TEXT: EZEKIEL 33:21-33.
KEY VERSE : And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness” (EZEKIEL 33:31).
At the outset of his reign, Adolf Hitler was known for his profuse use of Christian vocabulary. He was said to be in the habit of brandishing his tattered Bible and declaring to the people that he drew inspiration and strength from it for the great work he had on hand. He gave out himself as a man zealous of good works and by this captured the attention of pious people as a God-ordained leader. But history later revealed his true self. There has never been a short supply of people who draw near to God with their mouths, but their hearts are far from Him (Matthew 15:8).
The Jews in Babylonian captivity typified this attitude. They displayed much of outward religion but had no heart for God. He revealed to prophet Ezekiel how much they talked about Him. They went through the motions of religious worship, delighted in hearing the sermons of the prophet which served only to entertain them. They heard the Word but did not obey it.
Instead of returning to and being thankful to God, they were filled with presumption, pride and abominable practices. Yet, they were so confident that they were divinely favoured to possess the land, the same way today’s hypocrites vainly lay claim to God’s promises.
Today, churches are filled with people preoccupied with religious activities but who mock faithful ministers of God and ridicule the eternally settled Word.
But you can stand out by making your calling and election sure.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Don’t be double-faced; serve God if you want to!
BIBLE IN A YEAR: RUTH 1-2.
Weigh yourself on the scale
- Covenant breaking and yet confessing faith vv21-25.
a. Abraham got the Canaan land by covenant. Israel habitually broke the covenant and still express mere positive confession to possess and secure the land vv21-25.
b Positive confession and faith can never substitute for obedience.
- Abominable and assertive vv26-29.
a. Israel was defiled with many abominable acts and yet strongly believed that the promise of God to possess the land will come to pass vv26-29.
b. Any faith in the promises of God not backed up with holy living is mere bold face.
- Devoted but deceptive v30.
a. They were gossiping against the prophet and yet consulting him to hear the word of God v30.
b. Making attempts to hear the word of God from a minister you gossip against is hypocrisy.
- Attentive but adamant vv32-33
a. They had the habit of listening attentively to the word of God but never allowed the word to change their lives vv32-33.
b. Being attentive to the word of God without a corresponding change of life is self-deception James 1:22.
Q Where do you belong in the four categories above?
Lord, I repent of all positive confession that is void of obedience to your word
Mention and confess the abominable acts in your life and ask that the blood of Jesus will cleanse you totally
Lord, forgive me of all gossips against my spiritual leaders that are feeding me with the word of God
Purge your church of all hypocrisies and give each member the commitment to doing all we are being taught from the word of God
HYMN Search me O God
- Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
- I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;
Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
- Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.
- O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival, start the work in me;
Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.