But even this wouldn't be enough, so God promised to put His own Spirit within His people so that they could truly obey His decrees and laws. This vision came on the exact day the siege of Jerusalem began. Righteous men in an utterly polluted city cannot save the city, they can only save their own souls. Oh, that it would now come into my house and rise till every chamber were made to swim with it! And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. Learn more. Ezekiel Devotionals Amen. The first phase of the vision of the restored order presented the Temple as at the centre of the life of the people. But we do need to open our Bible and open our hearts and ask God to give us an understanding of His greatness, of His glory, and of His sovereignty. 37, '8). The prophecy was a dirge, an elegy. God has promised the bestowment of the blessing, and He will never disappoint the soul that seeks it. Verse 5 through 9 in today’s reading, the first generation in Ezekiel’s illustration, paint a vivid portrait of a righteous man. — by Mart De Haan. Satan is a dangerous enemy, but Jesus sealed his ultimate fate when He rose from the dead. Do you have questions or comments about the material on this website? They are conscious, for they speak to Pharaoh when he arrives, and they are ashamed, and filled with shame. As these signs are pondered, their spiritual and moral significance is patent. Remember this was not a call to stand erect to utter the word of Jehovah, but to hear it. The rest of the message consists in the illustration and application of this saying. One day in 1938 a boy in Queensland, Australia, brought home a dull–colored stone he had found lying on a hillside. His fall was unsurprising, for God’s justice makes the fate of the proud inevitable. The answer of Jehovah was immediate, and unequivocal. He had seen the processes of that restoration, and the glory of it, in the re-established and ennobled order. Do his brethren judge him harshly? In Ezekiel’s day, God’s people treated His messages as though they were pop songs, as background noise but not divine words to heed and obey (v. 32). Jesus explained to His disciples, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They thought wealth was God’s stamp of approval rather than a potential competitor for the heart’s allegiance. About 35 years ago, two baby boys were given up for adoption. He is the God of peace (Phil. Later, he persuaded a major pharmaceutical company to donate drugs to help end river blindness in Africa. This fact was the vindication of the righteousness of Reprobation. Israel, Babylon, Ammon are all made to contribute to the accomplishment of His purpose. Ezekiel 32:22 Chapter 32 of Ezekiel is split into two parts: the first part is a lamentation for Pharaoh and Egypt, which follows from the previous chapter. Suddenly he felt ripping pains as a bullet tore into his chest and arm. It was so unbelievable that some newspapers thought the telegraph report must be a typo and that England had actually won 10–1. The transcendent and sovereign God we encountered in Ezekiel 1 is the same God who keeps promises made long ago to Abraham and Moses. But you might not know what else once happened in the Japanese city of Nagasaki, many years before. Today those coins are worth an estimated $150 million. Ezekiel 1:28-2:3 14:12, KJV). The situation was that Israel, both as to the Northern and Southern sections of the one nation, was in captivity. All souls are His, and that means that every soul is made for first-hand personal dealing with Him. He raises up and brings down. Or consider a specific element of your life, and ask, “If this item were taken away would I still believe that abundant life was possible?” Now take your answers to the only One who can release us from idols–Jesus Christ! If we are to declare God’s truth with meaning and power, we must take time to let it fill our hearts. I must deliver myself from the blood of some of you who are living in impenitence, and who will probably die in it, and when, if you die unwarned, having often listened to my voice, may be able to reproach me in another world if I do not faithfully and earnestly bear my solemn testimony concerning the wrath to come. But the meaning was plain: Babylon would conquer and destroy Jerusalem. What about the Law’s promise to punish the children for the sins of the fathers (Ex. Even in the vision, he was not allowed into the Most Holy Place (41:3–4). Priests, princes, prophets, people, were involved; all were utterly corrupt. These symbols were seen upon the wall of the Temple, and upon the folding doors admitting thereto. These capital cities were the centres of government—the places of the politicians. . His call to Jeremiah was tender and reassuring because that is what the melancholy Jeremiah needed. God is standing on the porch of heaven, expectantly hoping, searching the horizon for a glimpse of his child. Instead, this prophecy draws our attention to the certainty of the Word of God. Citizenship, social status, and ethnicity are inconsequential. He may have been Jesus’ closest friend here on earth. It is for ever so. Lord, make me the kind of Christian who will give unbelievers no excuse for concluding that You do not exist. In the book of Ezekiel, these literary forms and genres create a rich “kaleidoscope of material” that challenges interpreters to be diligent and alert about how language is used. 1:2). Now, of course, all committed Christians are full-time Christians and full-time servants. The language is poetic and full of force. It was most probably delivered in close connection with the first (Ezek 29.1-16). While they were there the hand of the Lord Jehovah fell upon him. Perhaps the word "common" employed by our revisers is better than the "profane" of the King James' Version; but that is because of our more modern use of this word "profane" which associates with it the idea of evil. Israel received the Law of God while they camped in the valley of Beth Peor in the land of the Amorites. Is God’s Word your joy and heart’s delight? Rev. Like Simeon, Ezekiel was chosen by God to be a “watchman,” one who sees what is coming and brings news or warning to everyone else. Then a jeweler recognized it for what it was, bought it, and polished it until it was revealed as the largest star sapphire in the world. Now that all they loved seemed dead—the promised land, the holy city, the temple, and the kingly line of David—perhaps they would actually listen to what God had to say. “Like father, like son,” we say, but it depends on who says it and why. He now declared that Jehovah would break both his arms, so that he would be unable to bear the sword. Learn more Start my trial Back . The Nile of Africa, which spans 6,650 kilometers (more than 4,100 miles) and flows northward across several northeastern African countries, is the world’s longest river. Ezekiel 7. Yet, that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. The United Nations estimates that at least 12.3 million people worldwide are enslaved in such forced labor arrangements. Even more painfully, from Ezekiel’s perspective, the departure wasn’t abstract or vague, but a highly visible and purposeful exit by the same heavenly throne, cherubim, and wheels he had seen in his original vision of heaven. 16.2. Hearts of stone would be transformed into hearts of flesh. Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 4-7). The most arresting thing in this burden of Ezekiel is its account of how, after the defeat of this mighty alliance by the intervention and fire of God, the people of God give themselves to the complete cleansing of their land from the last dead remains of the pollution. Jesus, Himself, is the true life-sustaining Food of believers. And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord that smiteth.". God is to His people a place of refuge. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Friday, 15th January. That with sweet joy the homesick soul shall thrill. He said that a good man will not be punished for the sins of a wicked son. Salvation is not turning over a new leaf, but receiving a new life. She ignored prophetic warnings and pursued perverse promiscuity in worse and worse ways, so that even the godless were shocked by her depravity. The wrathful God who wielded the sword of justice is the same God who dwells with His people as friend and King. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. Ezekiel 26 is just one of many examples of fulfilled prophecy. Merely from the standpoint of literature this chapter is incomparable in its descriptive force, both as to the prosperity of the city, and as to the complete and =regretted catastrophe which overwhelmed her. But along with this was the reality that the fact of His people living in exile instead of the Promised Land dishonored God's holy name among the nations, and for the sake of His name, the Lord promised that He would regather the nation and restore them to their land. We look cheerful and happy, but we do not know the burden of the person sitting in the pew with us. This question, asked at the close, can have but one answer. Blessed be His name! Notice, He is not called the King. Here is the secret. content you are seeking by clicking here. The prophet, called to make her know her abominations, did so by setting her conduct in the light of His love. Seek it, wrestle for it, agonize for it, as transcendently more precious than every other mercy. Ezek. 17.2. In that we see the understanding heart of God. Thankfully, in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ, God has provided a way by which we need not reap what we have sown. These visions had interpreted for him the corruption of his people, and the infinite depth of the grace of God. A new heart and spirit are not something we can earn, but He stands ready to give them (v. 31). Herod sent for John, "heard him gladly, and did many things," and yet his heart and his life were strangers to holiness. The central movement in the message is that of the Song of the Sword (verses 8-17). The principle of reaping what you sow is part of divine justice. The prophet Daniel also used the title in a Messianic sense when he saw "one like the Son of man," who came to "the Ancient of Days" to receive "everlasting dominion" over all men (Daniel 7:13-14). Even so, we don’t need to be afraid. In Ezekiel 36, He declared that He had been disgraced by the rebellious practices of His chosen people Israel. Men, who have no Divine message, but pose as though they had, seek to find favour with those to whom they speak, and so agree with them in their