Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

Hard Heart

October 30, 2023 Mark Roberts Season 3 Episode 50
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
Hard Heart
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 2:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, October the 30th. And it is happening, isn't it? So much is going on. It feels like fall. I'm holding a great cup of coffee. I'm thinking about trick or treat tomorrow. No, I'm not thinking about trick or treating. I'm thinking about the trick or treaters who are coming. The rangers are in the World Series. I cannot even believe I am saying that the Cowboys are playing . I mean so much is going on. It's happening, but it is time for us to think a little bit about some spiritual things to get our lives in order to get aligned this week as we begin the week with daily Bible reading. And yes, with some reflection on yesterday's sermon, we don't wanna have a hard heart. Let's put it all together. Let's get started. Let's do get this started by thinking about yesterday's sermon, about the hard heart. Really had wanted to work with that all year long. Wanted to wait till we got past Pharaoh in the Exodus class on Sunday morning. I thought it was important to have that discussion and to have that put down and done because then we can go to the New Testament and consider those passages without everybody wandering off into Exodus and everybody coming out with Yeah, but what about, that's an important conversation. We had that conversation with Pharaoh and I'm glad that we worked through some of those ideas in the Bible class. You can go back and listen to those Bible classes either on our website or on our Facebook page, but the New Testament just has a lot to say about it. One of the passages, however that I didn't get to, just can't say everything, is the passage in Matthew, the 13 chapter in Matthew chapter 13. If you open your Bible there, Jesus is telling parables and his disciples come to him verse 10, and they say, what's up with the parables? Just just tell us straight up, don't don't be speaking in these mystical, uncertain, telling these stories that we can't really figure out. And Jesus says, I'm telling you why I'm giving it to 'em in parables because some of these people are not gonna see or hear. And the problem with that is verse 14, the prophecy of Isaiah's being fulfilled. Matthew 1314. Now you'll indeed hear but never understand. You'll indeed see, but never proceed for this. People's heart has grown dull or some translations say hardened and with their ears, I can barely hear and their eyes, they have closed, let's say you'd see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and in turn, I would heal them. If you're not careful, you can read that in exactly the wrong way to make it sound like Jesus doesn't want people to understand. I'll tell you why I'm giving it to 'em in parables. It's a code and I'm not gonna give everybody a decoder ring. Some of you will get a decoder ring, but the rest of those folks, too bad for them. Nope, nope, nope. And absolutely not. What this is is about what you want, what you want. And these people, some of these people don't want to know the truth about Jesus. They don't want to know the truth about the kingdom of God as a result. For example, they don't come in ask, what's the deal with the parable? What does this parable mean? Notice verse 18, that when people come and ask Jesus, tell me more about that parable. What's going on with that? Jesus explains the parable. Jesus wants people to understand, but Isaiah prophesied about people who wouldn't want to know God, wouldn't want to know the Messiah, wouldn't want to know the kingdom of God. Those people have hardened hearts, which is an amazing term. It's a term that can be translated, grow fat, which given what we now know from cardiac research about the hardening of the arteries and other ailments that afflict our hearts, wow, that's, that's a term laden with meaning. It can mean unfeeling or impervious or as the ESV has here dull , I just like hardened. I don't want to know. And what all of us need to be thinking through is what's, what's keeping me from knowing God? What's keeping me from drawing closer to God? Why don't I want to know God? We do what we want to do. Why don't I want to know God? If I don't want to know God, then I can have this kind of hardened heart, the hardened heart of Matthew 1315 where it can be right in front of me and I don't get it. I don't pick it up. I don't go with it. I don't act upon it because 'cause I didn't want to. My heart is hardened. That's an excellent place to segue into our Bible reading for the week because Ezekiel is dealing with people picked up a couple of vows passages yesterday in the sermon. Ezekiel is dealing with people who don't want to know God and our Bible reading begins with a cutesy little line that some people are using to excuse their sins . Get your Bible over to Ezekiel. Let's get ready to think about our daily Bible reading this week. It is Monday and our reading for today is the 18th chapter of Ezekiel. This is a very famous chapter. This is a chapter we all need to read a lot. We need to