March 3 – Devotion

Date: March 3, 2017

Scripture: Ezekiel 15:7

And I will set my face against them. Though they escape from the fire, the fire shall yet consume them, and you will know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. (Eze. 15:7, ESV)

One of the simplest yet most affirming gifts that we can give one another is a smile. A smile of approval can change a day almost instantly. A toothy grin brings a mom warmth and satisfaction. A gesture of rejection can produce just the opposite feelings. When someone turns his or her head away, or refuses eye contact, or obviously avoids us, we feel that rejection deeply. When a dad shakes his head in disappointment, his daughter feels the chill. If ex-spouses or ex-friends refuse to speak when they meet at the grocery store, the estrangement is palpable. An intentional offense can turn a relationship ice cold, especially when no apology is given. Sometimes people turn away from those who have hurt them as an act of discipline toward the offender. Shunning is powerful punishment.

Through the prophet Ezekiel, God told the Israelites that He was so aggrieved by their idolatry and faithless living that He would turn His face against them in contempt and discipline. He would not destroy them outright, but the rejection they would feel as He turned his holy face away would be obvious and harsh. The “vine” of Israel would be burnt, to put it in the terms of this Scripture.

God did as he warned, and many of the Israelites were exiled to Babylon; Jerusalem fell. The temple was destroyed. No doubt, many Israelites probably felt abandoned by God. The fullness of communion with God came only hundreds of years later with the life, death, and resurrection of our Messiah Jesus.

Praise God that in Jesus He turned His face toward His people again and opened the way of reconciliation and fellowship to ALL people. No longer do we have to live in estrangement with God due to our sin. Jesus has broken down the wall! Fellowship with the Father need never be broken in the believer’s life. If you’ve ever felt God turn His face away from you because of some wanton sin, you know just how dark and empty that can be. But God’s disfavor lasts only as long as we disobey Him. True confession and repentance restore God’s favor. Let’s live each day in the light of His smile and in the knowledge of His approval and grace. Estrangement from God is a high price to pay for sinful indulgence.

Prayer for the Journey: Father, help me today to live in the light of communication with You.

Prepared by Russell Kyzar

3 Responses to “March 3 – Devotion”

  1. Debbie Keen says:

    Excellent devotion, Russell! Thank you!

  2. Patricia hasselman says:

    This is great! Lots of food for thought…thank you!

  3. Marlene Amick says:

    Great Devotional, Russell! thank you.

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