October 26, 2021

Riches to Rags 

Ezekiel 13-18

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False Prophets Condemned

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts:...

False Prophets Condemned

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the LORD!’ Thus says the Lord LORD, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the LORD. They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the LORD,’ when the LORD has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the LORD,’ although I have not spoken?”

Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord LORD. My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord LORD. 10 Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, 1 11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. 12 And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ 13 Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. 14 And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the LORD. 15 Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, 16 the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord LORD.

17 And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own hearts. Prophesy against them 18 and say, Thus says the Lord LORD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? 19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.

20 Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. 21 Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the LORD. 22 Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, 23 therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the LORD.”

Idolatrous Elders Condemned

Then certain of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them? Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord LORD: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols, that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are all estranged from me through their idols.

Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord LORD: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the LORD will answer him myself. And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the LORD. And if the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the LORD, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10 And they shall bear their punishment 2 —the punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer shall be alike— 11 that the house of Israel may no more go astray from me, nor defile themselves anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be my people and I may be their God, declares the Lord LORD.”

Jerusalem Will Not Be Spared

12 And the word of the LORD came to me: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply 3 of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, 14 even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord LORD.

15 If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even if these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord LORD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.

17 Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, and I cut off from it man and beast, 18 though these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord LORD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered.

19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast, 20 even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord LORD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.

21 For thus says the Lord LORD: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! 22 But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. 23 They will console you, when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, declares the Lord LORD.”

Jerusalem, a Useless Vine

And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, how does the wood of the vine surpass any wood, the vine branch that is among the trees of the forest? Is wood taken from it to make anything? Do people take a peg from it to hang any vessel on it? Behold, it is given to the fire for fuel. When the fire has consumed both ends of it, and the middle of it is charred, is it useful for anything? Behold, when it was whole, it was used for nothing. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it ever be used for anything! Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them. Though they escape from the fire, the fire shall yet consume them, and you will know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have acted faithlessly, declares the Lord LORD.”

The LORD's Faithless Bride

Again the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, and say, Thus says the Lord LORD to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.

And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.

When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord LORD, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. 4 11 And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. 14 And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord LORD.

15 But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore 5 because of your renown and lavished your whorings 6 on any passerby; your beauty 7 became his. 16 You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be. 8 17 You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore. 18 And you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them. 19 Also my bread that I gave you—I fed you with fine flour and oil and honey—you set before them for a pleasing aroma; and so it was, declares the Lord LORD. 20 And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter 21 that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them? 22 And in all your abominations and your whorings you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, wallowing in your blood.

23 And after all your wickedness (woe, woe to you! declares the Lord LORD), 24 you built yourself a vaulted chamber and made yourself a lofty place in every square. 25 At the head of every street you built your lofty place and made your beauty an abomination, offering yourself 9 to any passerby and multiplying your whoring. 26 You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger. 27 Behold, therefore, I stretched out my hand against you and diminished your allotted portion and delivered you to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior. 28 You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied. 29 You multiplied your whoring also with the trading land of Chaldea, and even with this you were not satisfied.

30 How sick is your heart, 10 declares the Lord LORD, because you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen prostitute, 31 building your vaulted chamber at the head of every street, and making your lofty place in every square. Yet you were not like a prostitute, because you scorned payment. 32 Adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband! 33 Men give gifts to all prostitutes, but you gave your gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from every side with your whorings. 34 So you were different from other women in your whorings. No one solicited you to play the whore, and you gave payment, while no payment was given to you; therefore you were different.

35 Therefore, O prostitute, hear the word of the LORD: 36 Thus says the Lord LORD, Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your whorings with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children that you gave to them, 37 therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from every side and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. 38 And I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39 And I will give you into their hands, and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber and break down your lofty places. They shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful jewels and leave you naked and bare. 40 They shall bring up a crowd against you, and they shall stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. 41 And they shall burn your houses and execute judgments upon you in the sight of many women. I will make you stop playing the whore, and you shall also give payment no more. 42 So will I satisfy my wrath on you, and my jealousy shall depart from you. I will be calm and will no more be angry. 43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have enraged me with all these things, therefore, behold, I have returned your deeds upon your head, declares the Lord LORD. Have you not committed lewdness in addition to all your abominations?

