Ezekiel 29 & 30
Ezekiel 29 & 30:
The pride of self-achievement
3 Speak, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.
“ Behold, I am against you,
O Pharaoh king of Egypt,
O great monster who lies in the midst of his rivers,
Who has said, ‘My River is my own;
I have made it for myself.’
4 But I will put hooks in your jaws,
And cause the fish of your rivers to stick to your scales;
I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers,
And all the fish in your rivers will stick to your scales.
5 I will leave you in the wilderness,
You and all the fish of your rivers;
You shall fall on the open field;
You shall not be picked up or gathered.
I have given you as food
To the beasts of the field
And to the birds of the heavens.
Pharaoh Hophrah is called “O great monster who lies in the midst of his rivers”—probably meaning a crocodile. Pharaoh saw himself as some great monster crocodile who owned and ruled the Nile. Military and political success and power can lead one to believe he has achieved it all by his own cunning and strength.
Success in other areas of life can do the same to us. But when we fail to acknowledge the sovereignty of God we may find that God allows us to lose the thing of which we are so proud. Psalm 75.7 says, “But God is the Judge. He puts down one, and exalts another,” lest we think anything we have or accomplish is because of us apart from Him.
The end of the wicked
These first two verses say:
5 Let all those who hate Zion
Be put to shame and turned back.
6 Let them be as the grass on the housetops,
Which withers before it grows up,
The psalmist was declaring what God had already declared. Though God may allow wicked nations or individuals to prosper for a season, unless they turn to God in humility and repentance, it will eventually all come to an end—either in this life or the next.
Responding to those in need
“He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses.”
God is a God of mercy and compassion and He has called His people to demonstrate His love to the world around them. Galatians 6 reminds us that we will reap what we sow. When we sow generosity, we will reap the same in our time of need.
Proverbs 19.17 says, “He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given.”
God’s authority in the church
Verse 7 says, “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.”
And verse 17 says, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
In a day and age when we value our independence and “rights” so much, this can be hard for us to accept. But even in the church, God is a God of order and He puts a great emphasis on authority and obedience. He says, “Obey those who rule over you”—pastors and elders—“… for they watch out for your souls …” Just as He does in marriage and the family, God works through imperfect people to lead and guide His children for their good and protection.
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