I know you probably thought I had totally forgot about my study of Ezekiel but I have not. I needed to finish up the bible study I was teaching at church, because I found I could not do both at the same time.
So if you want to catch up on my past Ezekiel posts they are listed at the end of this post. We left off at Ezekiel 20:33-44. In that passage we were given a glimpse into Israel’s future judgment and restoration. Now in this passage God returns to dealing with the destruction of Israel. This will lead us into the study of chapter 21.
God instructs Ezekiel to face south and preach against the “forest to the south.” If you are in Babylon, Israel is to the south.
In Jeremiah 21:14 we see another passage where people are compared to a “forest.” Ezekiel informs the people that this destruction will be caused by an invading army. This is a fire that was set by God and “will not be quenched.” Once this war begins everyone will understand that this was God’s doing. (II Chronicles 7:20-22)
How do you think you would react if Ezekiel was speaking to you? If it were me I would want to make sure my heart was right before God, unfortunately the elders that Ezekiel is speaking to did not believe him. Complained that what he said was incomprehensible, grumbled he only spoke in parables, so why even bother listening. The truth was they did NOT WANT to understand Ezekiel.
Sometimes I shake my head at God’s patience, but I also am very thankful for the patience he has shown in my life. When the Parable of the Forest did not sink in to the thick skulls of these Elders God responds to the complaint about the parable of the forest with another parable told in simplified terms.
This parable is against Jerusalem, the holy places, and the land of Israel. Ezekiel warned: God was coming with a sword that would cut off both the righteous and the wicked.
Here God is not talking about a literal slaying but a judgment from north to south. Jeremiah 23:20 tells us the sword (God’s judgment) would not return until it has accomplished God’s will.
God gives Ezekiel a piece of instruction that I would have NO problem following, he tells Ezekiel to deliver this message with tears (aka – express great dismay).
As I study this passage I find it easy to point fingers and wonder “what were they thinking?” But look at our society are we any different? God does everything he can to make things simple for us to turn to him. It is our free choice if we believe or not, but once we turn towards God he does the rest.
My biggest fear is arriving before God and have him shake his head saying, “you thick-skulled person.” I would rather hear “well done good and faithful servant.” We will get further into the SWORD during our next study.
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.
Past Posts on Ezekiel