read it to our kids. We need to read it to ourselves. This chapter contains an important spiritual principle. Sometimes when I think about drawing near to God, just think about there's a , there's a couple of overarching ideas that are just found everywhere in scripture that tell us how God operates. Like you reap what you sow. Galatians six chapter tells us, and here Ezekiel 18, this is it. This is a huge principle of how God does things. The soul that sins it's going to die, that soul will be held accountable for his or her actions. And Ezekiel 18 comes and grows out of chapter 16 verse 44, where the people are using a wrong proverb and where they are saying like mother, like daughter, we're we're just stuck. We can't change. We're just hopeless. And maybe some of the idea here particularly is in this particular proverb, the father's verse two have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge and that is we are being punished for the sins of our parents. They were bad. Yeah , Ezekiel, we get it. Boy, they were just terrible. We of course we are just so innocent and so we are being punished for what other people did . That of course is completely wrong. So everything is set up verses one to four with the explanation of the principle, the soul whose sins shall die. Notice how concerned God is with people thinking and talking correctly. God does not want us to be deceiving ourselves. Notice that, don't tell yourself this. Here then are three illustrations and maybe these illustrations are rooted in the lives of Hezekiah who was so good, wicked Manassa who was just wretched and then his righteous grandson , uh, great grandson, Josiah. You see those patterns sometimes really righteous, really evil, then really righteous again. And we get first of all, this man who is righteous and it's important to notice the things that a righteous man does. He refrains from idolatry, he's sexually pure. He does not mistreat people. Verse seven, doesn't steal, doesn't take interest. There are some positives in there as well. Not just the do nots. He does what is lawful and right. He assists the poor. He is fair. He keeps the law. These actions clearly indicate this man's desire to please God. This is a heart for God. This is a man who's trying to serve the Lord in the right kind of way . Then we get this son verse 10, and he's terrible and murder is added to the list of those sins and he's just dreadful and does all these things that are just terrible. And then we get verse 14, this man fathers a son who sees the sins his fathers has done, he sees and does not do likewise, just, just pause your reading right there. Contemplation is the key. Contemplation is the key. He sees and makes a judgment. He sees and says, I am not going to be like that. I'm not going to do that way. We are not just helpless creatures of instinct. We have free will. Despite what a foolish scientist announced last week, we had the ability to examine a circumstance in a situation and to say, I'm going to do differently. So then the principle is explained in verses 19 to 32, with a heavy emphasis in verse 20, the soul that sins that soul shall suffer for the iniquity of the father . That soul shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father nor the Father suffer for the iniquity of the son, the soul who sins shall die. The accountability of each individual is heavily stressed along with look at verse 23, the idea that God doesn't want anybody to die. God does not want anybody to be involved in sin and have to be condemned and judged by God. So you can change and God wants you to change. Talk about giant ideas. Verse 31, casted away from you all the transgressions you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die? Oh , house of Israel. Ezekiel will develop that idea, the new heart and the new spirit in Ezekiel the 36th chapter and particularly in verse 26, make a note of that in the margin of your Bible. This is a powerful chapter, soak in Ezekiel 18. You will draw closer to God. See you tomorrow. Welcome to Tuesday and it is trick or treat day. I hope you have good memories of trick-or-treating when you were a kid. I have some great memories including a time when a bunch of us were trick or treating and the lady of the house held out a big bowl of candy bars with the idea of everybody's just gonna take one and I can't remember, there were like 17 of us or something and somebody hit the bowl. Not me, I was a little kid. I was in the back and the bowl just slanted and the whole thing slid. The all of the candy bars slid into my brother's bag and then everybody, there was a moment of silence and terror and then someone said, Ru . And of course everybody just took off and I , it was an accident. Nobody meant to do it and we should have stopped and and and given the lady our candy bars back. But we all just took off running. And I remember every year Chris and I would weigh our candy bag. Everything is a competition between brothers and he had like two more ca , two more pounds of candy that year. So there you go. There's Halloween. Halloween when I was a kid today we're in Ezekiel the 20th chapter. Why did I tell that story? I'm not sure. Ezekiel the 20th chapter, don't