“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 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.
When it rains, it rains on the just and the unjust. God knows best so I just need to let Him be God.
The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. And all flesh shall know that I am the LORD. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again. "As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. And when they say to you, 'Why do you groan?' you shall say, 'Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,'" declares the Lord GOD.
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Ezekiel 18:1-18A False Proverb Refuted
Ezekiel 18:19-32Turn and Live
Ezekiel 19:1-14Israel Degraded
Ezekiel 20:1-16The Rebellions of Israel
Ezekiel 20:17-32Ezekiel Reinforces the Law
Ezekiel 20:33-49God Will Restore Israel
Ezekiel 21:1-7God’s Judgment Sword Drawn
Ezekiel 21:8-17The Sword Sharpened
Ezekiel 21:18-32The Instrument of God’s Judgment
Ezekiel 22:1-16Sins of Jerusalem
Ezekiel 22:17-22Israel in the Furnace
Ezekiel 22:23-31Israel’s Wicked Leaders
Ezekiel 23:1-21Two Harlot Sisters
Ezekiel 23:22-35Judgment on Jerusalem
Ezekiel 23:36-49Both Sisters Judged
Ezekiel 24:1-14Symbol of the Cooking Pot
Ezekiel 24:15-27The Prophet’s Wife Dies