Prayer Focus: Morocco

Bible Reading: Ezekiel 33-36

Scripture:

“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’”  (Ezek 33:6)

 “As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”’ (Ezek 34:8-10)

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezek 36:22-26)

Observation:

The heart of God beats strongly here. The plan was for Israel to serve as an example for all peoples. If we see danger and don’t warn others, their blood is on our hands. Here, even the priests, those that were supposed to watch over Israel itself, were failing in their duties and instead looking out for themselves. We hear echoes of Matthew 25, the sheep and the goats, and talk of a new Shepherd, from the line of David. Then the voice of God – for His own name sake – and to fulfill the obligation of Israel as a testimony to the nations – brings restoration and holiness. He promises cleansing for the people and a new heart. What a wonderful picture and promise not only of the coming Messiah, but the restoration of sinful people to a right relationship with God, the Creator and Author of life.

Application:

 Am I fulfilling the mission that God has called me to? Am I serving as a Watchman or am I a disgraced shepherd, a lost sheep? Oh that I might daily exchange my heart of stone and embrace Him. His Spirit, living inside us, empowers us to walk in obedience.

Prayer:

 Give us more of You, Lord. Help us, through faith, to live in daily victory over our selfishness. Give us eyes to see the world as You see it, and ears to hear the Spirit speak, and wisdom to recognize the real needs of those around us. And more than anything, Lord, give us courage to act. For Your Glory, and Yours Alone. So be it. [amen]

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