God’s Judgment Sword Drawn

“A time to be careful is when one reaches his goals. The easiest period in a crisis situation is actually the battle itself. The most difficult period is the period of indecision, whether to fight or run away. And the most dangerous period is the aftermath. It is then, … More

Judgment

 

Judgment would sweep through Judah like a raging forest fire (vv 1-7). In bringing the Babylonians toward the land, the Lord would draw His sharp and polished sword. Flashing like lightning, this sword would bring destruction throughout the land. Since the people refused to understand Ezekiel’s message about the fire on the southland (20:45-49), he gave four messages to expand his parable’s meaning. In these messages Ezekiel changed the “fire” to a “sword” and the “Negev” to Judah.

In the parable (20:45-49) Ezekiel had “set” his “face toward the south,” but now God told him to set his face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary and prophesy against the land of Israel (vv. 1-2). The object of God’s judgment was His land, His Holy City, and His dwelling place. God said that by a sword He would cut off both the righteous and the wicked (v. 3). This seems to contradict Ezekiel’s earlier prophecy (18:1-24) that only the wicked would die and the righteous would live. One possible solution is that “the righteous and the wicked” may be viewed from the people’s perspective. As far as the people could tell the judgment was indiscriminate. It affected those who were in open idolatry as well as those who claimed to be followers of God. Yet in God’s eyes only the wicked were punished since He promised to deliver those who were truly righteous.

The judgment would extend from south to north (Ezek. 20:47). In case anyone failed to understand the parable of the forest fire, Ezekiel repeated this phrase to stress that all Judah would be judged. When judgment came, then the people would know that the Lord had drawn His sword (cf. 21:3). Ezekiel was instructed to act out the grief the people would feel when Jerusalem fell (vv. 6-7). As he sobbed in anguish, the people would ask what was wrong. He was to answer that it was because of the news that was coming. The awful realization of their country’s demise would devastate them (cf. 7:17). Yet there was no doubt it would happen. It will surely take place, declared the Lord.

Application

 

When it rains, it rains on the just and the unjust. God knows best so I just need to let Him be God.

Ezekiel 21:1-7 (English Standard Version)


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