2320.) Ezekiel 9

March 23, 2018

Ezekiel 9

Idolaters Killed

Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.”And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

“Those who had charge over the city were those whom God set to watch over the welfare of the city. They were not earthly agents, but heavenly. Angels are frequently called men because of their outward appearance. These angels carried weapons.” 

–Charles L. Feinberg

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”

The righteousness citizens of Jerusalem were sealed with a protective mark, to save them from destruction later.

And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. Then he said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out.” So they went out and struck in the city. And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”

All others were slain.

Then he said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.’ 10 As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.”

11 And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his waist, brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded me.”

At last, some encouragement for Ezekiel! The righteous people had been noted. God keeps watch over his own.



It’s war. Good and evil fight it out.  HERE  is “Lead On, O King Eternal,” written by Ernest Shurtleff, a Harvard grad in the mid-1800’s, and sung by the Good Shepherd Band.

A couple lines from this hymn have meant a lot to me lately:

“Through days of preparation,
Thy grace has made us strong.”


“For not with swords’ loud clashing
or roll of stirring drums–
with deeds of love and mercy
the heavenly kingdom comes.”


English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Quote by Solzhenitsyn.     https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/aleksandr_solzhenitsyn_405286
6 men with war clubs.   http://image.slidesharecdn.com/2013-09-29rv03theoldtestamentbackgroundofrevelation-130929185108-phpapp02/95/2013-0929-rv03-the-old-testament-background-of-revelation-33-638.jpg?cb=1380480851

2319.) Ezekiel 8

March 22, 2018

Ezekiel 8   (ESV)

Abominations in the Temple

Ezekiel goes to Jerusalem in a vision . . .

In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there.

Ezekiel 8-11 is the record of one long vision. In the beginning of the vision Ezekiel sees the glory of the Lord at the temple in Jerusalem. By the end of the vision (chapters 10 and 11), this glory will depart. In the portion of the vision recorded in this chapter, he will see four abominations in the temple.

Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man. Below what appeared to be his waist was fire, and above his waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal. He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the valley.

Here is an idolatrous image right beside the temple! Various past kings had installed and removed and installed and removed idols, and God shows Ezekiel that those idols provoke him to anger and jealousy. The fact that the idol is beside the north gate (see verse 5) means that the present king would see it whenever he entered the temple area, since the palace was on the north side of the temple.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north.” So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy. And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see still greater abominations.”

God says that the idol of jealousy alone is enough to drive him from his temple. But there is worse to come. Ezekiel is shown three more abominations: the worship of idols inside the temple; the presence of women worshiping the idol Tammuz within the temple; the priests worshiping the sun, the creation, rather than the Creator.

And he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, there was a hole in the wall. Then he said to me, “Son of man, dig in the wall.” So I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance.And he said to me, “Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” 10 So I went in and saw. And there, engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel.

Mummy of an ibis from ancient Egypt

Many interpreters suggest that these were animal cults picked up from Egypt, since they worshiped just about any animal, including oxen, cattle, goats, dogs, cats, crocodiles, birds, etc.

11 And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up. 12 Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’”

The leaders are publicly worshiping the Lord, yet privately, secretly worshiping idols.

13 He said also to me, “You will see still greater abominations that they commit.”

14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord, and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

Ezekiel was in a part of the temple reserved for priests; women were not allowed. And particularly women performing rites for a pagan god!

15 Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? You will see still greater abominations than these.”

16 And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east.

Even in the Lord’s own temple, these priests are worshiping, publicly, the sun! Such contempt they show for the Lord God Almighty!

17 Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence and provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their nose. 18 Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”



Truly, they had forgotten both the power and the kindness of our Lord. He is both the Lion and the Lamb. And  HERE  is Big Daddy Weave, a contemporary Christian band, to remind them, and us!


English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
eye.   http://stuffyouadore.blogspot.com/2015/02/gate-of-jealousy-heart-of-stone-idol.html
three abominations in the temple.   https://www.slideshare.net/chucho1943/10-destruction-of-jerusalem
ibis mummy.   https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/314900198935392050/
sun worship.    http://www.mikeszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/sunworship.gif

2318.) Ezekiel 7

March 21, 2018

Ezekiel 7   (ESV)

The Day of the Wrath of the Lord

The word of the Lord came to me:

“The word of the Lord came to me” — reminds us that first and foremost, Ezekiel is a prophet.

