November 3

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And the Lord called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer’s case. He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.”’ (Ezekiel 9:3-4 NLT).

From: November 3, 2018

WHO IS THIS MAN DRESSED IN LINEN?
Ezekiel was caught up in a vision, snatched by the hair of his head by the Spirit of God, to see Jerusalem from a heavenly perspective (Ez. 8:3). Much like the apostle John’s revelation, Ezekiel noted both the time and location when the “Sovereign Lord took hold” (Ez. 8:1) of him. In the vision, he heard the Lord call six men with deadly weapons to punish the city. It is of interest that the number six is the number of man, and on this occasion the number of the angels that God appointed to judge the sin of Judah.
 
Yet, with the six angels, there was a seventh man. This one dressed in linen and not armed with a weapon, but with a “writer’s case.” To this man dressed in linen, the Lord commanded that he put a “mark” on the foreheads of the penitent, so that they would not be harmed by the six angels of wrath.
 
The Hebrew word for “mark” was represented by the Hebrew letter “Tav.” So, the man in linen was to put a “Tav” on the foreheads of those to be saved. It is of interest to note that the Hebrew “Tav” looked similar to a lower case “t” during Ezekiel’s day. Although Ezekiel would not have been aware, Christians see the sign of the cross in the “mark.”
 
Who is this man dressed in linen? Who can say? Only God knows. But certain details are worth noting. First, he was the seventh man and the number seven is the number of completion, the number of the Sabbath and the number of God. Second, he wore linen, a priestly garb representing purity. Third, he was sent to mark the penitent for salvation. And finally, he was fully obedient (Ez. 9:11). At the very least, this man dressed in linen represents God’s mercy. Some even see him as the preincarnate Christ. Whoever he is, he reminds us, as he did Ezekiel, that God is able to separate the sheep from the goats when the time for His judgment comes.

“And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there” (Ezekiel 8:1 NKJV).

From: November 3, 2017

Ezekiel was among the second group of exiles taken into Babylonian captivity along with their Judean king, Jehoachin in the year 597 BC. He wrote this record “in the sixth year” of their exile. This was six years before the complete destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in the year 586 BC. As the exiled elders sat with Ezekiel, they must have been heartsick for their home. They must have felt forsaken of God. Yet, the “Lord God fell upon” Ezekiel in their midst and carried him in a vision to Jerusalem to see that they were actually the ones that God had preserved. For Jerusalem would soon be destroyed because of its violence and idolatry.
 
Jerusalem had the prophet Jeremiah warning them to repent and submit to Nebuchadnezzar in order to live. While the exiles in Babylon had the prophet Ezekiel revealing to them the reason for God’s judgment. The elders in Jerusalem thought their Temple protected them, that God would never allow it to fall, but they were wrong. His eye was actually on the exiles as the remnant that He would preserve. He would call them 70 years later to return and rebuild the Temple in preparation for the Messiah’s arrival.

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12 ESV)

From: November 3, 2016

The author of Hebrews explained that the basic teachings about Christ had to be covered again with them, because they were not growing in their understanding of God’s Word. There are believers like this in every generation. They receive the Word, but don’t grow in it. Hebrews does not question their belief, but it does accuse them of spiritual dullness and failure to listen to God’s Word. People who don’t grow in God’s Word are subject to every wind of doctrine and false teaching. Like spiritual babes they only want milk and not the meat of Christian teaching. They are encouraged to grow up in their understanding, so that God’s Word affects their discernment of right and wrong.

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!” (Psalm 105:1 NKJV)

From: November 3, 2015

The psalmist calls God’s people to use their words for His glory. Let others hear you giving thanks to the Lord in all things. Let them hear you saying His Name as you call upon Him in prayer and attribute all things unto Him. Proclaim His deeds to the peoples of the earth, so that every nation knows the Name of Jesus Christ as Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Sustainer and Friend. As long as you have breath, fill your mouths with words of praise and proclamation, so that everyone you meet hears of what God has done through Christ. Yes, call upon His Name and let the peoples of the earth hear you do it!

“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word” (Hebrews 5:12 NLT)

From: November 3, 2014

The author of Hebrews explained that the basic teachings about Christ had to be covered again with them, because they were not growing in their understanding of God’s Word. There are believers like this in every generation. They receive the Word, but don’t grow in it. Hebrews does not question their belief, but it does accuse them of spiritual dullness and failure to listen to God’s Word. People who don’t grow in God’s Word are subject to every wind of doctrine and false teaching. Like spiritual babes they only want milk and not the meat of Christian teaching. They are encouraged to grow up in their understanding, so that God’s Word affects their discernment of right and wrong.

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (Psalm 105:4)

From: November 3, 2013

This is the abiding life, to seek the life-giving strength of the Vine and to walk in His presence always. Rather than seeking (worrying, wondering) what we should do about a thing, seek God’s strength and presence. Where is God in this? How can we join Him there? Not laboring in the flesh, but resting in the Spirit.

“Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him” (Psalm 105:4)

From: November 3, 2012

The Psalmist reminds us to continually search for God and His strength. This is an important daily discipline to learn. Don’t leave your house in your own strength. First, seek the Lord and draw on His renewing power. Learn to abide in Christ and in His enabling strength. Then you can join the apostle Paul in saying, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phil.4:13)!