Scripture: Ezekiel 9.3-4
Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”

From John:
To weep and lament for the corruption in our world is a fitting activity for believers. In Ezekiel’s vision we witness a different kind of passover, as God’s judgment passes through Jerusalem it is lament over the detestable practices in the land that marks God’s remnant.

Lament is a task that the people of God take up as we become increasingly pressured, sidelined, and exiled. It is a recognition, not just of the sin of those around us, but of our failure to live out and proclaim the gospel to them…

Reflection: Lament the Effects of Hard-Heartedness :: Throwback Thursday
By Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Take notice of the doleful effects of hard-heartedness in the world.

This fills the world with wickedness and confusion, with wars and bloodshed; and leaves it under that lamentable desertion and delusion, which we see in the majority of the earth. How many kingdoms are left in the blindness of heathenism, for hardening their hearts against the Lord!

How many Christian nations are given up to the most gross deceits, and princes and people are enemies to reformation, because they hardened their hearts against the light of truth!

What vice so odious, even beastly filthiness, and bitterest hatred, and persecution of the ways of God, which men of all degrees and ranks do not securely wallow in through the hardness of their hearts!

This is the thing that grieves the godly, that wearies good magistrates, and breaks the hearts of faithful ministers: when they have done their best, they are obliged, as Christ himself before them, to grieve for the hardness of men’s hearts.

Alas! We live among the dead; our towns and countries are in a sadder case than Egypt, when every house had a dead man. Even in our churches, it were well if the dead were only under ground, and most of our seats had not a dead man, that sits as if he heard, and kneels as if he prayed, when nothing ever pierced to the quick.

We have studied the most quickening words, we have preached with tears in the most earnest manner, and yet we cannot make them feel!

*Abridged and language updated from Christian Ethics

Prayer: A Reading
Jesus taught us, saying: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under foot by men.” — Matthew 5.13

– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Prayers from The Divine Hours available online and in print.

Today’s Readings
Ezekiel 9 (Listen – 2:05)
Psalm 48 (Listen – 1:28)

Additional Reading
Read More from Richard Baxter: On Idolizing Man :: Throwback Thursday
This iniquity [idolizing man] consists not simply in the heart’s neglect of God, but in the preferring of some competitor.

Read More from Richard Baxter: What Slavery We Choose :: Throwback Thursday
A people-pleaser cannot be true to God…The wind of a person’s mouth will drive him about as the chaff—from any duty, and to any sin.

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