Judgment on Wicked Counselors

John Stott in Authentic Christianity noted: “We need to repent of the haughty way in which we sometimes stand in judgment upon Scripture and must learn to sit humbly under its judgments instead. If we come to Scripture with our minds made up, expecting to hear from it … More

Judgment

The city gate was where merchants and politicians conducted business, so the 25 men may have represented the nation’s rulers (vv. 1-4). Because of their leadership positions, they were responsible for leading the people astray. They had wrongly said they were secure from another attack by the Babylonians. They believed that they were the elite, the influential, the ones who would be protected from all harm. Without God our situation is always precarious. The wicked politicians did not believe judgment was near. The best interpretation is they were urging the people not to build houses but rather prepare for war with Babylon. Ezekiel would consider this an evil act for he had warned the city was doomed. Jeremiah had also been telling the people to surrender to Babylon for this was God’s will.

God knew everything about the Israelites, even their thoughts (v. 5). He also knows everything about us, even the sins we try to hide. Instead of worrying about people noticing how we look or what we do , we should care about what God thinks, for He sees everything. Trying to hide our thoughts and actions from God is futile. “Secret” sins are never secret from God. The only effective way to deal with sin is to confess it and ask God to help us overcome it.

The “meat,” the bodies that were thrown in the streets,( v. 6) of this city, the “pot.” Though the elders felt secure within the “pot” of Jerusalem, God would drive them out and give them over to foreigners. Instead of the city being a place of safety with the people in it being “safe,” the city would be smashed and the people dragged away. God’s judgment by the sword would be executed at the borders of Israel (vv. 10-11). This was fulfilled literally when the captives of Jerusalem were deported to Riblah in Syria and killed.

Application

John Stott in Authentic Christianity noted: “We need to repent of the haughty way in which we sometimes stand in judgment upon Scripture and must learn to sit humbly under its judgments instead. If we come to Scripture with our minds made up, expecting to hear from it only an echo of our own thoughts and never the thunderclap of God’s, then indeed he will not speak to us and we shall only be confirmed in our own prejudices. We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.” (Lou Nicholes - Missionary Author).

Ezekiel 11:1-13 (English Standard Version)

The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the house of the LORD, which faces east. And behold, at the entrance of the gateway there were twenty-five men. And I saw among them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. And he said to me, "Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city; who say, 'The time is not near to build houses. This city is the cauldron, and we are the meat.' Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man." And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, "Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind. You have multiplied your slain in this city and have filled its streets with the slain. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the meat, and this city is the cauldron, but you shall be brought out of the midst of it. You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you, declares the Lord GOD. And I will bring you out of the midst of it, and give you into the hands of foreigners, and execute judgments upon you. You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am the LORD. This city shall not be your cauldron, nor shall you be the meat in the midst of it. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am the LORD. For you have not walked in my statutes, nor obeyed my rules, but have acted according to the rules of the nations that are around you." And it came to pass, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell down on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?"

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