give crummy candy. That's the point of that. But that's not the point of Ezekiel Chapter 20. Ezekiel chapter 20 is Ace is a chapter about Israel's history and this is a very helpful chapter in many ways to give some insight into where God is with his people. And if, if you don't end up writing, God is amazingly long suffering across the top of this chapter. I don't know what you're doing and I don't know what you're reading because this chapter traces the rebellion of the Israelites, God's people just from the get go . And it starts with a little bit of date and chronology stuff. Seventh year verse one, seventh year, fifth month, 10th day. So this is somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 91, early fall, 5 91 it seems like into five 90 and this is a time world history tells us that Egypt, Egyptian power was on the rise and Zakiah back in Judea began to cast about for an alliance with Egypt. And you'll remember Jeremiah when we read in Jeremiah was constantly saying, don't do that. Do not do that. You need to do what God tells you to do. Make an alliance with God, not with a foreign power. Make an alliance with the Lord and serve him. But of course, zeca and the people don't want to do that. And I wonder if the inquiry being made here in Ezekiel the 20th chapter, I wonder if what that's about is do the elders come to ask if Zeca is over, churched to Egypt would result in the Judean kingdom, the Judean province breaking away from Babylon and maybe they would get to go home. They would. They would be freed as a result of that. And God's response is in verse three, no audience for people like you don't, don't even want to talk to people like you because you don't care about me. You are in sin verse four, and you're going to be judged for these sins. Verse four. Then there is a recounting of the history of the Israelites and that actually begins in Egypt. There is rebellion verses six through nine. Even in Egypt they were in rebellion to God and were not doing what they ought to be doing. But there is a heavy emphasis starting in verse nine then again in verse 14, then again in verse 22, then again in verse 44 where God talks about his reputation, his name's sake . Yesterday I talked a little bit about how there are some principles in the Bible that just help us understand how God operates, God's mo , his modus operandi if you will. And one of those is God is concerned for his reputation, God's name God will be vindicated. God wants to be seen for who he is. So that rebellion in Egypt then issued verses 10 to 26 into repeated rebellion in the wilderness and the prophet just walks down through their history and it's just a disaster. Their heart went after idols verse 16 and over and over again, look at the emphasis on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a special sign which made Israel a peculiar witness to the pagan peoples who were around her. Think about that. Everybody else is out on Saturday doing their thing and those people do nothing on the Sabbath that would be very distinctive and very unique and Israel didn't want to do that. Israel didn't want to do that. In fact, when we move a little bit further and we're reading in Ezra and in Nehemiah, what we're gonna see is they didn't want to keep the Sabbath even after coming home from the Babylonian exile. So that's just a perennial, just a constant problem for God's people and God's reputation suffers because of how these people behave. Your God is weak, your God is ponent, your God is no good. So God has to act Verse 14, for the sake of my name that he should not be profaned in the side of my Na of the nations. This is really a chapter and our reading today had to split this chapter in half. It's so long where you want to sit down and work through those questions on the back of your reading sheet to make sure that you're drawing near to God. Look at God revealing himself. Look at God's verdict on the history of the Israelites. Look at God saying this is who I am and how I have to act because of what you are doing. We are learning here about the Lord. Work the questions draw near to God. We'll finish the chapter tomorrow. Welcome to Wednesday. Today we read Ezekiel the 20th chapter verses 26 to 49. We complete the chapter that we began yesterday and this is a continued look at the history of Israel and how the fathers blaspheme me by dealing treacherous with me. Verse 27, they were involved in idolatry on every high hill. It's kind of interesting that there was so much worship on high hills. The idea being you can be a little closer to the heavens. Let's get up on top of this place. We'll be a little closer to the gods. I'm not gonna be inquired by people like that. Verse 31, that goes back to where we started our reading yesterday in verse three. I don't want people like this to suddenly seek after me when they're not really interested in me. And then we get the idea of God restoring Israel. The challenge here is aren't you just like your fathers verses 30 31, Ezekiel saying , you are continuing the history of the Israelite people, the Jewish people, you're behaving just like them. God has kept total disaster from happening, but will you return to the