READING: Ezekiel 22-23, 1 Peter 1
Sometimes we find it way too easy to turn to our own plans or to trust others rather than God. It’s easy to move in the wrong direction, rationalizing our actions, excusing our choices, and ignoring the possibility of God’s judgment. Then, we come to our senses to see that our choices have, or will, cost us. Even God’s people struggle in this battle at times.
This battle is summarized in these words about Israel (represented by the sister Oholah in today’s Old Testament reading): “Oholah acted like a prostitute even though she was mine” (Ezek 23:5). God had called these people out of Egypt, but their “prostitution” with pagan peoples and their false gods had marked their lives since then. They should have followed Him as the one who possessed them as His people, but their choices would bring the judgment of God as He “handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians she lusted for. They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and killed her with the sword” (Ezek 23:9-10). Then, in a disconcerting illustration of the hardness of the human heart, the kingdom of Judah did not repent of their own sin even after they saw what happened to Israel; instead, she became “even more depraved in her lust than Oholah” (Ezek 23:11).
None of us is immune to making choices that lead to trouble today—and no fall suddenly happens to us. Typically, a tragic end begins with small compromises. We take one step in the wrong direction, and that step leads to another one. Eventually, we learn that we’ve journeyed way too far toward disaster. May God help us so love Him and so cling to Him that we never choose to chase false gods around us.
PRAYER: “Lord, I thank You for life You’ve given me today. I commit myself to serve You fully.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Ezekiel 24-26, 1 Peter 2