should make us turn to our God and turn from our sins. May God grant us the grace to do so. Sing Psalter 173.
December 29 Read Ezekiel 31
To those who thought Egypt would never fall, God reminded them of the great nation of Assyria with its capital of splendor, Nineveh. That great nation fell, and Ezekiel pointed to its destruction as a portent of the destruction of an equally great but equally wicked nation. God’s people in Babylon had to see in the historical realities of the day that God’s word would come to pass. They would remain in Babylon for seventy years. May this serve as a warning to us to watch the signs of the times given to us by Christ and know that he is coming again. Sing Psalter 160
December 30 Read Ezekiel 32
We may wonder why there are so many prophecies about the destruction of Egypt. The answer seems to have two parts. For Israel of that day, Egypt was an old enemy. It was Egypt who held God’s people in bondage for 400 years and made them work extremely hard. It was Pharoah who refused to obey the word of God as spoken by Moses to let his people go. Second, Egypt is a picture for the church of all ages of the wicked kingdom that seeks to oppress God’s people. This is mentioned in Revelation. Egypt’s destruction provides the people of God of all time with the assurance that their savior is coming and will redeem them from this world. Sing Psalter 158.
December 31 Read Ezekiel 33
This chapter is the beginning of the last section of Ezekiel. The prophet is set as a watchman to warn the people of God to turn from their wicked way or they will be destroyed, even as those wicked nations around them would be destroyed. Against the complaint that God was not fair, Ezekiel had to tell them that they were not being righteous in their lives and therefore God was just. In this chapter we have the announcement to Ezekiel and those in Babylon that Jerusalem had fallen, and the rest of the captives would be coming. God’s prophet was vindicated. We too must not fail to see in what is happening around us that this world is not our home. Judgment is coming. Are we watching, waiting, and praying? Sing Psalter 105.
January 1 Read Ezekiel 34
Throughout the ages God has entrusted his church to undershepherds. For Israel of the old dispensation those leaders were the prophets, priests, and kings. The priests came from the house of Levi and out of Levi, from Aaron. The kings were drawn from Judah and out of the line of David. While these offices were still in effect after the captivity, there would never again be a king from David’s line. The false prophets and other ineffective leaders were admonished for their sins. God, however, did not leave his people leaderless. He would gather them and care for them. In his mercy he would give them a new shepherd, the Messiah. Leaders in the church today must read this chapter and carry out their offices in the fear of Jehovah, as they must answer to God. Sing Psalter 223.
January 2 Read Ezekiel 35
In gathering his people from many lands, God would show all the enemies of the church that he was still with his people. He had not abandoned them. In his mercy he would restore them as a nation once more. Those enemies are portrayed in this chapter as Israel’s enemy of old, Edom. The Edomites, descended from Esau, were the clear picture of the reprobate. It was of them God had said, “Esau have I hated.” Esau mocked God’s people, but God would deliver his people through his judgment of Esau. Sing Psalter 379.
January 3 Read Ezekiel 36
When Ezekiel made this prophecy, the mountains of Judah and especially the mountains of Jerusalem lay desolate, waste, and bare. God promises those mountains, of which glorious things are spoken, that he would bring a people back to inhabit them. Not any people, mind you. He would bring back his chosen people whom he would baptize with water and his spirit to cleanse them from their sins and make them fit to live in the promised land, the picture of the new heavens and the new earth. It is all his work and it is all of grace. Israel would never be the nation that she was, but out of her would come the redeemed church of God. As the church of the new dispensation, we must look to our redeemer and thank him for buying us with the price of Christ’s blood. Sing Psalter 354.
January 4 Read Ezekiel 37
The prophecies of Ezekiel now move from judgment to redemption. In a striking vision God shows to Ezekiel, who relates his experience to the captives, that he will redeem his people from the state in which they found themselves. God’s people are pictured as dry bones. A skeleton has no life and has no possibility of life. God will take those lifeless, dry bones, and out of them build a living church. This church will consist of members from all tribes, as signified by the sticks being united together. That church will be headed by Christ. This prophecy is not just for the people of the old dispensation. This prophecy is for the church of all ages. This prophecy is for us. Sing Psalter 100.
January 5 Read Ezekiel 38
Judah would not go back to the promised land to live “happily ever after.” Enemies, portrayed here by Gog and sent by Satan, would afflict them. But God would deliver them from such enemies, and they would not be taken captive again. This chapter, however, is prophetic beyond Judah’s restoration. Gog pictures the enemy that will fight against God’s church at the end of time. That enemy will be led by none other than antichrist. Do not dismay, people of God. Antichrist will not prevail: God will send judgment upon him and his host, and through that judgment redeem the church into a peaceful life in the new Jerusalem. Sing Psalter 133.
January 6 Read Ezekiel 39
This chapter is a continuation of the prophecy begun in the previous one. Jehovah pronounces his judgment upon Gog and Magog, countries who were known to afflict his people. After describing in detail the countries’ ends, God reveals the reason for their destruction to Ezekiel. That reason was that Israel might know that God is God. And not only Israel would know that fact, but the whole world would know typically in the return from captivity, and finally when Christ comes for the final judgment of all men and the establishment of the church in the new heavens and new earth. Sing Psalter 237.
January 7 Read Ezekiel 40
Commentators have called the last section of Ezekiel the hardest part of scripture to understand. This is true if we seek to find a literal meaning for it. If we consider that the previous chapters describe the fall of Gog and Magog, who were symbolic of the antichristian kingdom, then these chapters must describe the restoration of God’s church. This would not be completed on this earth. The dimensions described in this chapter indicate that. The final building of the church of God with each living stone will be realized when all of God’s people can be gathered. This will only happen just before Christ returns, and then this glorious temple will be erected in the new Jerusalem. May we wait for that day in patience, and may we watch and pray for that day as God has commanded. Sing Psalter 348.
January 8 Read Ezekiel 41
Ezekiel continues to get the tour of a temple to be built. From the description of his tour guide in the previous chapter, it may be that that guide is none other than the Old Testament Christ. This angel of the Lord had appeared to various Old Testament saints to give to them messages and insights into what was to come. In this chapter one striking detail stands out: this is a complete temple. Ezekiel was not surprised by what he saw. The complete temple of God will be the whole church, with each saint in his place, carrying out the work to which he is called. May we be thankful for our place in the church of Christ. Sing Psalter 348.
January 9 Read Ezekiel 42
In the Old Testament manner of worship the priests were to be cared for out of the offerings of the people. As the people brought their thank offerings and other gifts, a portion of them was laid aside for those ministers of God. Our ministers today also are to be cared for out of the thank offerings that we lay before God as part of our worship. The offerings are not just an incidental part of the service. Those offerings show that our hearts are prepared for worship. May we remember Paul’s injunction to the New Testament church, “God loveth a cheerful giver.” Sing Psalter 109.