44 Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ 45 You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 And your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters. 47 Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. 48 As I live, declares the Lord LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. 51 Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed. 52 Bear your disgrace, you also, for you have intervened on behalf of your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. So be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.

53 I will restore their fortunes, both the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your own fortunes in their midst, 54 that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all that you have done, becoming a consolation to them. 55 As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former state, and you and your daughters shall return to your former state. 56 Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered? Now you have become an object of reproach for the daughters of Syria 11 and all those around her, and for the daughters of the Philistines, those all around who despise you. 58 You bear the penalty of your lewdness and your abominations, declares the LORD.

The LORD's Everlasting Covenant

59 For thus says the Lord LORD: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, 60 yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant. 61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and I give them to you as daughters, but not on account of 12 the covenant with you. 62 I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, 63 that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord LORD.”

Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, propound a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel; say, Thus says the Lord LORD: A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, rich in plumage of many colors, came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar. He broke off the topmost of its young twigs and carried it to a land of trade and set it in a city of merchants. Then he took of the seed of the land and planted it in fertile soil. 13 He placed it beside abundant waters. He set it like a willow twig, and it sprouted and became a low spreading vine, and its branches turned toward him, and its roots remained where it stood. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out boughs.

And there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage, and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and shot forth its branches toward him from the bed where it was planted, that he might water it. It had been planted on good soil by abundant waters, that it might produce branches and bear fruit and become a noble vine.

Say, Thus says the Lord LORD: Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers, so that all its fresh sprouting leaves wither? It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it from its roots. 10 Behold, it is planted; will it thrive? Will it not utterly wither when the east wind strikes it—wither away on the bed where it sprouted?”

11 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 12 “Say now to the rebellious house, Do you not know what these things mean? Tell them, behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took her king and her princes and brought them to him to Babylon. 13 And he took one of the royal offspring 14 and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath (the chief men of the land he had taken away), 14 that the kingdom might be humble and not lift itself up, and keep his covenant that it might stand. 15 But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and a large army. Will he thrive? Can one escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant and yet escape?

16 As I live, declares the Lord LORD, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant with him he broke, in Babylon he shall die. 17 Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not help him in war, when mounds are cast up and siege walls built to cut off many lives. 18 He despised the oath in breaking the covenant, and behold, he gave his hand and did all these things; he shall not escape. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: As I live, surely it is my oath that he despised, and my covenant that he broke. I will return it upon his head. 20 I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there for the treachery he has committed against me. 21 And all the pick 15 of his troops shall fall by the sword, and the survivors shall be scattered to every wind, and you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken.”

22 Thus says the Lord LORD: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. 24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.”

The Soul Who Sins Shall Die

The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you 16 mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord LORD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

If a man is righteous and does what is just and right— if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit, 17 withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord LORD.

10 If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things 11 (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor's wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, 13 lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.

14 Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: 15 he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife, 16 does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 17 withholds his hand from iniquity, 18 takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live. 18 As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity.

19 Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

21 But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord LORD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? 24 But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die.

25 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 26 When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. 27 Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. 28 Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?

30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord LORD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 19 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord LORD; so turn, and live.”

