READ: Ezekiel 13-15
THINK: Do you have any idols? You don't have to bow down to images of wood, stone or metal to be guilty of false worship. In fact, you may not even see some of the things that have your allegiance and affections. If you're not careful, these things can be hidden in your heart. The leaders and influential people of Ezekiel's time-people idolized by others-were guilty of having "idols in their hearts" (14:3). Though they were involved in spiritual activities and went through religious routines, they weren't loyal to God and His Word. They had allowed other things to take priority over the Lord. In reality, they had rejected God's purposes in pursuit of an ungodly lifestyle. So God refused to guide them or answer their prayers. In the same way, people today who look for God's guidance will find no help from His Spirit if their hearts are filled with ungodly desires and their priorities are not focused on God.
RESPOND: What did God command Ezekiel to tell the other "prophets," and why (13:1-15)? How had the false prophets deceived people about what was ahead and about the lifestyle that led to their destruction (13:10-12)? (See 13:10 note.) In what ways do people today whitewash (paint over) parts of their lives that are about to crumble? What does it mean for people to set up idols in their hearts (14:3-4,7)? (See 14:3 note.) What opportunity does God give rebellious people (14:6)? Why would people who followed idols in their hearts still expect to hear from God (14:7), and what does this reveal about their character? (See 14:7 note.) How does God respond to such people (14:8)? (See 14:9-10 note.) How did the reference to Noah, Daniel and Job illustrate the people's hopeless corruption? (See 14:14 and 14:16 notes.) In what way did God compare the rebellious people to a vine, and why had they become useless? (See 15:2-8 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to search your heart and expose any potential idols so you can repent and rid your life of them.
ACT: Have you ignored-or tried to whitewash-any part of your life that's spiritually unsightly, weak and apt to crumble under pressure? If so, ask God to forgive you and to reconstruct that area. Then exercise the discipline necessary to rebuild that area on the strong and stable foundation of obedience to God's Word.
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