Ezekiel 29 and Psalm 78:1-39


In Ezekiel 29, Egypt is the next nation to receive God’s judgment for her sin. Egypt was guilty of offering refugee to Israel when she could not deliver it (Ezek. 29:6; cf. Isa. 36:6 = 2 Kings 18:21).

Egypt is told that she will never again be a great power. Some nations that received judgment ceased to continue to exist (the Assyrians, the Hittites, etc.). Egypt is still here today, but she has not since been the great power that she once was.

Finally, God will allow Nebuchadnezzar to conquer Egypt to pay for his previous war against Tyre. It is an amazing display of the sovereignty of God that He controls the affairs of men and nations. It is something worthwhile to remember today when we find ourselves fretting about politics and the current events in the news. Carson reminds us,

Not for a moment should one think that any of the nations acted out of conscious obedience to the Lord (cf. Isa. 10:5ff!). But the Lord is no one’s debtor, and these are the arrangements that Almighty God is making.

We would not know these things apart from revelation, of course. But they warn us against pontificating too loudly about what is going on in our day, when we see so little of the big picture as to what God himself is doing.1


Psalm 78 begins with a reminder of the critical importance of passing the testimony of our faith down to our children and grandchildren. Psalm 78:4,

We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

While a lot of our faith is “caught” by our children, we must also be deliberate about verbalizing our faith too them. The old phrase,“Daddy never told us he loved us, but we knew it by his actions” is not only deficient, but it does not cut it when it comes to teaching our children and grandchildren about God and faith. We must be verbal fathers and mothers!

The rest of today’s reading from this Psalm is a recounting of the failure of Israel to obey God and trust Him when they left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness. it it’s a reminder of the consequences of their rebellion. When we reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness to future generations, then they will have better context with which to process the working of God in their lives.

1 D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: a Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word., vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998).


Ezekiel 11 and Psalm 50

Today‘s readings are from Ezekiel 11 and Psalm 50. Ezekiel 11 is a continuation of the vision of Ezekiel that began in Ezek. 8. In Ezekiel 11, the prophet sees 25 men in Jerusalem who are deciding on a course of action as a result of the pending oppression by Babylon. It also marks the change of location for the glory of God. D. A. Carson writes,

…this glory, once associated with the temple—especially with the Most Holy Place and the ark of the covenant over which the cherubim stretched their wings—abandons the temple and hovers over the mobile throne. The same mobile throne Ezekiel had seen in Babylon is now parked by the south entrance to the temple.1

There was a false sense of security for these people, because they lived in the city of Jerusalem. They thought that God would never destroy the city and fulfill His judgment. They used the metaphor of a cauldron as the wall of protection around the city and that they were like the meat inside, safe. Instead, God would take them out of safety and put them in a place where they would face judgment.

There is a ray of hope in Ezek. 11 that begins to dimly shine. Ezek. 11:14-21, God speaks through the prophet to tell of the remnant that He would restore. He would begin by giving them a new heart of flesh after removing their hearts of stone (Ezek. 11:19). This would result in a new relationship with Him (Ezek. 11:20). Carson points out the irony of the relationship of the exiles to the Jerusalemites,

The vision of chapters 8–11 ends with Ezekiel transported back to Babylon, telling the people everything he has seen and heard. The first strands of hope in this book have been laid out, but not in the categories expected. Jerusalem will be destroyed, and God’s purposes for the future center on the exiles themselves. How often in Scripture does God effect his rescue, his salvation, through the weak and the despised!2

Psalm 50 begins with the announcement that God has come to speak. He warns His people that He doesn‘t require animals sacrifices from them. He owns everything and they cannot give Him anything that He does not already have. Instead, rather, He requires their sacrifice of faithfulness and obedience.

Faithfulness and obedience – they are two of the most basic things that I can give to God yet many times I resist. If He required something more complex, I might excuse myself by noting that those things were too difficult for me to offer or accomplish. Instead, He asks for my obedience to His Word and my faithfulness – both of these are within my ability to give every day. But in a very real sense, I am unable to be obedient and I am unable to be faithful without the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. It is the Spirit Who gives me the power to obey and to remain faithful each day.

1 D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: a Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word., vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998), 25.

2 Ibid.,

Lamentations 1 and Psalm 32

Today I began reading Lamentations. Lamentations 1 is a cry of the fall of Jerusalem and a recollection of how things were and what they are now. It is a stark contract to the reading from Psalm 32 which is an encouragement for the believer who confesses sin and finds forgiveness.

I am not sure how I will respond to my time in Lamentations. In the past, it has not been a place where I have enjoyed or felt moved by what I have read. I would like to be more disciplined and prepared this time while reading through Lamentations and hear what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach to me.

I am glad for the heart lifting blessings of Psalm 32 however. Beginning with Ps. 32:1-2, this psalm is a great reminder of the cornerstone of our spiritual birth. We are greatly blessed to have our sin covered by the blood of Jesus. I think that I would be stronger spiritually if I would simply remember this truth each day.

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,…

See the strong contrast between Ps 32:3-4 when we cover our sin or neglect to confess it to God and Ps. 32:5 when we acknowledge our sin and confess it. However, I believe that it also means that we genuinely confess sin with true sorrow in our heart because of the transgression it is against God. Not simply a pattern of sin, confess to relieve our conscience, and then return to that sin again. I understand that we all struggle with besetting sins that recur in our lives. I think that we do genuinely repent but find ourselves returning to battle those temptations again. In that case, we need to seek the help of the Holy Spirit to gain victory over those temptations. We can however, repeat sin that we confess with a form of superficiality but in reality, we have a great love of the pleasure of that sin than we do of God. That can be a real danger that puts us in a position of the risk of experiencing a hardening of our hearts. I pray that the Holy Spirit protects me from that! I think Ps. 32:6 reflects that thought.

Ps. 32:8-9 speaks of a heart that is willing and obedient to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The contrast of the unwilling horse that needs a bit in its mouth to lead it tells me of the effects of rebellion against The Lord. How much better to be submissive to the Holy Spirit.

Finally, the contrast in Ps. 32:10 is worth noting. The wicked have many sorrows. The unspoken thing to note is that those sorrows must be borne alone. The contrast is that the one who obeys and follows The Lord may also have sorrows, but he/she also experiences the presence and the love of The Lord. In fact, that love is both steadfast and encompassing (surrounds).