The Lord Acts For His Own Sake

Daily Scripture readings for April, set #7:

Ezekiel, chapters 20-21
Job 7
John 8:48-59
2 Peter 3:10-18

“But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness” (Ezk 20:9-10). In the book of Exodus the Lord “hears the cries” of his people and responds to save them… which would make one think that the Lord was acting on THEIR behalf. This text in Ezekiel reveals the true intention behind the Lord’s great saving act for Israel in Egypt. Interestingly, Israel being brought out of bondage to Egypt has many parallels to Christ’s bringing us out of bondage to sin.

“Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul” (Job 7:11). I know Job’s situation stinks, but this statement makes me think that he needs a little Ecclesiastes 5:2 in his perspective.

More Trinitarian logic. “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am'” (Jn 8:58). Jesus name drops the Sovereign of the universe in describing HIMSELF.

“There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability” (2Pet 3:16-17). There are two wise warnings here from the apostle Peter. First, know that some of the Scriptures are difficult to understand. Second, know that others will try to convince you to think wrongly regarding the difficult-to-understand Scriptures.

Daily Scripture readings for April, set #8:

Ezekiel, chapters 22-23
Job 8
John 9:1-12
1 John 1

“She bestowed her whoring upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them, and she defiled herself with all the idols of everyone after whom she lusted. She did not give up her whoring that she had begun in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their whoring lust upon her” (Ezk 23:7-8). The R-rated content of Ezekiel 23 is explicitly a metaphor, according to verse 4. It’s interesting and telling that the Lord chooses such vile sexual practice as the metaphor for sin and rebellion against him. This works in reverse to bring sharp condemnation on sexual sin.

“Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right? If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression” (Job 8:3-4). Again, I know Bildad is supposed to be wrong in most of what he says, but this statement from him is correct, right? God acts justly, and bringing punishment upon sinners according to their sin is just.

“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (Jn 9:3). The people wonder what CAUSED the man’s disability, but Jesus instead emphasizes the PURPOSE.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1Jn 1:8-9). You are a sinner. Don’t try to get out from under that. But thanks be to God – it doesn’t end there. Forgiveness and cleansing are waiting for you! But confession is required, and confession demands the acknowledgment that you are a sinner.

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