October 27, 2021

Faithful God

Ezekiel 19-24

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A Lament for the Princes of Israel

And you, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, and say:

What was your mother? A lioness!
    Among lions she crouched;
in the midst of...

A Lament for the Princes of Israel

And you, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, and say:

What was your mother? A lioness!
    Among lions she crouched;
in the midst of young lions
    she reared her cubs.
And she brought up one of her cubs;
    he became a young lion,
and he learned to catch prey;
    he devoured men.
The nations heard about him;
    he was caught in their pit,
and they brought him with hooks
    to the land of Egypt.
When she saw that she waited in vain,
    that her hope was lost,
she took another of her cubs
    and made him a young lion.
He prowled among the lions;
    he became a young lion,
and he learned to catch prey;
    he devoured men,
and seized 1 their widows.
    He laid waste their cities,
and the land was appalled and all who were in it
    at the sound of his roaring.
Then the nations set against him
    from provinces on every side;
they spread their net over him;
    he was taken in their pit.
With hooks they put him in a cage 2
    and brought him to the king of Babylon;
    they brought him into custody,
that his voice should no more be heard
    on the mountains of Israel.

10  Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard 3
    planted by the water,
fruitful and full of branches
    by reason of abundant water.
11  Its strong stems became
    rulers' scepters;
it towered aloft
    among the thick boughs; 4
it was seen in its height
    with the mass of its branches.
12  But the vine was plucked up in fury,
    cast down to the ground;
the east wind dried up its fruit;
    they were stripped off and withered.
As for its strong stem,
    fire consumed it.
13  Now it is planted in the wilderness,
    in a dry and thirsty land.
14  And fire has gone out from the stem of its shoots,
    has consumed its fruit,
so that there remains in it no strong stem,
    no scepter for ruling.

This is a lamentation and has become a lamentation.

Israel's Continuing Rebellion

In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me. And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord LORD, Is it to inquire of me that you come? As I live, declares the Lord LORD, I will not be inquired of by you. Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Let them know the abominations of their fathers, and say to them, Thus says the Lord LORD: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore 5 to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. And I said to them, ‘Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.’ But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.

Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. 12 Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned.

Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them. 14 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands, 16 because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless, my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make a full end of them in the wilderness.

18 And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, 20 and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’ 21 But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths.

Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. 25 Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, 26 and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.

27 Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord LORD: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. 28 For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 (I said to them, ‘What is the high place to which you go?’ So its name is called Bamah 6 to this day.)

30 Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord LORD: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? 31 When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, 7 you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord LORD, I will not be inquired of by you.

32 What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, ‘Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.’

The LORD Will Restore Israel

33 As I live, declares the Lord LORD, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord LORD. 37 I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord LORD: Go serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.

40 For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord LORD, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings. 41 As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers. 43 And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord LORD.”

45  8 And the word of the LORD came to me: 46 “Son of man, set your face toward the southland; 9 preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb. 47 Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord LORD, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. 48 All flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.” 49 Then I said, “Ah, Lord LORD! They are saying of me, ‘Is he not a maker of parables?’”

The LORD Has Drawn His Sword

10 The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. 11 Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. And all flesh shall know that I am the LORD. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again.

As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,’” declares the Lord LORD.

And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say:

A sword, a sword is sharpened
    and also polished,
10  sharpened for slaughter,
    polished to flash like lightning!

(Or shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood.) 12 11 So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. 12 Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. Strike therefore upon your thigh. 13 For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise the rod?” 13 declares the Lord LORD.

14 “As for you, son of man, prophesy. Clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, yes, three times, 14 the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many stumble. 15 At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; it is taken up 16 for slaughter. 16 Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. 17 I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the LORD have spoken.”

18 The word of the LORD came to me again: 19 “As for you, son of man, mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make a signpost; make it at the head of the way to a city. 20 Mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults the teraphim; 17 he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23 But to them it will seem like a false divination. They have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be taken.

24 Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand. 25 And you, O profane 18 wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, 26 thus says the Lord LORD: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.

28 And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord LORD concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter. It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning— 29 while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30 Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. 31 And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the LORD have spoken.”

