November 13

November 13

 

Ezekiel 4-6

 

There’s a Judgment Day Coming on Judah (Jerusalem)   Ezekiel 4-24

 

Ezekiel 4-5             Prophecies of Judgment through Object Lessons

 

Ezekiel 4-5-God tells Ezekiel to use various visual aids to prophesy what was about to happen to Jerusalem

 

Ezekiel 4:1-3-The Object Lesson of the Brick

Ezekiel is told to act out the coming invasion of Jerusalem.  This happened in 587 B.C. (cf. 2 Kings 24:20-25:21; Jeremiah 52:4-11).  God tells Ezekiel to write the word Jerusalem on a brick.  He was then to build a model of a siege wall (a tower) around the brick and then to connect the brick and the siege wall with a ramp. This was a representation of how the invasion was going to happen to Jerusalem.  Finally, he was to take a piece of flat iron and put it around the brick. This signified that the invading army would be so strong that no one would be able to escape.

 

Ezekiel 4:4-8-The Object Lesson of Lying on the Ground

Next, Ezekiel is told lie on the ground.

 

4:4-8 By lying on his left side (not continuously, but during the hours of the day when he was prophesying), Ezekiel illustrated the sin of the Northern Kingdom, Israel; when lying on his right side, the iniquity of the Southern Kingdom, Judah. The numbers are difficult to understand (the Greek translation of the O.T. has 190 days in w. 5 and 9, rather than 390). Three hundred ninety years from the division of the kingdom (in 931) comes to 541 (the exiles were free to return in 538). One hundred ninety years from the Assyrian captivity in 722 comes to 532. The 40 years might be reckoned from 586 (the fall of Jerusalem) to 546, when Cyrus was a threatening power to Babylon.

The Ryrie Study Bible, footnote on Ezekiel 4:4-8, p. 1230

 

Ezekiel 4:9-17-The Object Lesson of the Loaf of Bread

Ezekiel is not instructed to use bread as a visual aid.  He was allowed to drink about one quart of water and eat 8 ounces of bread, per day.  And, he was to use human excrement to bake the bread (however, he prayed that he would not have to do this since it would defile him-v. 14; cf. Exod. 22:31; Deut. 23:13...and was allowed to use cow dung, v. 15).  The purpose was to demonstrate the horrible conditions and lack of food that would be present when the enemy invaded and the defilement that they would face when they were deported after being conquered.

 

Ezekiel 5:1-4-The Object Lesson of the Shaved Head

Ezekiel in instructed to shave his head, then destroy his hair in three different means, each representing a way that the people would be destroyed (:2-stated here, :12-repeated here)...one part would die in the city; one part would be killed in the battle; and one part would be taken into exile.  He was to save a few of his hairs…this signified that only a few of the Jews would be saved (:3)…though they would go through many terrible trials (:4).

 

Ezekiel 5:5-17-God now explains why He is judging so harshly…because they, more so even than the pagan nations, have rebelled against Him. God says that He is going to judge Israel to a degree that He will never judge a nation, again (:9).  The famine that they will experience due to the invasion of Jerusalem will be so drastic that they will resort to cannibalism (:10).  All of this will serve as a warning to other nations that God will most certainly judge those who sin against Him.  If He will judge Israel, His own people, then certainly He will judge other nations, as well (:15).

 

Ezekiel 6-7             Prophecies of Judgment through Messages

 

Ezekiel 6-The Judgment for Idolatry in Judah

Ezekiel 6:1-14-God tells Ezekiel to prophesy against the "mountains". These were the places (high places) where the altars to the false gods (Baal) were built.  God tells him to proclaim that when they are carried off into exile (the remnant that will remain) they will remember Him...and realize that the reason they are there is because of their own sin.  And then, they will "know that I am the LORD" (this exact phrase is used 63 times in Ezekiel...it is an ongoing theme in the book).

 

Prayer: Lord, it is hard for me to imagine how Israel turned to such sin.  With all that You had given them…why did they turn away?  Why did they not recognize their sin?  And yet, I look at the church and Christians, today…and I see a similar thing happening.  People who claim to be followers of Christ, but who are involved in all sorts of sin and actively support people who participate in behavior that You have clearly identified as sin.  Please, Lord…wake us up.  Don’t let us continue down this road and suffer the fate that Israel suffered.  Help me Lord.  Don’t let me be deceived.  Don’t let me identify the sins of others and be blind to sin in my own life.

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