Today’s reading is: Ezek. 20:1-22:16
Ezekiel Chapter Twenty
- The elders of Judah come to Ezekiel once again with their false motives (Ezek. 20:1-3; cf. 14:3).
- The Lord denies their prayer requests, and commands Ezekiel to judge them (Ezek. 20:4).
- The Lord reviews a history of Israel’s rebellion against Him (Ezek. 20:5-32).
- The Exodus Generation rebelled before they ever left Egypt (Ezek. 20:5-12; Josh. 24:14).
- The Exodus Generation rebelled after they left Egypt (Ezek. 20:13-20).
- The Wilderness Generation rebelled before they entered the promised land (Ezek. 20:21-26).
- With each rebellion, the Lord resolved to pour out His wrath (Ezek. 20:8,13,21), but then relented of His wrath for the sake of His own name (Ezek. 20:9,14,22).
- Throughout their history in the land of promise, Israel has rebelled against the Lord (Ezek. 20:27-32), and thus will be dispersed among the nations (Ezek. 20:23-26 cf. Lev. 26:27-39; Deut. 28:58-68).
- God then promises that He will put an end to Israel’s rebellion—finally & eternally (Ezek. 20:33-44).
- He will do this through the expression of His own wrath (v.33-34).
- He will do this through the national judgment in the wilderness (vv.35-38).
- The believers pass under the rod of God’s discipline, and enter into the New Covenant (v.37).
- The unbelievers are purged from their midst—cast into hell until the Great White Throne judgment (v.38; Rev. 20:11-15).
- This is Israel’s private judgment in the wilderness, but notice the similarities with the Gentile judgment (Matt. 25:31-46).
- The redeemed nation of Israel will be a witness and testimony to the nations (Ezek. 20:39-41).
- The redeemed nation of Israel will have a more intimate, personal knowledge of God than ever before (Ezek. 20:42-44).
Ezekiel Chapter Twenty-One
- Chapter 21 consists of four rapid-fire messages preached to highlight how imminent the judgment will be.
- Fire is coming to Teman (Ezek. 20:45-49).
- A sword is coming to Judah (Ezek. 21:1-7).
- The “song of the sword” (Ezek. 21:8-17). Follow-up songs will be the “song of the cup” (Ezek. 23:32-34) and the “song of the cooking pot” (Ezek. 24:3-13).
- A signpost to mark the way (Ezek. 21:18-32).
- Summary thoughts for the chapter:
- God may utilize a pagan nation to inflict His judgment, but ultimately, He is the One Who wields the tool (Isa. 10:5-15; Jer. 51:20-23).
- The Lord is slow to anger (Ex. 34:6; Num. 14:18; Ps. 86:15; 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jon. 4:2; Nah. 1:3), but once that anger is kindled, it cannot be quenched (Ezek. 20:48; 2nd Kgs. 22:17; Isa. 66:24; Jer. 7:20; 17:27; Heb. 12:29; Mk. 9:43-48), until it is satisfied (Isa. 53:11; Rom. 3:25; Heb. 2:17; 1st Jn. 2:2; 4:10).
- The Lord is an effective and powerful swordsman (Dt. 32:41,42; Josh. 5:13-15; Num. 22:23,31; 1st Chr. 21:16,27,30; Isa. 27:1; 31:8; 34:5,6; Matt. 10:34; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 1:16; 2:12,16; 19:15,21).
Ezekiel Chapter Twenty-Two
- The Lord asks Ezekiel to judge the bloody city (Ezek. 22:1-16).
- It is a two-count indictment: blood-shedding & idolatry.
- Judah’s lack of positive witness produced a negative witness, and made them the object of reproach & mocking.
- The rulers are named as defendants in this judgment (Ezek. 22:6-8).
- Particular slanderers are also addressed (Ezek. 22:9-12).
(Chapter Twenty-Two continues tomorrow)