READ: Ezekiel 35-36
THINK: What picture do people get of God by watching you? Do you realize that the primary impression some people have of God may be directly related to what they see in you? If you claim to follow Christ, then your conduct is a reflection on God's reputation. If your behavior brings disgrace to Him, then you bring judgment on yourself. But if your conduct honors God, then God will honor you. Either way, the Lord's Name will be exalted and He will defend His own reputation. Yet He gives you the opportunity to show His character to those around you. The choice is yours. Will you be like the people in this passage who dishonored God among the nations and suffered the consequences (36:20)? Or will your life reflect a positive difference, demonstrating God's holiness, power and love?
RESPOND: Who or what was Mount Seir (35:2), what did it's people hope to do, and why would God judge it (35:5,10)? (See 35:3 note.) What are the two nations in 35:10? (See 35:10 note.) What attitude did Edom have regarding Israel's and Judah's downfall, and what would God do with Edom as a result (35:12-15)? According to 36:3-4, how had other nations treated God's people, and how is this still happening to this day? What hope and promise did God give in 36:8-12, and when will it be fully realized? (See 36:8-15 note.) How had the people defiled their land in the past (36:16-18), and what did God do as result (36:18-19)? How had the people's conduct affected God's reputation in other nations (36:20), and why would God still restore Israel (36:22-23)? (See 36:20-22 note.) In what way does God give people a new heart and a new spirit (36:26), and how does this affect their lives (36:27)? (See 36:26-27 note.) What is impossible to have and do apart from God's Spirit? (See 36:27 note.)
PRAY: Pray that you'll not be happy about other people's problems or downfalls and that you'll not take unjust advantage of other people's failures and circumstances. Pray for strength and humility in the face of ridicule, opposition and rejection. Give God thanks for transforming your heart and renewing your spirit.
ACT: Help or encourage someone who has encountered trouble recently. If your conduct has in any way been unworthy of identifying with Jesus, make the necessary changes so your behavior brings positive attention to Jesus.
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