“And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end!

Remember, Ezekiel was in Babylon, and his most immediate hearers were fellow exiles. Yet the time he spoke this, Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed and Judah had not yet been completely conquered. This was a message to the land of Israel, to announce coming judgment upon them. 

–David Guzik

The end has come upon the four corners of the land. Now the end is upon you, and I will send my anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations. And my eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity, but I will punish you for your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

This great judgment had a purpose, and a good purpose. In this way, God’s people would return to a true relationship with Him and gain true knowledge of their covenant God.

“Thus says the Lord God: Disaster after disaster! Behold, it comes.An end has come; the end has come; it has awakened against you. Behold, it comes. Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come; the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting on the mountains.

The series of short phrases plays up the urgency of his message.

Now I will soon pour out my wrath upon you, and spend my anger against you, and judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations. And my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord, who strikes.

10 “Behold, the day! Behold, it comes! Your doom has come; the rod has blossomed; pride has budded. 11 Violence has grown up into a rod of wickedness. None of them shall remain, nor their abundance, nor their wealth; neither shall there be preeminence among them. 12 The time has come; the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for wrath is upon all their multitude. 13 For the seller shall not return to what he has sold, while they live. For the vision concerns all their multitude; it shall not turn back; and because of his iniquity, none can maintain his life.

Buying and selling will not matter in the face of such total disaster.

14 “They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but none goes to battle, for my wrath is upon all their multitude.

Even the soldiers will be too fearful to fight.

15 The sword is without; pestilence and famine are within. He who is in the field dies by the sword, and him who is in the city famine and pestilence devour.16 And if any survivors escape, they will be on the mountains, like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, each one over his iniquity. 17 All hands are feeble, and all knees turn to water. 18 They put on sackcloth, and horror covers them. Shame is on all faces, and baldness on all their heads.

19 They cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity. 20 His beautiful ornament they used for pride, and they made their abominable images and their detestable things of it. Therefore I make it an unclean thing to them. 21 And I will give it into the hands of foreigners for prey, and to the wicked of the earth for spoil, and they shall profane it. 22 I will turn my face from them, and they shall profane my treasured place. Robbers shall enter and profane it.

God blessed Israel with wealth and resources, but they used those things to further and promote idolatry. Fittingly, all that wealth would be given as plunder into the hands of strangers. God even announced that robbers would sack His temple, including the secret place (the holy of holies). This coming judgment would be complete, not sparing even the temple.

–David Guzik


23 “Forge a chain! For the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence. 24 I will bring the worst of the nations to take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the pride of the strong, and their holy places shall be profaned.

“How God may use a more wicked population to punish a less wicked one may create theological problems for mortal minds, but it is consistent with his sovereignty over all.” 

–Daniel I. Block

25 When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there shall be none. 26 Disaster comes upon disaster; rumor follows rumor. They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law  perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders. 27 The king mourns, the prince is wrapped in despair, and the hands of the people of the land are paralyzed by terror. According to their way I will do to them, and according to their judgments I will judge them, and they shall know that I am the Lord.”

Again the point: that they might know their God!



HERE  is George Beverly Shea and “I’d Rather Have Jesus” (than silver or gold). How many of us remember watching Billy Graham crusades on television and listening to Bev Shea sing!


English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
verse 27.   https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Eze7.1-27
sweeping up gold and silver.  http://jacobcherians.blogspot.com/search/label/Ezekiel?updated-max=2013-12-08T16:21:00-08:00&max-results=20&start=40&by-date=false
Prepare chains.   https://www.heartlight.org/gallery/1455.html

2317.) Ezekiel 6

March 20, 2018

Mountains of Israel

Ezekiel 6   (ESV)

Judgment Against Idolatry

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,

“Probably in any part of Palestine at this time you would have found some mountain or hill crowned with an altar, one or two standing stones, a wooden pillar, and a clump of evergreen trees (Jeremiah 3:6-9). They were flourishing centres of the old Canaanite religion which should have been destroyed (Deuteronomy 7:5).” 

