Subtle influences…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Ezra 10:6-15

 Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib, where he spent the night, neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles.  And a proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles that they should assemble at Jerusalem,  and that if anyone did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all his property should be forfeited, and he himself banned from the congregation of the exiles. 

 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. And all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain.  And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have broken faith and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel.   Now then make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.”   Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “It is so; we must do as you have said.   But the people are many, and it is a time of heavy rain; we cannot stand in the open. Nor is this a task for one day or for two, for we have greatly transgressed in this matter.  Let our officials stand for the whole assembly. Let all in our cities who have taken foreign wives come at appointed times, and with them the elders and judges of every city, until the fierce wrath of our God over this matter is turned away from us.”  Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supported them.

Permitting the subtle infiltration of that which is not of God, is in fact in opposition to his word, allowing it to enter our lives, our homes and our churches through innocent seeming means occurs more often than we would like to admit.  It is not presented as wrong to marry if the one marrying shares the same allegiance to God.  It is when other gods are introduced through the guise of love and tolerance.  It brought down Israel.  It does and will bring down our homes and churches.  Come out and be separate is all-inclusive, not just marriage.  We have allowed practices into our homes and churches that are opposed to our God.  Time to reflect… Time to search our hearts and lives… Time to examine our practices and thinking patterns…  Time to allow the Spirit of God to reveal to us that which must be removed…

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Judgment calls…the unborn cry…blood is shed…

Ezekiel 32: 28-32

Yes, you shall be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised,

​​And lie with those slain by the sword.

29 ​​“There is Edom,

​​Her kings and all her princes,

​​Who despite their might

​​Are laid beside those slain by the sword;

​​They shall lie with the uncircumcised,

​​And with those who go down to the Pit.

30 ​​There are the princes of the north,

​​All of them, and all the Sidonians,

​​Who have gone down with the slain

​​In shame at the terror which they caused by their might;

​​They lie uncircumcised with those slain by the sword,

​​And bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit.

31 ​​“Pharaoh will see them

​​And be comforted over all his multitude,

​​Pharaoh and all his army,

​​Slain by the sword,”

​​Says the Lord GOD.

32 ​​“For I have caused My terror in the land of the living;

​​And he shall be placed in the midst of the uncircumcised

​​With those slain by the sword,

​​Pharaoh and all his multitude,”

​​Says the Lord GOD.

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The past three days of reading from chapter 32 in Ezekiel are driving home the impression that there’s a lot of company in the place of judgment.  The reference to those who lie with the uncircumcised is seen as a reference to all who maintain their position outside the company of believers.

“…They shall lie with the uncircumcised,

​​And with those who go down to the Pit….”

Circumcision was a sign given to confirm the contract, or covenant, between God and humanity.  A contract that said God would provide, protect and perpetuate his people in return for their allegiance.

“…Genesis 17:7-10  “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.  And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This [is] My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;…”

When they turn away from God it is seen as breaking the covenant and God continues to offer the privilege of a relationship with him but the second party has chosen to reject it.  At that point they face judgment.  They are no longer privileged to receive redemption from the consequences of sin.  Uncircumcised is used in the new testament to identify those who reject Christ, they are outside the circle of believers, it is the circumcision of the heart that identifies us as heirs with Christ of God’s redemption and relationship.

“…Romans 2:29 but [he is] a Jew who [is one] inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise [is] not from men but from God….”

There is no hope for the uncircumcised of the heart.  There is no hope for those who refuse the existence and provision of their Creator.

On another note, a sword is a type of knife and it is used here to kill and destroy.  Each nation fell in layers of time one upon the other as they refused to honor the God who created them.

“… ​​“There is Edom…​​There are the princes of the north,  ​​All of them, and all the Sidonians,…There [is] Elam and all her multitude,…There [is] Elam and all her multitude,…Assyria [is] there, and all her company,…Pharaoh and all his multitude,”…”

Today the knife is used to kill and maim the innocent; we are fast approaching the point where more are killed through abortion than the number of those who fall and have fallen by war.

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | | 4/17/12 6:44 PM:  the Roe v. Wade decision that has resulted in more than 55 million abortions.  According to Guttmacher Institute: From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.  (Note the statistics stop at 2008)

Military deaths: Less than 55 million.

Will our nation escape the judgment these nations suffered?  It is hard to look at the numbers of innocent babies, the amount of innocent blood that is shed daily in our land.  We have the options and tools of prayer, voice and for a time, government to change that.  Will we commit to action or find ourselves caught up in the coming judgment of a God who says “Enough!”?  We have a personal promise of redemption but we live among the dead walking.  Let us join others in prayer for our nation’s sin.  If my people…

“…2Chronicles 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land….” 

Are we called by his name?  Will we humble ourselves and pray?  Will we seek His face?  Will we turn from our wicked ways?  Then He will hear and will forgive and will heal.  We are in the 40 days to the election, we are in 40 years of killing the unborn child; 55 million + abortions.  Can we spend 40 days “in our wilderness” fasting, praying, whatever the Lord leads us to do?  Can we corporately band together in unity to seek the face of God for healing in our land?