Footnotes

[1] 13:10 Or plaster; also verses 11, 14, 15
[2] 14:10 Or iniquity; three times in this verse
[3] 14:13 Hebrew staff
[4] 16:10 Or with rich fabric
[5] 16:15 Or were unfaithful; also verses 16, 17, 26, 28
[6] 16:15 Or unfaithfulness; also verses 20, 22, 25, 26, 29, 33, 34, 36
[7] 16:15 Hebrew it
[8] 16:16 The meaning of this Hebrew sentence is uncertain
[9] 16:25 Hebrew spreading your legs
[10] 16:30 Revocalization yields How I am filled with anger against you
[11] 16:57 Some manuscripts (compare Syriac) of Edom
[12] 16:61 Or not apart from
[13] 17:5 Hebrew in a field of seed
[14] 17:13 Hebrew seed
[15] 17:21 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts all the fugitives
[16] 18:2 The Hebrew for you is plural
[17] 18:8 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor; also verses 13, 17 (compare Leviticus 25:36)
[18] 18:17 Septuagint; Hebrew from the poor
[19] 18:30 Or lest iniquity be your stumbling block

Riches to Rags 



Key Verse | Ezekiel 16:15

"But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his."

Bio | Tim Troop

Hi, my name is Tim, and I am a recovering Bible-Belt Pharisee. My life centered around self-justification, not grace. I covered my insecurities with knowledge, morality, and religion. Through an act of unfathomable kindness, God reminded me of my depravity and need for a savior by taking sports away from me in college. It is through God's love and kindness that I am redeemed. I am married to my high-school sweetheart Ashlee (she asked me to homecoming in the ninth grade!), and we have three incredible kiddos: Colton, Turner, and Hadley.

Central Truth

If it was possible for blessed Israel to trust in her own beauty, so it is possible for a disciple of Jesus. Let us never presume. And when the temptation of pride seeps into our hearts, then let us remember that we are NOTHING without Christ. 

Devotional | Ezekiel 13-18

Raised from the most humble state to dignity and splendor by God, Israel became proud of her numbers, riches, strength, and reputation. Forgetting that it was through God's gracious favor that He had lavished...

Raised from the most humble state to dignity and splendor by God, Israel became proud of her numbers, riches, strength, and reputation. Forgetting that it was through God's gracious favor that He had lavished upon them, they departed from His will by making alliances with heathen nations and began worshiping the heathen idols. It got so bad with the Israelites that they would soon be compared to a prostitute that paid her clients to sin with her: a true "Riches to Rags" story.

Ezekiel 16 is a summary in story form of Israel's forgetting and forsaking and should serve as an example and warning for all of us regarding the importance of remembering God's love in choosing us and His works of grace and mercy in all of our lives (1 Corinthians 10:6, 10:11). My old self would have read this passage, compared my life to the Israelites, and walked away feeling pretty darn good! But the reality is this: I am just like the Israelites. It's amazing how hurried I can be to get the Lord's mercies out of my memory. It's natural for me to be ungrateful. I struggle to wait for God's counsel, neither waiting for the word of command or promise. I'm always eager to have it my own way. And most of all, I am prone to trust in myself. The root of all of this is Pride.  

Anything and everything we have that is good is from God, period.  We, as God's children, should frequently recall this truth to mind in case we begin to think that it is because of our efforts alone that success comes our way! Ungratefulness because of pride is sin.

We need to constantly recall that God provides all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). We sin against Him when we take His gifts and prostitute them to serve purposes other than His. Our talents and treasures are all His gracious gifts. When we use them to worship anyone or thing besides God, we sin just as surely as Israel did in the Old Testament.

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Discussion Questions

Below are six quick-hitting questions that can help you better understand how you might struggle with pride:

1. Do I complain against, or pass judgment on, God? It is easy to think that God should treat us a certain way (or just better than we think He does). 

2. Am I generally ungrateful for what I have? Do I think I deserve what I have? 

3. Do I have a high view of my importance or abilities? Seeing ourselves as indispensable is an indication we think too highly of ourselves. 

4. Am I devastated or angered by criticism? Criticism tests whether we believe we are really perfect. If we recognize our flaws, we won't be surprised when others do.

5. Am I deceitful, covering up my sins, faults, or mistakes? Maybe I'm trying to look better than I really am.

6. Do I use tactics to get attention from others? Am I more concerned about showing who I am rather than who God is?

7 Comments available

Linda Green about 1 month ago

Great devo and questions, Tim- another hard passage summed up so well!