Lord? Will you repent? And so we get this marvelous section, verse 35, I'll bring you to the wilderness of the peoples. So often the return from captivity in Babylon is going to be portrayed as an exodus and it's gonna be like that. Uh , that first exodus, it's a second exodus. We're going home and the purpose of this is to purge out the rebels. Verse 38, the purpose of this is to bring people to repentance so that they will have a heart for God. Isn't that what we talked about on Sunday? That third point, the people who have a real heart for God are people who will repent. I substituted my ways for God's ways. Repentance means I substitute God's ways for my ways. I go back and serve God again. And so there's this picture of this united nation beginning in verse 40 under the Messiah that serves God and does what's right and it's more than just sacrificing. God accepts the people, just an incredible opportunity. They'll know verse 42, I am the Lord. They'll know verse 44, that I am the Lord when I deal with you for my namesakes , not according to your evil ways . When you see the grace and mercy of God who restores you back to your homeland once again, then the chapter ends with a word about the south. The nega is an area in the South. There's gonna be judgment there. People will know that God has brought judgment there. The end of the chapter, the end in verse 49, the people say, oh , I, it is just too hard to understand what you're saying Ezekiel. I can't, can't really get at , I don't really understand you . You are speaking in parables. Makes you think of what Jesus says in Matthew 13, doesn't it? They don't want to understand. That's why they can't understand. Tomorrow we journey further in the book of Ezekiel. I'll see you on Thursday. It is Thursday and today we read the 24th chapter of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 24. The entire chapter is our reading for today. And today I am regretting that I went back and redid the schedule so we could read more Ezekiel because this, this is hard to read. This is really hard to read. The front end of this starts in January of 5 88, which is when the siege begins on Jerusalem. They are in rebellion. Babylon sends an army, they encompass the city. This is going to end very, very badly. Jeremiah's caught in the middle of that. We read a bunch of Jeremiah. Jeremiah consistently said, we need to surrender to the Babylonians. It's our only hope. And everybody is all about, oh, Egypt's gonna come. Andris goes , no they're not. No they're not. It's been about two years and five months since Ezekiel's last prophecy in chapter 20 in verse one and in this sign of the cauldron or the parable of the cauldron, the song of the cauldron, that's uh , verses one to 14 here, the repetition of the phrase, this very day becomes very important. This day will be important. It will be pivotal. In fact, it'll actually become a fast day in Israel's history. Zechariah will talk about that in chapter eight and verse 19. And so he puts the pot on to symbolize, Jerusalem is doomed. We are cooked and he picks pieces out of the pot just randomly to show that Babylon is gonna kill some people and some people are gonna be deported and it's just a random kind of thing. Then in verse 11, the contents are removed. I think that's deportation and then the pot's burned up. The city is destroyed. All of this says judgment is coming on Jerusalem for so long, Ezekiel has said it's going to come. Nope, it's here. 5 88 Babylon is at the gates and this is the end for Jerusalem. Then this terrible thing happens in beginning in verse 15, Ezekiel's wife dies and we know that the prophet was happily married because verse 16 says, his wife is the delight of his eyes. This, this is hard to hear. I wonder maybe verse 18 if his wife was already sick. But the point of this is Ezekiel becomes the message instead of doing the normal thing mourning, he must accept this verse 22 as the will of God and he must agree with the judgment of God. And that's what his no mourning sign, the sign of him not being in any showing any signs of grief or lamentation for his wife. That's what that's going to show, that this is the judgment of God and I agree with God. I have taken the delight of their eyes. Verse 25, Jerusalem is destroyed and on that day, verse 26, a fugitive will come and report the news and then your mouth will be opened. Remember in chapter three, Ezekiel was said to be mute, but now his mouth is opened . He's been saying judgment will come, but now when the judgment falls, it take about three months after the destruction of Jerusalem for the word to reach Babylon. When that word comes, people will finally vest Ezekiel with credibility. This is what he said. I remember the signs. I remember him making that little model of Jerusalem. I remember the cauldron and how he was cooking and singing over that. I remember when his wife died and he wouldn't even mourn that and he kept telling us about the judgment of God and that we need to repent. Ezekiel was right. The city has been destroyed. The temple has been burned. Let's go listen to Ezekiel. He is the one who has a true word from God. If we go to Ezekiel, then we can know verse 