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Good Grief

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Good Grief

Ezekiel 8-9           November 17, 2002


Scripture Reading:

“ "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.  I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars— I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.  Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.  I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:7-13 NIVUS)

“ Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.” (Revelation 14:1 NIVUS)


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ILLUS: Chgo. Trib. Red Eye, Nov. 6, 2002, editorial by Alison Neumer "News theatrics leave us numb."

8:1–3bα                       Introduction to the temple vision

8:3bβ–18                     Four scenarios of cultic sin and Yahweh’s vocal reaction

8:3bβ–6                       The pagan altar

8:7–13             The idolators in the secret room

8:14–15                       The women who worshiped Tammuz

8:16–17                       The sun worshipers

8:18                             Yahweh’s pronouncement of punishment

9:1–11             Judgment and exemption

9:1–2               Summons of the supernatural agents

9:3–7               The two commissions of the agents

9:8–11                         Ezekiel’s protest and Yahweh’s negative reply; the return of the agent of exemption

10:1–22                       The burning of Jerusalem commanded; the gradual departure of the glory                                       of Yahweh

10:1–3             The commission of the incendiary

10:4–5             The first stage of the departure of the glory of Yahweh

10:6–7             The equipping of the incendiary

10:8–17                       Description of the cherubim and wheels

10:18–19                     The second and third stages of the departure of the glory of                                                                        Yahweh

10:20–22                     Further description of the cherubim

11:1–21                       Sin and salvation

11:1–13                       A further vision of sin and judgment

11:14–21                     Positive prospects for the exiles

11:22–23                     The final stage of the departure of the glory of Yahweh

11:24–25                     Conclusion of the temple vision

I.       The Narrative

          A.      Scene One

          B.      Scene Two

          C.      Scene Three

          D.      Scene Four

II.      The Complete Big Idea (subject big question plus complement big idea or answer of the passage)

          A.      Implication, illustration, and application from scene one

          B.      Implication, illustration, and application from scene two

          C.      Implication, illustration, and application from scene three

          D.      Implication, illustration, and application from scene four


Timeless Truth:

If you do not grieve over sin you are part of it.

Good grief guards the gateway to godliness.

Our grief over sin must lead us to God.

It must be part of the Christian life that we should never submit to getting used to sin – either our own or the sin of the world.

If sin grieves us enough to stay away from it, we will not have to grieve over sin's punishment.

We get what we worship.

Good and Bad Grief:

“ Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10 NIVUS)

Bad Grief:

“ Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.  Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.  Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.  Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.  You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.  You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.” (James 5:1-6 NIVUS)

Good Grief:

“ You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:4-10 NIVUS)

“ Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.  For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.” (Lamentations 3:32-33 NIVUS)

The Result of Good Grief is Joy:

“ Some of his disciples said to one another, "What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?"  They kept asking, "What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying."  Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, "Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?  I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.  A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.  So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.  In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:17-24 NIVUS)

Receiving the Mark:

Refer back to opening Scripture: Rev. 3:7-13, 14.1

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