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Judgement before blessing upon Jerusalem

G'day everyone. May the Lord bless you today with His presence and His promises, keep seeking Him. Ezekiel has some tough truths for us today. Judgement comes upon Jerusalem for idolatry

Ezekiel 5: Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed

1 "And you, O son of man, take a sharp sword. Use it as a barber's razor and pass it over your head and your beard. Then take balances for weighing and divide the hair.

2 A third part you shall burn in the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. And a third part you shall take and strike with the sword all around the city. And a third part you shall scatter to the wind, and I will unsheathe the sword after them.

3 And you shall take from these a small number and bind them in the skirts of your robe.

4 And of these again you shall take some and cast them into the midst of the fire and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will come out into all the house of Israel.

5 "Thus says the Lord GOD: This is Jerusalem. I have set her in the centre of the nations, with countries all around her.

6 And she has rebelled against my rules by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries all around her; for they have rejected my rules and have not walked in my statutes.

7 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you, and have not walked in my statutes or obeyed my rules, and have not even acted according to the rules of the nations that are all around you,

8 therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, even I, am against you. And I will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations.

9 And because of all your abominations I will do with you what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again.

10 Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers. And I will execute judgments on you, and any of you who survive I will scatter to all the winds.

11 Therefore, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will withdraw. My eye will not spare, and I will have no pity.

12 A third part of you shall die of pestilence and be consumed with famine in your midst; a third part shall fall by the sword all around you; and a third part I will scatter to all the winds and will unsheathe the sword after them.

13 "Thus shall my anger spend itself, and I will vent my fury upon them and satisfy myself. And they shall know that I am the LORD---that I have spoken in my jealousy---when I spend my fury upon them.

14 Moreover, I will make you a desolation and an object of reproach among the nations all around you and in the sight of all who pass by.

15 You shall be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations all around you, when I execute judgments on you in anger and fury, and with furious rebukes---I am the LORD; I have spoken---

16 when I send against you the deadly arrows of famine, arrows for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, and when I bring more and more famine upon you and break your supply of bread.

17 I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will rob you of your children. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword upon you. I am the LORD; I have spoken."

Ezekiel 6:Judgment Against Idolatry

1 The word of the LORD came to me:

2 "Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,

3 and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.

4 Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain before your idols.

5 And I will lay the dead bodies of the people of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars.

6 Wherever you dwell, the cities shall be waste and the high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined, your idols broken and destroyed, your incense altars cut down, and your works wiped out.

7 And the slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD.

8 "Yet I will leave some of you alive. When you have among the nations some who escape the sword, and when you are scattered through the countries,

9 then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from me and over their eyes that go whoring after their idols. And they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations.

10 And they shall know that I am the LORD. I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them."

11 Thus says the Lord GOD: "Clap your hands and stamp your foot and say, Alas, because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel, for they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.

12 He who is far off shall die of pestilence, and he who is near shall fall by the sword, and he who is left and is preserved shall die of famine. Thus I will spend my fury upon them.

13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak, wherever they offered pleasing aroma to all their idols.

14 And I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land desolate and waste, in all their dwelling places, from the wilderness to Riblah. Then they will know that I am the LORD."

Things to think about…

1.Ezekiel 5 is one of those chapters in the bible that has nothing encouraging or positive to say at all. Ezekiel's symbolism of cutting his hair and, burning, stabbing and casting some of it away is symbolic of what the Lord would do, and did to Israel. The city would be taken, the Babylonians (and Edomites) would kill them with the sword, some were taken captive, a few of the poorest were left. Heavy judgement had come. We don't like hearing about this stuff, much less talk about it. But alas, what are we to do. God's judgement is real. Hell is not a figment of our imagination, or Christ's teaching. Jesus said it is a real, literal, eternal place for those who reject Him. Let's never lose our passion to tell the truth as it is in Jesus. Continue to pray for boldness in this regard.

2.Israel would become a desolation, a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror to the nations, Ez 5:14,15. This happened in 586BC with the destruction of Jerusalem and the leading away of the captives, but it has happened down through the ages and even today it seems Israel receives more than its fair share of persecution. Do you think this is because the Lord has prophesied it to be so, or is there another reason? Certainly the Jews have been the most persecuted people group down through the ages. In the end of days they will return after another season of rejection and persecution. They will look upon the One they have pierced, Zech 12:10 and finally accept Him as their Lord and Saviour.

3.Ezekiel 6 outlines the whole reason as to why Israel was under God's anger and judgement. They had turned away from the living God and turned to idols, Ez 6:3,4. Australia is the top ranked OECD country as being the most desirable place to live…again. The stats show that those countries where Christianity had a major influence are the higher ranked countries. This reality of course is a double edged sword. With blessing comes complacency and we have certainly experienced complacency towards Christ in Australia. Look at what the Lord says is the answer to this problem, Ez 6:14. How does this sit with you? If it brings and individual or a nation closer to knowing their Saviour what is that suffering in the light of eternal security? I believe it is most certainly worth it.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

Sunday morning's message on "You are God's gift to me" from Song of Songs 1:9-2:7.

1.These words are flowery and use poetic language. Have you ever felt this way about a person where you only had eyes for them? What was going through your mind and heart?

2.Often our first love is filled with endorphins and chemicals that keep us in an infatuation, honeymoon type state. Studies have shown these wear off after 18months to 3 years. The young person that you fell in love with no longer has the same appeal. What do you do to maintain romance and affection in your marriage?

3.The Song of Solomon has some resemblances to our connection with Christ as His bride. The Apostle John speaks about the Ephesian church while doctrinally pure had lost their first love, Rev 2:4,5. Jesus tells them to repent. What must we repent of when we wain in our love for Christ and the gospel.

4.Pray for a zeal in your closest relationships. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you with His gifts, love and grace?

Prayer Points

1.This Saturday's men's breakfast

2.CBC's ministries for this term

3.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

4.Next Sunday's messages. Ezekiel 3"Whose watching over me?" in the morning, "Israel – the miracle nation"– Axiom 6pm.

5.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop.

6.Recharge – Pray for someone to take over Recharge.

7.Church finances – Pray all expenses are met and that we can again support Digital Harvest and One for Israel.

8.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.


Praise Points.

1.New ministries being considered – Outreach opportunities and Church services

2.Unity, love and peace


Announcements

1.Denning group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.

2.Playpatch – Back this week. Carly Backwell leads this ministry.

3.Recharge– back this week. Pete Alback leads high schoolers from 7-9pm Friday nights at church..

4.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children.

5.Members Meeting – 18th August after morning service.

6.Mapleton Women's retreat – Fri August 23rd- Sun Aug 25th. Cost $175. More details here https://www.anewconference.org.au/conferences/mapleton


This month's catechism question...

Q. 2. In whose name should we pray?
A. Only in the name of Christ.

Bible Reference – John14:13&14; John 16:23&24; Heb.4:14-16.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

The day of judgement upon Jerusalem
The siege of Jerusalem prophesied