desires and policies. Second, he was to eat and drink while displaying fear and anxiety, as if disaster were imminent, because it was. A group of amateurs including a schoolteacher, a mail carrier, and a hearse driver traveled to Brazil for the World Cup. Sin is serious. One of the crises facing today’s church is the lack of young people willing to give their lives to full-time Gospel service. All that was suggested to Ezekiel by the fire, the living ones, the wheels, the spirit of life, has been more clearly revealed to us in the Son of His love. We need an enlarged glimpse of His majesty, His greatness, and His power. Such was the meaning of James when he wrote: "Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God.". A survey, recently published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, found that regular religious worship can relieve the severity of mental health problems and shorten the hospital stays of psychiatric patients. His east wind found it, wherever it was placed, and it withered in spite of all its attempts to maintain its life by these false means. All this gives the most solemn pause to those responsible for speaking the words of God to men. The pride of Egypt will be shattered by a ruthless killer, Babylon. Leaders were doing the right things externally, but internally they were not cultivating attitudes of faithfulness and obedience. Then followed a wonderful prediction as to the way of restoration. Bible scholar Richard Patterson has pointed out the numerous literary forms and genres present in Old Testament prophecy. 41.18. Christ will raise them. Let her also remember that her gifts and calling are not for her sake, but for the honour of the Name; that, being sanctified in her, God may make Himself known to the nations. Even so, God charged the young priest to speak His words boldly, to give warning to the wicked, and to be faithful even if no one listened (Ezek 3:27; cf. Notice also that none of these enemies are the old ones with which we are familiar as hostile to Israel. Let’s go back to verse one: In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. Read. It cannot be used to make even trivial items such as pegs to hang things on. The whole outlook is earthly; that is to say, that the order described is that of life in this world. They also had another saying which represented another attitude of mind. He works for a mission board.”, After further questioning, the chairman appointed his friend to go to China with the instructions, “Hire that man. Guest worker policies in some countries create a legalized equivalent of slavery. GCM is a faith ministry supported entirely by the gifts of Christians. Most Americans are familiar with the episode about whitewashing the fence in Mark Twain’s famous book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. One in 30 million. That salvation would consist in moral and spiritual renewal. It consists of the prophet's discussion, under Divine command, of a false outlook on life which had found expression in a proverb: "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." Ezekiel saw “the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and...the likeness as the appearance of a man above it” (Ezek. He began lashing out at God and at us, bent on wrecking God's program and people. 23.4, Thus at the beginning of this message, the prophet gave the key to its application. Indeed; as we saw in reading Jeremiah (Jer 37), Pharaoh had made a movement with his hosts out of Egypt, and this had caused the Chaldeans temporarily to abandon the siege of Jerusalem. To have permitted that people to remain a nation among the nations, would have been to perpetuate a misrepresentation of God among those nations. He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As He spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. Ezekiel was doubtless glad his message was vindicated when a messenger arrived confirming the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple (Ezek 33:21–33). When the whirlwind of the Divine fury sweeps out from the Divine presence to make an end of the appalling corruption, it does not touch them. As Christians, we also have this privilege—and we know we need it. Whatever thou art, thou hast nothing to make thee proud. It was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (28:12), but “through [its] widespread trade [it was] filled with violence” (v. 16). A friend who is a heart transplant cardiologist has an appreciation of Ezekiel 36:26 that not many of us can understand. - Ezekiel 20:36. Fie on thee, O silly heart! Cometh to thee if thou canst but be still. Ezekiel took two sticks representing Israel and Judah and made them into one stick to show that the divided kingdom would be reunited and the exiled people brought home. Those who fail to find Him in the light ,of His revelation of Himself by law or in the natural order, He brings to know Him through judgment. Because he was submissive to the Lord and applied the lesson to his own heart first, he could boldly present the life-giving message to all who would listen. He gave the letter to a Frenchman, Colonel Linant de Ballefonds, who then left by caravan for the coast. “The salary is tremendous. 