Friday, May 20, 2016

123 Ezekiel - The Condemning Prophet

Here is a Footnote

One hundred and twenty-three posts ago, this blog was started at Genesis 1:1 and we have now come to the fourth book on the fourth shelf, in the old section, of our imaginary library, namely Ezekiel.

For an idea of what this library looks like, I suggest:                                                    


A Harsh Message

Ezekiel preached to the captive Israelites because he was among the captives by the river Chebar, close to the Euphrates River.  

Almost a world full of books has been written about "The Spaceships of Ezekiel".  Since this is so, I will pass over that topic in Ezekiel 1,2,10, and a host of other references about this subject.  Anyone interested in my viewpoint concerning this topic is welcome to visit:

The early chapters distinctly tell us that Ezekiel started prophesying before the destruction of Judah and that his warnings of doom were similar to Jeremiah's.  However, there is a notable difference; Jeremiah's message repeatedly was, repent, turn to Jehovah and save yourself. 

In Ezekiel the pleading for the Israelites to repent is almost absent, it is too late.  His theme is: And I will also deal with fury; My eye shall not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them. 8:18.   Jerusalem will be destroyed in 586 BCE. 

Forgiveness is Still Possible

There is an almost modern Gospel song; Have You Counted The Cost which declares the same message.   The time will come when repentance will no longer be an option and after that, comes judgement at Jehovah's great white throne.

There's a line that is drawn by rejecting our Lord, 
Where the call of His Spirit is lost,
And you hurry along with the pleasure-mad throng - 
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?

Have you counted the cost, if your soul should be lost
Tho' you gain the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?

You may barter your hope of eternity's morn,
For a moment of joy at the most,
For the glitter of sin and the things it will win -
Have you counted, have you counted the cost? 

While the door of His mercy is open to you,
Ere the depth of His love you exhaust,
Won't you come and be healed, won't you whisper, I yield -
I have counted, I have counted the cost. [Chorus]

Ezekiel was the kind of preacher who used object lessons to portray his teachings.  In chapter 4 he took a tile and drew on it a picture of Jerusalem, and beside the tile, he set up a metal pan which represented the walls of Jerusalem.  Then Ezekiel enacted the siege by Babylon.

He also lay on his left side for 390 days; each day represented one year in which the Northern tribe of Israel sinned against Jehovah.  After that he lay on his right side for forty days;  again each day represented one year in which Judah, the Southern tribe, sinned.

In chapter 5 he cuts off his hair and his beard and divided all the hair into three parts.  One part he put into the middle of the city (the city which he had drawn on the tile).  This hair represented the Jews in the city, and Ezekiel set the hair on fire, on the tile, to show how the Jews huddled in the city walls would die.   Next, he scattered one-third of the hair into the air and taking a sword he symbolically slashed at the hair falling through the air to indicate how the fleeing Jews would die.

Therefore so says the Lord Jehovah: Because you multiplied (your sins) more than the nations that are all around you, and have not walked in My Laws, ... nor have done according to the judgments of the nations all around you; therefore so says the Lord Jehovah; Behold, I, even I, am against you, and will carry out judgments in your midst before the nations. 5:7-8.   

It is such a disgrace to the Church of Christ that so-called "Christian nations", in certain aspects, have lower moral standards than those people who do not even pretend to be Christians!  That is why the Lord says, I will do in you that which I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again, because of all your abominations. 5:9.

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