Israel's Shedding of Blood

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then declare to her all her abominations. You shall say, Thus says the Lord LORD: A city that sheds blood in her midst, so that her time may come, and that makes idols to defile herself! You have become guilty by the blood that you have shed, and defiled by the idols that you have made, and you have brought your days near, the appointed time of 19 your years has come. Therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all the countries. Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you; your name is defiled; you are full of tumult.

Behold, the princes of Israel in you, every one according to his power, have been bent on shedding blood. Father and mother are treated with contempt in you; the sojourner suffers extortion in your midst; the fatherless and the widow are wronged in you. You have despised my holy things and profaned my Sabbaths. There are men in you who slander to shed blood, and people in you who eat on the mountains; they commit lewdness in your midst. 10 In you men uncover their fathers' nakedness; in you they violate women who are unclean in their menstrual impurity. 11 One commits abomination with his neighbor's wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; another in you violates his sister, his father's daughter. 12 In you they take bribes to shed blood; you take interest and profit 20 and make gain of your neighbors by extortion; but me you have forgotten, declares the Lord LORD.

13 Behold, I strike my hand at the dishonest gain that you have made, and at the blood that has been in your midst. 14 Can your courage endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will consume your uncleanness out of you. 16 And you shall be profaned by your own doing in the sight of the nations, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

17 And the word of the LORD came to me: 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. 22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the LORD; I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

23 And the word of the LORD came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed or rained upon in the day of indignation. 25 The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. 28 And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord LORD,’ when the LORD has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. 30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord LORD.”

Oholah and Oholibah

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother. They played the whore in Egypt; they played the whore in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms 21 handled. Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

Oholah played the whore while she was mine, and she lusted after her lovers the Assyrians, warriors clothed in purple, governors and commanders, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. She bestowed her whoring upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them, and she defiled herself with all the idols of everyone after whom she lusted. She did not give up her whoring that she had begun in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their whoring lust upon her. Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the Assyrians, after whom she lusted. 10 These uncovered her nakedness; they seized her sons and her daughters; and as for her, they killed her with the sword; and she became a byword among women, when judgment had been executed on her.

11 Her sister Oholibah saw this, and she became more corrupt than her sister 22 in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister. 12 She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 13 And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way. 14 But she carried her whoring further. She saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, 15 wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea. 16 When she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them, she turned from them in disgust. 18 When she carried on her whoring so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned in disgust from her sister. 19 Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt 20 and lusted after her lovers there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses. 21 Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed 23 your young breasts.”

22 Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord LORD: “Behold, I will stir up against you your lovers from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side: 23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses. 24 And they shall come against you from the north 24 with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples. They shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet; and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25 And I will direct my jealousy against you, that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. 26 They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels. 27 Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your whoring begun in the land of Egypt, so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.

28 For thus says the Lord LORD: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust, 29 and they shall deal with you in hatred and take away all the fruit of your labor and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your whoring shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your whoring 30 have brought this upon you, because you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. 31 You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. 32 Thus says the Lord LORD:

You shall drink your sister's cup
    that is deep and large;
you shall be laughed at and held in derision,
    for it contains much;
33  you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow.
A cup of horror and desolation,
    the cup of your sister Samaria;
34  you shall drink it and drain it out,
    and gnaw its shards,
    and tear your breasts;

for I have spoken, declares the Lord LORD. 35 Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, you yourself must bear the consequences of your lewdness and whoring.”

36 The LORD said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Declare to them their abominations. 37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even offered up 25 to them for food the children whom they had borne to me. 38 Moreover, this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and profaned my Sabbaths. 39 For when they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And behold, this is what they did in my house. 40 They even sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and behold, they came. For them you bathed yourself, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with ornaments. 41 You sat on a stately couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed my incense and my oil. 42 The sound of a carefree multitude was with her; and with men of the common sort, drunkards 26 were brought from the wilderness; and they put bracelets on the hands of the women, and beautiful crowns on their heads.

43 Then I said of her who was worn out by adultery, ‘Now they will continue to use her for a whore, even her!’ 27 44 For they have gone in to her, as men go in to a prostitute. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, lewd women! 45 But righteous men shall pass judgment on them with the sentence of adulteresses, and with the sentence of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.”