9 And my eye will not spare, nor will I have … Whereas the Northern kingdom of Israel had passed into slavery and only the Southern kingdom of Judah remained, and it was about to pass, that was for the moment the nation of Israel, and its last kings were the last of the long succession resulting from the clamour of Israel for "a king like the nations." 14:12, KJV) or the ""morning star."" No discipline lasts forever (36:15). Why? Before you were born, I had a plan for your life.”, I think the Lord says that to every one of us. Like Ezekiel, they were told that they would not mourn in the normal way (v.23). We don’t really know the Bible until we obey the Bible. That is the sin of every king and of every people who fail to recognize God, and to deal with Him. But not so. Mask and cape are not protective; cape does not enable user to fly.”. 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 Eugene H. Peterson by NavPress Publishing. No one had seen these letters before; no one even knew they existed! 33:23). While these kinds of warnings may fall on deaf ears, the Bible points out the importance of heeding God’s warnings. This is the most hopeless stage and state of pollution. 80:8–16). 1700 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508. O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that thou hast no ground for it. These words are for the humbling of God's people; they are called God's vine, but what are they by nature more than others? Evidently the title as given by God to Ezekiel must also have been intended somehow in a Messianic sense, so that Ezekiel is, in effect, a type of the coming Savior. He blamed “extreme procrastination behavior” caused by depression. But his own self-love replaced love for his Creator. 7:24). But the Lord told Ezekiel not to use this proverb. “Then they will know that I am the LORD” (Ezek 36:38). Israel had lost everything—the promised land, their capital city, and their beloved temple. Edom is represented as having a perpetual enmity against Israel, as rejoicing in her calamities; and in these words the inspiration of that reoicing is unveiled. . The people responded by taking refuge in a proverb: “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Ezekiel 18:2). Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!” (Ezek 14:6). "And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings" (Ezek. Egypt then was larger than it is now and included other areas of northern Africa. The reprobation of God could not be annulled by the policies which forgot Him. At such times we are full to the brim with spiritual joy, and forget the cares and sorrows of earth; the invisible is near, and the visible loses its power over us; servant-body waits at the foot of the hill, and the master-spirit worships upon the summit in the presence of the Lord. In 2003, salvage explorers found the wreck of the S.S. Republic about 100 miles southeast off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. 30:6). Thus the reprobation of Israel was vindicated, not only on account of its pollution, but in order to its ultimate restoration, for there was no force in her which could lead her back to the God from Whom she had departed. They were never intended to excuse our bad behavior. Perfect justice is what He’s all about. Oh, how much energy is wasted! Specific trademark names often take on broader meaning than the original product. 19:16–30). See Matthew i3. Recently I read through the Gospel of John, and I was amazed at how many times we find there the words “Sent” and “Send.” Those words occur in every single chapter of John, except chapters 2, 19 and 21. For instance, studying the sacrifices in Ezekiel 45 and Ezek 46 would correlate very well with a review of the sacrifices in the Mosaic Law (Lev. The Lord who places His people where they feel as exiles will Himself be with them, and be to them all that they could have had at home, in the place of their solemn assemblies. And I will give you an heart of flesh.—Ezekiel 36:26. First came the vision, and therefore, whatever was to be said would come to this man with the authority of all that was revealed in that vision. “I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices,” God said (7:3). In a little while, I shall slumber in the tomb. And yet how slow man is to learn the lesson. More was expected of them because they were God's chosen people, but without an intimate relationship with Him and commitment to serving Him alone, slavery to sin is inevitable. Then he lay on his left side for the sins of Israel and on his right side for the sins of Judah, all the while preparing, rationing, and eating ritually unclean food to illustrate how God’s people were defiling themselves. What solemn pause these words must give to those who are branches in the True Vine. It was the God thus revealed Who had declared that "an end" had come; and the destructive fire was to proceed from Himself. They heard the voice when they stood and let down their wings. Worshiping other gods was a direct violation of God’s covenant with Israel. If we’re going to serve God as we should, we need to see Him as He is. Is the reader one of the despised? And what more? 5:3). Apart from this transformation, it's impossible to live lives that please Him. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at the call of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 1-3, and today I’d like for us to go back one more time to that passage, and to compare it with the call of the other two great Old Testament major prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah. The prophet was still seeing in vision the judgment determined against the city and the nation, because of the idolatrous abominations of which they were guilty. We believe past good actions will somehow save us from the consequences of current sinful behavior. Naturally, the sheep had been scattered and preyed upon by wild animals. He will do what He says. This is what I’d like to talk about in our message today, and I’d like to take you to three different portions of Scripture. God’s honor was at stake. Thus into each palm tree the eyes of a man and the eyes of a lion were ever looking. It falls upon the land; upon the people; upon persons and property. Let’s look at just a few verses: I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. If you’re feeling that you’ve wandered too far away from God and that He is through with you, it’s time to embrace the truth. The Gibeonites therefore knew that God was a God of honor. They should provide good examples and models of holy living. They were descendants of Christians who long before had immigrated from China and Korea and from the Middle East. Bringing honor to His name is more important than a great corporation living up to its name. God hates injustice in any form, and when He draws His sword of judgment we can be sure justice will be swiftly done. There he made an incredible find—47 letters written by, to, and about the great man. Enrich your faith and grow in spiritual maturity with the incredible Bible study and devotional books listed below. “It’s our parents’ fault. Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space; His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form. When they search for a mate, they may audition 100 or more males before finally selecting one. Look at the way he opens his book: In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River…. No wonder the apostle admonished us: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Luke 8:8). Ezekiel had been beaten down by life. And it shall be the Prince's part to give the burnt offerings.—Ezek 45.16-17. 1–7). This is an arresting fact. He interpreted current events in the light of eternal and unchanging facts. We’re looking at part of this same prophecy again, but from a slightly different perspective today, focusing on the Lord’s promise concerning the One who would lead His people with perfect justice. And God called the firmament Heaven" (Genesis 1:6,8). 10. The Lord repeats this process when any of His flock stray from the pastures of truth and holiness. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Phil. Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. God blesses His modern-day followers too (James 1:17). 7 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! This hope encourages us as Christians to keep going. The whole of this great message of Ezekiel may be said to be the Divine answer to these words, which were the words of Israel. To John in Patmos, also came the vision of the city of God, and the final glory of it was the same: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His peoples; and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.". Your help keeps the GCM website online for growing Christians around the world! Look at our text again: This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. What do fish, tadpoles, and spiders have in common? Israel was “determined” to turn from God, a Hebrew phrase that could literally be translated “hung up on” or “impaled on.” Israel's pursuit of idolatry was not an occasional slip. He only thinks of it as wood. Cancel at any time. Feel them. In these particular words we find the value of the messages which the prophet was now delivering. TO be the Lord’s own people is a choice blessing, but to know that we are such is a comfortable blessing. Rather than seizing his prey, Sobek or Egypt became the prey. The cedar tree represented the kingly line of David. It is fitted to receive every spiritual blessing, and every blessing comes to it. Thus at the centre of the new order of life was the Temple; and in its very heart these symbols of the condition of life as realized in that order. We could also say that within our churches themselves, there is a shortage of workers. and the hand of the Lord was there upon me" (Ezek. Why did God ask Ezekiel to do something that seems so unfair, difficult, and unnatural? “We had to say enough is enough.”. 72:14). The method and meaning of this Divine activity is revealed in these words we have emphasized. Self is a rebel, who has set up an idolatrous temple, and I will overturn and bring the temple to ruin, for the purpose of manifesting My glory and My salvation, that I may be your Lord and your God.”, I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; this also shall be no more, until He come Whose right it is; and I will give it Him.—Ezek. Its present importance is created by the fact that men are still using this proverb, and so using it as to show that they think the saying is true. That’s why “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 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