Pride, the sin that keeps on taking. Saw recently when reading the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12, pride has no place in the blessed life.

Liked your definition of pride- trusting in myself. Satan’s greatest sin was pride and wanting to be God, and my sin nature wants the same. Pride is the doorway to the enemy of our soul.

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

The problems start with the heart. There are people claiming what’s coming out of the imaginations of their hearts are as if coming from God’s heart. Ezekiel 13:2

The heart is not a good source of truth. There are idols in Ezekiel 11:21 Ezekiel 14:3 Ezekiel 20:16. The heart needs help.

God asks them to repent and make way for new hearts. This might be a little like the message of John the Baptist to prepare the way fo the Lord. Ezekiel 18:31.

In some sense ultimately the saving heart change will be from God and Ezekiel will promise that in the new covenant Ezekiel 11:19 and Ezekiel 36:26. New covenant that brings new hearts.

David Delph about 1 month ago

Thanks, Tim…a blessing to read and meditate. Prone to wander, prone to compare, prone to pride, prone to self-sufficiency. Thanks for the reminder of our daily need for repentance, grace and mercy.

Greg Jones about 1 month ago

Q1 statement and secondary thought-“It is easy to think that God should treat us a certain way (or just better than we think He does)”.

If thinking God should treat us a certain way is an easy box to find ourselves in, (I agree) how do we escape without complaint or judgement? What I mean, I can imagine a rock having its shape changed and only being grateful for everything it experiences in the process. I can’t imagine people created in the image of God having that mindset. Only expressing gratefulness, never complaining, never judging, never questioning, would never lead a person to seek shelter from a storm.

Pride in not being prideful it seems can become a deceptive prideful spiral. Only thankfulness, only judgement, only complaint it seems can become negative spirals too. But if sequenced correctly can they become antidotes to negative spirals?

Sue Bohlin about 1 month ago

Hi TIm! Outstanding devo!

My heart is heavy this morning reading how God’s heart was broken by Israel’s ingratitude, pride, and spiritual adultery. It’s easy to read of all His anger in the major prophets as He gets ready to punish Israel for their unspeakable sins. We might not pay as close attention to the expression of unimaginable sadness and pain at being cheated on.

In preparing to teach this week on the Fall in Genesis 3, where Eve had Paradise and it wasn’t enough, I’m thankful to read of His charge against Israel of not being satisfied with all the good gifts God had lavished on His wife. A friend just told me that in a prayer time, she heard Jesus ask her, “Am I enough?” In Genesis, in Ezekiel, in my life, I see the thread of this plaintive question that our Creator has every right to ask.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

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In chapters 13 and 14 I see the battle between true prophecy and false prophecy; between “false speaking and false seeking”.

Am I so unlike Israel in chapter 13 that no idol or “false speaking” prophecy can draw me away?

Am I so unlike Israel in chapter 14 that no idol or “false seeking” prophecy will draw me away?

Do I know the Lord so well that the answer is “NOTHING”?

The ESV SB notes edify –

“One form of judgement is to believe lies when the truth is available.”

“We are responsible for our choices, even when we believe lies.”

I link to 2 Timothy 3:16. Also to 2 Timothy 4:2-3.

I am taught most people want affirmation. Some want information. Few want transformation.

I pray to stay true to my calling as God’s Image Bearer; to be faithful to Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19-20.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

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GM Brother Tim! LOVE your title. What a great way to describe this passage and especially Ezekiel 16.

Also, love this, “we are NOTHING without Christ.”

In a piece I was reading recently the pastor asked, (paraphrasing), “Do you want God for his blessings? Or do you just want Him?”

My gut reaction was predictable. As the Holy Spirit cranked up the volume and hit “auto repeat” I started to squirm a bit. Then more than a bit.

The next questions –

What temptation would draw me away?

What level or praise?

What idols would be so irresistible that the risk of a fatal yes would be “worth it”?

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