He Raises the Poor from the Dust, and Lifts the Needy from the Ash Heap

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EZEKIEL 31:1-32:32 | HEBREWS 12:14-29 | PSALM 113:1-114:8 | PROVERBS 27:18-20

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If it wasn’t already clear, it has been laid out yet again by Ezekiel:  Egypt and the pharaohs’ that rule her, are going down. 

This is conveyed by the Lord to Ezekiel, who makes it known to the people in this way:

“‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says:

“‘The sword of the king of Babylon
   will come against you.
12 I will cause your hordes to fall
   by the swords of mighty men—
   the most ruthless of all nations.
They will shatter the pride of Egypt,
   and all her hordes will be overthrown.

Turning now to our reading of the book of Hebrews, the writer offers both warning and encouragement in holding fast to the faith that they have newly adopted. 

This is being written, of course, to the Jews of the day who had embraced the sovereignty of the Almighty in the person and office of Jesus Christ — his life, death, resurrection, ascension, and mediation on the behalf of every person who believed in the saving power of the work done on the cross — and were relearning many of their Jewish practices in order to exercise complete and total faith in this supreme gift of eternal life in the afterlife, and a new way to view themselves and the world around them in this terrestrial life.

And so, the writer of the book of Hebrews is instructing and encouraging them to exercise their faith, and to become strong in their personal relationship with God. 

He says:  22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

We turn now to our reading of the Psalms, and find two psalms in which David in his most inimitable style offers up praise and thanksgiving to God Almighty.  This is the kind of praise that is timeless across generations.  David says:

7 He raises the poor from the dust
   and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
8 he seats them with princes,
   with the princes of his people.
9 He settles the childless woman in her home
   as a happy mother of children.

   Praise the LORD.

Finally, three proverbs authored by Solomon, wise king of Israel.  All three are worthy of record and rumination:

18 The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit,
   and whoever protects their master will be honored.

19 As water reflects the face,
   so one’s life reflects the heart.

20 Death and Destruction are never satisfied,
   and neither are human eyes.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.  Amen.

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