Psalm 130:1-8; Ezekiel 23:1-49

Key Verse: (Psalm 130:4)

  But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

  The theme of our church in Year 2021 is to Return, Rebuild, and Redevelop.
Psalm 130 gives us valuable insights about how God’s people ‘return’ to the Temple, as it is part of the fifteen psalms (Ps 120 to 134) sung by the Hebrew worshippers on their way to Jerusalem while ascending Mount Zion, or according to some scholars, while walking up the steps of the Temple.

  Where are we spiritually on our trip to worship our Lord? The poet recognized that he is in the depth and cries for Lord’s mercy at the beginning of this psalm. He further explained why the mercy is needed – such a great amount of sin committed by men that no one can stand before God, let alone serve Him.

  In the Old Testament time, inside the Temple there were Ten Commandments carved on stone tablets and supposedly ‘carved’ on the hearts of God’s people. While traveling up towards the Temple and reflecting what men did and what God had done, the sensible poet realized how much he is short of God’s glory and so much mercy is needed.

  Later, the poet was comforted by God and who He Is.  He’s probably been reminded that besides the Ten Commandments, there’s also the Mercy Seat in the Temple. God’s timing and plan is perfect; the eager, purposeful and hopeful long waiting will not be in vain. Not until the law’s scrutiny is satisfied by the One and Only Atonement that the full redemption is delivered from the Mercy Seat.

  Jesus, we thank you for being our High Priest and the Savior. May we be reminded by this psalm in this lifelong pilgrim’s journey and walk in your light.  Amen.

Ezekiel 23:1-49

Key Verse: (Ezekiel 23:35)

  Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Since you have forgotten me and thrust me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution.

  Ezekiel 23 is full of harsh warning messages. The parable of the two sisters who mixed the worship to the Lord with pagan idolatry has many explicit graphical expressions on their terrible immoral actions as well as their terrifying inevitable consequences. The purpose of a warning is to try and correct a situation. Through prophet Ezekiel, God did warn the Israelites of their wrongdoing and the non-stop judgment, with the purpose to call His people to return to Him and Him alone.  The world may have many attractions and excitement, but the peace and the full redemption can only be found in Him.

  (1 John 2:16) For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.

  Many economists called Year 2021 an ‘odd-ball’ year, because we had experienced an unprecedented pandemic. Even after two-thirds of the year, the outlook is still lack of clarity and still under a great degree of uncertainty. Many business leaders told their employees that ‘things will not be returned to the normal before the pandemic’.  It reflects certain reality and common thinking.

  What should Christians think? Return, Return to the Lord and preach others to do so. If there’s anything we should strive to get back to normal in this odd-ball year, it is to return to the original relationship between God and men through the cross, and lead a ‘normal’ Christian life.    — Ivy Lin


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