–Christopher J. H Wright

and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain before your idols. And I will lay the dead bodies of the people of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you dwell, the cities shall be waste and the high places ruined, so that your altars will be waste and ruined, your idols broken and destroyed, your incense altars cut down, and your works wiped out.

 “This oracle announces that the time has come for Yahweh to clean house, to rid the land of its pagan worship once and for all.”

–Daniel I. Block

And the slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

This the first use of a phrase repeated many times (at least 60) in Ezekiel. It shows that God worked in His judgments and His restorations to reveal Himself to Israel and the world. God’s motive is that He may be recognized as the only God.

–David Guzik

“Yet I will leave some of you alive. When you have among the nations some who escape the sword, and when you are scattered through the countries, then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from me and over their eyes that go whoring after their idols. 

I have been broken:  This is a startling statement. Using a human analogy, God expressed the depth of the grief He felt over Israel’s idolatry by likening Himself to a husband with a constantly unfaithful wife. Other translations put it:  I was crushed  or  I have been hurt.

After their idols:  “The word for idols (Heb. gullulim) is a favourite with Ezekiel, occurring no less than thirty-eight times, as against nine times in the rest of the Old Testament. Its derivation is uncertain but it is quite likely that it is a home-made word consisting of the vowels of Hebrew siqqus, for which the dictionaries give the polite translation of ‘detested thing’, and the consonants of a noun meaning ‘a pellet of dung’. The final combination carries about as much disdain and revulsion as any word could do.”

–John B. Taylor

And they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations.10 And they shall know that I am the Lord. I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them.”

11 Thus says the Lord God: “Clap your hands and stamp your foot and say, Alas, because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel, for they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. 

Such vivid and loud actions will draw attention to the prophet and his message. What the people considered no big deal — their idolatry — God calls “evil abominations.” While they think everything is fine, God says doom is coming quickly.

12 He who is far off shall die of pestilence, and he who is near shall fall by the sword, and he who is left and is preserved shall die of famine. Thus I will spend my fury upon them. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak, wherever they offered pleasing aroma to all their idols. 14 And I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land desolate and waste, in all their dwelling places, from the wilderness to Riblah. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

“The words typify Ezekiel’s message and longing, that Yahweh may be known by all men, Israelite and non-Israelite, for what he is—the one true God, the God of the world, the God of history, the God who speaks and does not speak in vain.”

–John B. Taylor



“They will know that I AM the Lord.” Any good Israelite would hear that and think right back to Moses and the burning bush, when God announced this as his name.  HERE  is “I Am,” by Eddie James. Powerful.


English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
mountains of Israel.   http://www.ebibleteacher.com/node/576
You shall know that I am the Lord.   https://allacin.blogspot.com/2017/04/ezekielan-illustrated-summary-of-life.html

2316.) Ezekiel 5

March 19, 2018

Ezekiel 5   (ESV)

Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed

“And you, O son of man, take a sharp sword. Use it as a barber’s razor and pass it over your head and your beard. Then take balances for weighing and divide the hair. 

“It takes little imagination to see Ezekiel in action. First, whetting the sword-blade to a sharp cutting-edge while the crowd gathered to see what new act was going to be performed. Then the horrified gasp from the bystanders as he went to work with his crude razor, followed by the meticulous weighing of the hair in the balances.”

–John B. Taylor

sword isn’t usually used to cut hair – swords are used in battle. Because this acted-out prophecy concerned the judgment the army of Nebuchadnezzar would bring upon Jerusalem, a sword was appropriate.

–David Guzik

A third part you shall burn in the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. And a third part you shall take and strike with the sword all around the city. And a third part you shall scatter to the wind, and I will unsheathe the sword after them. And you shall take from these a small number and bind them in the skirts of your robe. And of these again you shall take some and cast them into the midst of the fire and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will come out into all the house of Israel.

The prophecy of thirds: one-third of the hair burned in the fire, one-third stuck with the sword, one-third scattered in the wind.

“Thus says the Lord God: This is Jerusalem. I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. And she has rebelled against my rules by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries all around her; for they have rejected my rules and have not walked in my statutes. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you, and have not walked in my statutes or obeyed my rules, and have not even acted according to the rules of the nations that are all around you, therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, even I, am against you. 

