November 18

Hebrews 13

Chapter 13 is filled with many good nuggets of truth, but the summary of the book can be seen in verses 7-17. The writer mentions the doctrine of Christ as the final and complete sacrifice and warns readers to stay away from false doctrines. Along these lines of staying on track with truth, the writer mentions following their ruler in verse 7, their spiritual shepherd, and obeying those rulers in verse 17, those in spiritual authority. God gives pastors spiritual insight. They often see things and hear things from God simply because of the position they are in. Let’s respect them and listen to them. They have a God-given spiritual authority over the local church God has entrusted to them. As seen in verse 17, those pastors will have to give an account to God for the souls underneath their authority.

Ezekiel 17-19

In chapter 18, God says the people are only responsible for their sin, not the sin of a previous generation, so repentance can bring forgiveness and restoration. Chapter 18:31 God calls for repentance, to cast, or “throw away from you,” your transgressions, and get a new heart. Separate yourself from sin. In verse 32 God says, “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies”…. “therefore, turn and live!” God is on our side, even when we are in the middle of doing what is wrong.

Then God goes into chapter 19, which is a funeral lament (3 beats followed by 2 beats). God mourns the degradation of Israel. In verses 1-9 the lioness is a mother of two cubs. The cubs are Jehoahaz (king of Israel) and Zedekiah, brothers. In verses 10-14, the mother is a vine, and her vine dies, speaking of Judah. Zedekiah was made king by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC at the age of 21.

In chapter 17, the Lord uses an allegory of an eagle, a cedar, and a vine to send a message to the Jews. The story is given in verses 3-10, explained in 11-21, and concludes with a message of restoration in 22-24. We see God is always thinking of restoration for His people, even while prophesying judgment of sin. Here the eagle represents King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The cedar twig is King Jehoiachin (king of Israel, Zedekiah’s nephew). The seed of the land is King Zedekiah, who was planted, or put on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar. The other great eagle and the vine is an Egyptian Pharaoh. The east wind is Nebuchadnezzar and his army. Zedekiah brought covenant when he sent ambassadors to Egypt, also breaking a covenant with God. God will bring Zedekiah to Babylon to die there. Then in verse 22, God talks about establishing Christ as king, taking a branch from the tree. When God talks of branches when referring to kings, He shows how we are all related to one another, descendants of one another, with Him as the life source. A branch is a significant outshoot from which more twigs will grow and multiply.

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