27, that I am the Lord. Wow, this is so hard to read. This is so hard to read. What was it like to be Ezekiel and your wife dies and you can't even mourn it. Tomorrow we'll sample a little bit of the section that begins in Eel chapter 25. See you tomorrow. It is Friday. Friday. All the good things that happen on the weekend, particularly that we get to worship with the Lord's people on the first day of the week. All those things are right in front of us. But today, first we need to read Ezekiel the 25th chapter. This chapter begins as section chapters 25 to 32 about foreign nations, and these chapters emphasize that God punishes all sin, not just Judahs and that God is not a national deity, just those Jews over there. He's not a local deity, just the God of Jerusalem. No. This is a series of messages to Israel's neighbors and some of these nations delighted in the downfall of Judah like Amon and Moab. Others even help the invaders like Edam and Philistia and Ezekiel hear his warning that God knows what each nation has done and God is sovereign over all people, not just the Jews. The messages begin to the east of Judah, Amon and move clockwise to Moab, then Edam and then Philistia. I think it's important here to watch and see what God is concerned about in each nation and to be reminded yet again, God is concerned about all people, not just the Jews. Now we're only going to sample a section of this foreign nation prophecy all these prophecies, chapter 25 to 32. We're just reading this one, but this will remind us of some of the other places we've been in the prophets like Amos where there's an oracle where there's a word from God given in a very specific form because of this. Then therefore this and that seems to be kind of a unique form here to Ezekiel and there's a lot of vocabulary here that's very Ezekiel, is that, is that a word? Ezekiel, like profaning my sanctuary and executing judgment, and then of course you shall know that I am the Lord. So that begins with the word against Amin beginning in verse two. Set your face toward the Ammonites and all these things are going to happen. I will make Al verse five, their major city, a pasture for camels and Amin , a fold for flocks just gonna be destroyed completely. Then there's a prophecy verses eight to 11 against Moab and that hostility between Moab and Israel goes all the way back to Blac and the prophet, is he a prophet? He is a prophet. He's not a very good prophet Balam . That goes back to numbers 22, 23 and 24. And so here's Moab. They'll know that I'm the Lord. And then Edam verses 12 to 14, and there is all kinds of hatred between the Edomites and the Israelites. The Edomites jumped in and helped the Babylonians when they were destroying Jerusalem. That is reflected by the way in the 137 Psalm , uh, verses 7, 8, 9. That's what the book of Obadiah is about and that is so bitter for the people of God that it shows up again in Malachi. In Malachi chapter one. It is interesting to realize that Edam ends up being crushed during the time of the testament between the testaments by the Maccabees. The Maccabees incorporate them into the Jewish race by compulsory circumcision, and it is kind of interesting to see that as equal. Does not say you'll know that I'm the Lord. All you'll know is the vengeance of God. How about that? And then finally, Philistia has called out verses 15, 16 and 17 and of course the Philistines are old foes. We've had the Philistines going for a long time. The Book of Judges, particularly we saw then of course David. David fully deals with them and in fact some of them are mercenaries. They're in his royal guard. But after the Maccabean times the time between the testaments, the Philistines completely vanished from side as the people and only the names of their cities remain. God executes vengeance upon them. In verse 17, I wanted us to read some of this again, to be reminded that God is sovereign over all nations and that God is concerned about all people. That's been a huge theme this year in our prophetic, in our prophet reading, and I think that is something I've not paid enough attention to. God caress about everybody. There you go. That's our Bible reading then for the week. Thank you so much for listening to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast. Hope that you have followed or subscribed to the podcast so it downloads automatically. Would really appreciate if you would rate and give a review to the podcast that helps more people find it. Best of all, tell somebody, Hey, tell somebody I'm reading in the Bible and this is helping me in my understanding of the Bible. Listen to this podcast. So until next week, may your coffee be delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful and the Lord is with you today all day. I'm Mark and yes, I want to go to heaven and I want you to come to . I'll see you on Monday.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark . For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from that's upbeat with two P'S UPP , B E A T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday.

Sermon Notes
Monday Ezekiel 18
Tuesday Ezekiel 20:1-25
Wednesday Ezekiel 20:26-49
Thursday Ezekiel 24
Friday Ezekiel 25