Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 37-39
If there’s any phrase or text that people recognize from the book of Ezekiel, it is likely chapter 37’s “valley of dry bones.” Contextually speaking, this chapter is an extension of chapter 36 and God’s promise to restore Israel from her captivity. It should be understood as such. Unfortunately, many try to force this text into some kind of premillennial plan to recreate a Divine Jewish state in the modern era. We have addressed this error several times throughout the course of the past year as particular readings have allowed (see comments on Days 106, 131, 288). Suffice it to say that when Jesus comes again it will not be to establish an earthly kingdom, but rather to deliver up to God the already established kingdom (1 Cor 15:22-24). The latter half of the chapter refers to the reuniting of Judah and Israel in the restoration with a reference to one king to rule over them in verse 22. I believe this king is Jesus, and that this is borne out by verse 24 in the reference to David ruling over them (Jesus is the son of David – Matt 1:1, cf Ezekiel 34:23). Similar errors concerning this text include the ominous Gog and Magog (search www.christiancourier.com for good material on Gog and Magog).
New Testament reading: Acts 25-28
Johnny Ramsey was one of my favorite preachers. I heard him mention a sermon he had preached titled, “The Saddest Verses in All the Bible.” I heard him say this in the context of Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past; the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” I never heard the sermon, though I have searched for it online, but I expect a verse in today’s reading must have been included in his list. In Acts 26:28, King Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Almost a touchdown is still a zero on the scoreboard. Almost cured is still infirmed (and perhaps dead). Almost a Christian is still lost! Any lost soul is an immeasurable tragedy and loss. But how much more a lost soul who was on the very precipice of finding salvation? Agrippa was so close, yet in the end he was just as far away as the vilest sinner. Friend, don’t almost become or be a Christian! Do whatever it takes to be completely converted and faithfully serve the Lord Jesus!