Oh, how terrible to hear such a rebuke from God!

And I will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. And because of all your abominations I will do with you what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again. 10 Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers. 

“Though we have not this fact so particularly stated in history, yet we cannot doubt of it, considering the extremities to which they were reduced during the siege. The same is referred to by Jeremiah, Lamentations 4:10. Even the women, who were remarkable for kindness and humanity, boiled their own children, and ate them during the siege.”

–Adam Clarke

And I will execute judgments on you, and any of you who survive I will scatter to all the winds. 11 Therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will withdraw. My eye will not spare, and I will have no pity. 12 A third part of you shall die of pestilence and be consumed with famine in your midst; a third part shall fall by the sword all around you; and a third part I will scatter to all the winds and will unsheathe the sword after them.

The prophecy of thirds:  One-third will die of disease and famine, one-third will be killed by the sword, and one-third will be scattered.

13 “Thus shall my anger spend itself, and I will vent my fury upon them and satisfy myself. And they shall know that I am the Lord—that I have spoken in my jealousy—when I spend my fury upon them. 14 Moreover, I will make you a desolation and an object of reproach among the nations all around you and in the sight of all who pass by. 15 You shall be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations all around you, when I execute judgments on you in anger and fury, and with furious rebukes—I am the Lord; I have spoken— 16 when I send against you the deadly arrows of famine, arrows for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, and when I bring more and more famine upon you and break your supply of bread. 17 I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will rob you of your children. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword upon you. I am the Lord; I have spoken.



“Open Your Ears, O Faithful People” has a lovely refrain:

God has spoken to his people, Hallelujah!
And his words are words of wisdom, Hallelujah!

HERE  it is sung by Desert Harmony, which is an ecumenical children’s choir based in the United Arab Emirates. Grant, Lord, that we will be eager listeners when You speak to us!

Open your ears, O faithful people,
open your ears and hear God’s word.
Open your hearts, O royal priesthood,
God has come to you.

God has spoken to his people, Hallelujah!
And his words are words of wisdom, Hallelujah!
God has spoken to his people, Hallelujah!
And his words are words of wisdom, Hallelujah!

They who have ears to hear this message,
they who have ears, then let them hear.
They who would learn the way of wisdom,
let them hear God’s word.


English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
A Prophecy of Destruction.   https://www.elimbcc.ie/a-prophecy-of-destruction-ezekiel-51-17/
Ezekiel cuts his hair.   https://st-takla.org/Gallery/Bible/Illustrations/Bible-Slides/OT/Ezekiel/Bible-Slides-ezekiel-1506.html
Ezekiel 5:17.   https://www.pinterest.com/pin/434175220310123474/

2315.) Ezekiel 4

March 16, 2018

Ezekiel 4   (ESV)

The Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized

“And you, son of man, take a brick and lay it before you, and engrave on it a city, even Jerusalem. And put siegeworks against it, and build a siege wall against it, and cast up a mound against it. Set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it all around. And you, take an iron griddle, and place it as an iron wall between you and the city; and set your face toward it, and let it be in a state of siege, and press the siege against it. This is a sign for the house of Israel.

It’s like a little boy playing with his toy soldiers. Ezekiel has a clay brick stand for Jerusalem. Beside it he places a siege wall, some soldier camps, and some battering rams. Finally, Ezekiel made an unbreakable barrier between himself and the scene he constructed. This symbolized the barrier between God and Jerusalem, meaning that God would not intervene and rescue Jerusalem in the coming siege.

“Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment. For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel. And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year. And you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with your arm bared, and you shall prophesy against the city. And behold, I will place cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from one side to the other, till you have completed the days of your siege.

Ezekiel acted out 390 years of iniquity for the kingdom of Israel and 40 years for Judah. No doubt his actions were well known in his local area!

You can imagine that among Bible scholars there is no dearth of explanations for what those specific numbers mean! If you are interested, I encourage you to explore further!

“And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it.

They sell “Ezekiel Bread” in your local supermarket, with ingredients based on this verse. I would love to know how the bread Ezekiel really ate compares to this modern version!

