Hellllloooo friends. Today is sort of part 2 from yesterday's reading as the front half of the reading is God's wrath at Tyre's king after the city falls, and then later that wrath machine of God's is turned against another long time enemy of Israel. Guess we'll just have to jump in and see who that is!
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this reveal the people were struggling with at the time? In other words, what was in the "news" that this in response to? How (if at all) does this change the reading for you?
What, if anything, is applicable for today? What does the text challenge you to do today?
- My Thoughts -
My thoughts are primarily based on Ezekiel 29: 17 - 21 as I find so much about this section neat. First, the idea that God is wielding Babylon as a weapon is so interesting theologically. Babylon, as discussed in Bible Project's video on sin from last week, is less a physical place of terror and more a personification of sin that was introduced in Genesis 3. For God to wield the very darkness that God is trying to banish leaves me baffled and consumed by thoughts. (In a good way) Secondly, it cannot be ignored who God is attacking with Babylon (sin) - Egypt! Hello ancient oppressors, God is back and ready for round 2. The Pharaoh tries to claim that all the things he rules over are in fact his, but God reminds him he only a steward over them at most. As a result of his sin of power, God attacks and levels Egypt. Final that that boggles my brain is how this section ends. God looks to Ezekiel and for the first time all book addresses him by name and says "this is how you will know that Israel will win" (paraphrase by me)
So, God tries to reassure the people of Exile that God is still on their side by destroying one of their oldest enemies? This shows to me that while we are getting closer to Jesus with God's mercies being more abundant than before, it shows just how far we are from Jesus still, too. Wrath against wrath does not beget peace and hope. It just promotes more fear among the exiles.
How has love conquered wrath in your own life?
Our prayer today is inspired by hymn 194 in our UMH - Morning Glory, Starlit Sky. I've never heard this hymn before but it's really pretty, and the words are spectacular. Even better, the version I'll be sharing with you is from the Harvard Choir and whenever I'm researching hymns I get excited when they have a version of it recorded. They are so good! I hope you find this hymn to inspiring for your day ahead as you make it's words your own prayer.
1. Morning glory, starlit sky, soaring music, scholar's truth,
flight of swallows, autumn leaves, memory's treasure, grace of youth
2. Open are the gifts of God, gifts of love mind and sense
hidden is love's agony, love's endeavor, love's expense
3. Love that gives, gives evermore, gives with zeal with eager hands
spares not, keeps not, all outpours, ventures all, it's all expends
(verse 4 is really good for today's reading!)
4. Drained is love in making full, bound in setting others free
poor in making many rich, weak in giving power to be
5. Therefore he who shows us God helpless hangs up on the tree
and the nails and crown of thorns tell of what God's love must be
6. Here is God: no monarch he, throned in easy state to reign
here is God, whose arms of love, aching, spent, the world sustain.