03 September 2013

Left Field

S: Ezekiel 20:26, 31 NLT

I let them pollute themselves with the very gifts I had given them, and I allowed them to give their firstborn children as offerings to their gods—so I might devastate them and remind them that I alone am the Lord. For when you offer gifts to them and give your little children to be burned as sacrifices, you continue to pollute yourselves with idols to this day. Should I allow you to ask for a message from me, O people of Israel? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will tell you nothing.

Observation: Child sacrifice is mentioned pretty often in Ezekiel. And I keep getting the same impression every time I read the verses that mention it: Judah was proud of it. It wasn't purely some crazy-twisted Occult thing they all rejoiced in. It was them doing what Father Abraham had done, but doing it even better: they went through with the sacrifice even though God never provided an intervening angel or ram in the thicket for them. They wore their horror like a badge of honor, a symbol of their devotion to a pagan idol. They looked right past the whole point of Abraham's experience and turned it into a horrifying tool of occult.  

Application: Is there anywhere in my life that I'm looking beyond the mark? Going far beyond where The Lord wants me to in scripture or life because I want to go the extra mile, or demonstrate my faithfulness? 

Prayer: Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be THY name, and no other before Thee. Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto You and The Lamb, the One True Sacrifice. Open my eyes to the truth of what is around and before me. Teach me through Your Word and Your Spirit the way to go and the steps to take in it. And open that same view to those I love, that we can follow You and not fall to the same kind of fate as Your ancient people. I glorify Your name for the good and loving Father You truly are, and Your tenderness and patience with me, and all of Your children. In Jesus' holy name, Amen. 

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!