November 21 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“I the Lord have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign Lord.” ~Ezekiel 24:14


Ezekiel is in Babylon, but some of his sermons relate to the impending fall of Jerusalem. Remember that the remnant remaining in the great city had used a cooking metaphor to describe themselves—they are the choice meat in the pot. The best has been left to inherit Jerusalem, or so they think. The prophet takes up this imagery but his sermon is quite the opposite. The pot will be put over the fire to cook again. The meat will be poured out a second time and then the pot will go back on the fire to burn the remains. Even then, the people will not be clean. Given what we already know of the desolation coming for Jerusalem, this is a chilling prophecy indeed.

As a sign of what is coming for the people and how they will have to respond to it, the love of Ezekiel’s life dies and he is not allowed to mourn her. No weeping. No funeral. No pause from work. The people wonder aloud what Ezekiel’s loss has to do with them, and so the prophet, his wife not yet 24 hours in the tomb, explains. God will also take away the love of their life, the city of Jerusalem. It will happen so suddenly and so violently that there will be no time for mourning. Those who survive the siege will be unable to afford the luxury of grief. They will have to get up and get to work the next day to do whatever is required to take care of their families.

The people will have to quietly bear their pain and suffering much like soldiers who comes home from the horrors of war on Friday and go back to work in the mills on Monday. The soldier must bury his emotions, cover his scars, push his nightmares to the back of his mind and go to work. This will be the life of the survivors.

The life of the unrepentant is so difficult! Look around you at the lives of people who rebel against God and decide to do their own thing. People who gossip, lie, commit adultery, manipulate, steal, hate, commit violence, twist the truth, live for money, abandon worship, become addicts, etc. As the sage tells us, “The way of the transgressors is hard” (Prov. 13:15, KJV).

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my life to be hard. Life is already tough enough without making it more so. We should determine to learn from our “forefathers” (see 1 Corinthians 10 for the use of this word in reference to Israel).  We should learn to be repentant rather than rebellious. We should let God correct us for our good. We should grow and change and experience His blessing.


“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever said that didn’t know what they were talking about! Some of our most painful memories are words people have spoken to us or about us. James tells us that the tongue is powerful, and it can do great damage. Just as a small match can destroy an entire forest, so a tongue can destroy an entire church, organization, or business. Even secular society recognizes the power of the tongue and allows people to sue for damages caused by libel (written words) and slander (spoken words). So be careful what you say and what you write. God will judge those who hurt their brothers or sisters, spouses or children, bosses or co-workers. And if you have wronged someone, make it right.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.