46 For thus says the Lord LORD: “Bring up a vast host against them, and make them an object of terror and a plunder. 47 And the host shall stone them and cut them down with their swords. They shall kill their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses. 48 Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done. 49 And they shall return your lewdness upon you, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry, and you shall know that I am the Lord LORD.”

The Siege of Jerusalem

In the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. And utter a parable to the rebellious house and say to them, Thus says the Lord LORD:

Set on the pot, set it on;
    pour in water also;
put in it the pieces of meat,
    all the good pieces, the thigh and the shoulder;
    fill it with choice bones.
Take the choicest one of the flock;
    pile the logs 28 under it;
boil it well;
    seethe also its bones in it.

Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose corrosion is in it, and whose corrosion has not gone out of it! Take out of it piece after piece, without making any choice. 29 For the blood she has shed is in her midst; she put it on the bare rock; she did not pour it out on the ground to cover it with dust. To rouse my wrath, to take vengeance, I have set on the bare rock the blood she has shed, that it may not be covered. Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: Woe to the bloody city! I also will make the pile great. 10 Heap on the logs, kindle the fire, boil the meat well, mix in the spices, 30 and let the bones be burned up. 11 Then set it empty upon the coals, that it may become hot, and its copper may burn, that its uncleanness may be melted in it, its corrosion consumed. 12 She has wearied herself with toil; 31 its abundant corrosion does not go out of it. Into the fire with its corrosion! 13 On account of your unclean lewdness, because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your uncleanness, you shall not be cleansed anymore till I have satisfied my fury upon you. 14 I am the LORD. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord LORD.”

Ezekiel's Wife Dies

15 The word of the LORD came to me: 16 “Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. 17 Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.” 18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded.

19 And the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things mean for us, that you are acting thus?” 20 Then I said to them, “The word of the LORD came to me: 21 ‘Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord LORD: Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and the yearning of your soul, and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword. 22 And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men. 23 Your turbans shall be on your heads and your shoes on your feet; you shall not mourn or weep, but you shall rot away in your iniquities and groan to one another. 24 Thus shall Ezekiel be to you a sign; according to all that he has done you shall do. When this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord LORD.’

25 As for you, son of man, surely on the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes and their soul's desire, and also their sons and daughters, 26 on that day a fugitive will come to you to report to you the news. 27 On that day your mouth will be opened to the fugitive, and you shall speak and be no longer mute. So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the LORD.”

Footnotes

[1] 19:7 Hebrew knew
[2] 19:9 Or in a wooden collar
[3] 19:10 Some Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts in your blood
[4] 19:11 Or the clouds
[5] 20:5 Hebrew I lifted my hand; twice in this verse; also verses 6, 15, 23, 28, 42
[6] 20:29 Bamah means high place
[7] 20:31 Hebrew and make your children pass through the fire
[8] 20:45 Ch 21:1 in Hebrew
[9] 20:46 Or toward Teman
[10] 21:1 Ch 21:6 in Hebrew
[11] 21:2 Some Hebrew manuscripts, compare Septuagint, Syriac against their sanctuary
[12] 21:10 Probable reading; Hebrew The rod of my son despises everything of wood
[13] 21:13 Or For it is a testing; and what if even the rod despises? It shall not be!
[14] 21:14 Hebrew its third
[15] 21:15 Hebrew many stumbling blocks
[16] 21:15 The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered taken up is uncertain
[17] 21:21 Or household idols
[18] 21:25 Or slain; also verse 29
[19] 22:4 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, Targum; most Hebrew manuscripts until
[20] 22:12 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor (compare Leviticus 25:36)
[21] 23:3 Hebrew nipples; also verses 8, 21
[22] 23:11 Hebrew than she
[23] 23:21 Vulgate, Syriac; Hebrew bosom for the sake of
[24] 23:24 Septuagint; the meaning of the Hebrew word is unknown
[25] 23:37 Or have even made pass through the fire
[26] 23:42 Or Sabeans
[27] 23:43 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
[28] 24:5 Compare verse 10; Hebrew the bones
[29] 24:6 Hebrew no lot has fallen upon it
[30] 24:10 Or empty out the broth
[31] 24:12 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

Faithful God



Key Verse | Ezekiel 20:44

"And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD."

