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.
2 “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.
The end has come upon the four corners of the land. 3 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. 4 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.
5 “Thus says the Lord God: Disaster after disaster! Behold, it comes.6 An end has come; the end has come; it has awakened against you. Behold, it comes. 7 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.
8 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. 9 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.
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.