A new heart and a new mind: Ezekiel 11 (7 September 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

We come before you Lord, just as we are: nothing more, nothing less. You made us in your image and loved us into being. So be among us now, just as we are: nothing more, nothing less. We thank you God for this time today. Amen.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Ezekiel 11

Ezekiel is taken by the Spirit to the east gate of the temple, where the 'glory of the Lord' had stopped before totally abandoning the sanctuary. This idea of the 'glory of the Lord' is a recurring Old Testament motif –'Shekinah' in Hebrew is the idea of God’s presence among his chosen people. It is important for our understanding of how God and holiness are described before the arrival of Jesus.

At the east gate, Ezekiel finds 25 men. Two of them are named, but we do not know much about them except that they are leaders of the city and have been giving the people bad advice. The city dwellers have lived with, and by, violence for too long, and the cycle of violence will not end if the people continue to fight their adversaries without faith and trust in God.

Ezekiel was active at possibly the darkest period of Judah’s history. His purpose was not to depress the people still further but to assure the exiles in Babylon that they were not abandoned rejects. So God says to Ezekiel that while he has taken his people far away from their own land, the time will come when he will bring them back. When he delivers them, they will remove all abominations from God’s presence and will worship God with a true heart. It will take the community in exile a long time to understand why their actions anger God. God’s response is to remind the people of his relationship to them: 'You will know that I am the Lord' (verse 12) – a formula recurring throughout the book.

Pray

Pray

Loving Lord, give me a new heart this day and remove any obstacles to my worshipping you in spirit and in truth. Amen.

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