10 And your food that you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from day to day you shall eat it. 11 And water you shall drink by measure, the sixth part of a hin; from day to day you shall drink.12 And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung.” 13 And the Lord said, “Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them.” 14 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I have never defiled myself. From my youth up till now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has tainted meat come into my mouth.” 15 Then he said to me, “See, I assign to you cow’s dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread.”

I remember traveling in eastern Turkey one summer almost 30 years ago and seeing small villages made up of a handful of cement block houses, all with tall pyramids of dried animal dung beside them — winter fuel. The picture above comes from India but it is very similar to what I saw in Turkey.

16 Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, behold, I will break the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay. 17 I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and rot away because of their punishment.

 “The purpose of all the acts in symbolic form was to impress the people with the coming famine during the siege of Jerusalem and the people’s subsequent pollution in exile among the heathen.” 

— Charles L. Feinberg

It will come and it will be awful.



HERE  is an old gospel hymn that I think Ezekiel would have liked — “Rescue the Perishing,” sung in beautiful harmony.


English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Saying it sideways.   http://www.twenty5twenty.net/605-bc—1948-ad.html
siege display.  https://i2.wp.com/bibleblender.com/main/wp-content/uploads/image-537.png
Ezekiel Bread.   https://faithfulstewardshipblog.com/2016/03/14/ctt-ezekiel-49-bread/
tower of dried dung.   https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Dung+cakes&uid=1575

2314.) Ezekiel 3

March 15, 2018

Ezekiel 3   (ESV)

Ezekiel’s Vision Continues

And he said to me, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.

And he said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel— not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.” 10 Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. 11 And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear or refuse to hear.”

It is a tough call to ministry! The Lord says — Go and tell my people, but they will not listen. Instead they will reject you. But keep on telling them what they do not want to hear. There will be no earthly success for you — but I will see your faithfulness to my Word.

12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great earthquake: “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place!” 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake. 14 The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me. 15 And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling. And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.

“This was a time of reflection and observation such as many great men of God experienced prior to launching their ministries. Those days of silence changed his attitude about his mission. He learned patience; he came to accept responsibility.” 

–Chuck Smith

A Watchman for Israel

16 And at the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me:17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. 20 Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”

God used the figure of the watchman to describe Ezekiel’s responsibility, here and in Ezekiel 33. He fulfilled his role as a watchman not primarily by observing others, but by faithfully proclaiming God’s word and bringing God’s warning to the people. God was gracious to provide a watchman at all, both the wicked and the righteous.

–David Guzik

22 And the hand of the Lord was upon me there. And he said to me, “Arise, go out into the valley, and there I will speak with you.” 23 So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the Chebar canal, and I fell on my face. 24 But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, “Go, shut yourself within your house.25 And you, O son of man, behold, cords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ He who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house.



Verse 17 says, Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.” And that brought to mind one of my favorite organ pieces, a Bach chorale prelude on the hymn “Wake, Awake.” It is often considered an Advent hymn, but it is beautiful every day of the year!  HERE  it is played by Ton Koopman. Lyrics follow.

1. “Wake, awake, for night is flying,”
The watchmen on the heights are crying;
“Awake, Jerusalem, arise!”
Midnight hears the welcome voices
And at the thrilling cry rejoices:
“Oh, where are ye, ye virgins wise?
The Bridegroom comes, awake!
Your lamps with gladness take!
With bridal care Yourselves prepare
To meet the Bridegroom, who is near.”

2. Zion hears the watchmen singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing,
She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
For her Lord comes down all-glorious,
The strong in grace, in truth victorious,
Her Star is ris’n, her Light is come.
“Now come, Thou Blessed One,
Lord Jesus, God’s own Son,
Hail! Hosanna!
The joyful call We answer all
And follow to the nuptial hall.”

3. Now let all the heav’ns adore Thee,
Let men and angels sing before Thee,
With harp and cymbal’s clearest tone.
Of one pearl each shining portal,
Where, dwelling with the choir immortal,
We gather round Thy radiant throne.
No vision ever brought,
No ear hath ever caught,
Such great glory;
Therefore will we Eternally
Sing hymns of praise and joy to Thee.


English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Sweet words.   http://www.elimbcc.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/honey-1.jpg
Psalm 119:103.   https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/960-psalm-11989-120/#jp-carousel-27969
watchman.   http://lcmssermons.com/?sn=2031