Ezekiel 19 (read it here) requires some historical background.
Josiah was the last godly king of Jerusalem and the nation of Judah. In 608 BC He allied himself with the Babylonians against an alliance of Egypt and Assyria. He tried to stop the Egyptian army at the Megiddo pass. He was defeated and died in the battle.
Three of Josiah’s sons ruled after him:
- Jehoahaz who ruled for three months and then was deposed by the Egyptians in 608 BC (see Ezekiel 19:4).
- Jehoiakim (and his son Jehoiachin) then allied themselves with Egypt against Babylon. The Babylonians came and deposed Jehoiachin and took him to Babylon in 597 BC (see Ezekiel 19:8).
- Zedekiah who was ruling as Ezekiel prophesied in Babylon. Even though he was ruling as king, Ezekiel says “no strong branch is left” from the royal family in Ezekiel 19:14. Zedekiah’s rebellion against Babylon would bring about the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
Ezekiel 20 (read it here)
This prophecy comes in the seventh year of Ezekiel’s exile (590 BC) just four years before Jerusalem would be destroyed. As you read this chapter, note two words/phrases:
- For the sake of my name
The Sabbath, that day of rest and focus on their Savior God, was critical. If God’s people don’t keep their focus on the Savior, their faith would be lost—an important lesson for us to keep the Sabbath by weekly worship.
As Ezekiel recounts the history of God’s people, we see over and over that they deserved to be destroyed for their sins. Why didn’t that destruction take place? “For the same of my name.” God is gracious, not because of our actions, but so that he might be faithful to his Saving Name.
John 11:1-16 (read it here)
The disciples struggled to understand Jesus’ actions in this account about Jesus’ friend Lazarus. Why did Jesus wait? It is another example of "For the sake of my name." Jesus said, “For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”
Food Drive this weekend
St. Paul's Student Council member Sydney Younk invites you to participate in this week food drive. Watch the 1 minute video here. You can bring food along to any of the worship services this weekend to help the Muskego Food Pantry.
Watch a new trailer for our Advent devotions here. A one page summary of our Advent devotional plan is attached.
Enjoy a beautiful day!