The Instrument of God’s Judgment

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it–but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” (Oliver … More

Direction

Ezekiel’s third message showed God directing the sword of Babylon against Jerusalem (vv. 18-23). In symbolic actions Ezekiel pictured God supernaturally guiding Nebuchadnezzar to Jerusalem to over-throw the city. God told him to mark out two roads for the king of Babylon to take. His choice was whether to head down the coastal highway and attack Judah and Jerusalem or to head down the Transjordanian highway and attack Ammon and Rabbah. God had all the signs point toward the coastal highway and Jerusalem. That would be where he decided to proceed. The rulers of Judah had pledged allegiance to Babylon, but they had violated their oath by rebelling. As Nebuchadnezzar set up his siege around the city, the people refused to believe he would succeed, but they were wrong. Since they had broken their covenant with Nebuchadnezzar (17:11-21), he would take them captive.

God then pronounced judgment on the people (v. 24) and the prince (vv. 25-27). Because of open rebellion, Jerusalem’s people would be taken captive. They felt secure in their city, but they would be forcibly torn from it and dragged in chains to Babylon. The profane and wicked prince of Israel was King Zedekiah. The right to rule in Israel was taken from him, and the land was destroyed. Ezekiel stressed that Israel’s throne was to be absolutely desolate. It will not be restored until He  surrenders to what rightfully belongs to Him.

Ezekiel’s fourth prophecy about the sword was directed against the Ammonites, who thought they had escaped Nebuchadnezzar’s attack (vv. 28-32). Ammon and Jerusalem, though enemies, had joined forces against Babylon. When Nebuchadnezzar decided to attack Jerusalem, Ammon was relieved and happy. They were thankful that Jerusalem would suffer in their place. In fact after Jerusalem’s fall the Ammonites organized a coup that caused the death of Gedaliah, the governor of the land appointed by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 40:13-41:10).

Application

Just as God gave sign posts for Nebuchadnezzar to follow He will give me direction in the way I should go in my life if I seek Him and trust Him.

Ezekiel 21:18-32 (English Standard Version)


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