Bio | Brad Kearney

Good morning! My name is Brad Kearney. As I'm writing this, I'm four weeks away from being married to a beautiful, godly woman named Jen! I grew up in sunny Southern California but moved to Texas as quickly as I could. God has used Join The Journey and many other ministries at Watermark to radically transform my life. My prayer is that you experience the same life change in Christ that I have.

Central Truth

God is continually faithful for the sake of His name, not our performance.

Devotional | Ezekiel 19-24

This is a sobering section of Scripture. Judah has been conquered by Babylon, and thousands of Israelites have been sent into exile. Nothing seems to be going "right" for the people of God.

God...

This is a sobering section of Scripture. Judah has been conquered by Babylon, and thousands of Israelites have been sent into exile. Nothing seems to be going "right" for the people of God.

God told Ezekiel to recount to the Israelites living in exile all the sins of Israel. He went all the way back to Exodus to remember the continual rebellion of the people of Israel against God. When God led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, they rebelled against Him in idol worship. When God led them to the Promised Land, they rebelled against Him in doubt and fear. When God led them to conquer the cities of the Promised Land, they rebelled against Him by not completing the conquest. While they lived in the Promised Land, they rebelled against God by worshiping idols, rejecting God's commands, and profaning the Sabbath. Let's just say it looks like Israel got what it deserved. 

This is where the story gets good, though! These chapters might seem to be all about the sins of Israel, but it's actually all about the faithfulness of God. In spite of Israel's rebellions, God accomplished His promises. Ezekiel 20:22 says, "But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name . . . ." God is continually faithful for the sake of His name, not our performance. He fulfilled His promises to Israel. Even in the midst of their judgment in exile, God continued to be faithful to fulfill His promises.

Ezekiel 20:44 says, "And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD." Ultimately, we can see God's faithfulness in Jesus. Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, God no longer deals with us according to our sins. He cancels the record of wrong that stood against us (Colossians 2:14). We can continue to hope in the faithfulness of God in the midst of our faithlessness.

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Discussion Questions

1. What does your history of sin and rebellion look like?

2. When have you experienced God's faithfulness?

3. In what circumstances are you most prone to doubt the faithfulness of God?

10 Comments available

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

Ezekiel’s wife dies and then a prophetic announcement to Ezekiel in the final verse of chapter 24. Ezekiel 24:27 The day will come when a fugitive comes from Jerusalem and tell of the fall. His mouth will be opened and he will be able to speak as normally.

I think he could speak when God spoke though him but not otherwise, not until that would happen. Ezekiel himself would be aan object lesson for others to take notice of and heed.

Linda Green about 1 month ago

Loved your key verse, Brad! An Equipped Disciple friend and I memorized Ezekiel 20:43-44 in the NLT translation. It so spoke to me of turning away from God, yet He loved and welcomed me back like the Father of the prodigal (Luke 15:20-24).

“43 You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

So important to read the judgements in Ezekiel against the nation and its leaders, not solely against individuals unless named.

Ezekiel shows the greatest crimes for a chosen nation to commit against God are: 1)choosing other gods, and 2)shedding the blood of innocents.

May God have mercy on our nation.

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

God does remind Israel that he brought them to 'the most glorious of lands" and “a land flowing with milk and honey” in Ezekiel 20:6 and Ezekiel 20:16. Despite the care of God and God’s good gifts they did not follow God but got caught up with idols and injustice including violence.

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

God said a ruin, a ruin, a ruin, said 3 times, emphatic and strong I will make the land Ezekiel 21:27.

For these extraordinary times, God had Ezekiel made to do or told to do some unusually things. A few being:

In the midlle of most the book, God said He would make Ezekiel unable to speak Ezekiel 3:22-24 till Ezekiel 33:22 when news would come of the fall of Jerusalem. Ezekiel could not speak except perhaps when God spoke through Ezekiel.

Ezekiel would be an object lesson, of things like he siege of Jerusalem laying on one side so many days and laying on the other many more. The Bible Project says it’s like Ezekiel doing a bit of street theater.

Ezekiel’s wife would even die depicting the fall of Jerusalem and Ezekiel was not to mourn. Ezekiel 24:15-25

Sue Bohlin about 1 month ago

(1/2) Thanks, Brad.

Two things struck me: God promises in Ezekiel 20:41, “I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch.” Eventually, on the other side of the discipline of Israel’s exile, they will be purified enough that He can put His holiness on display to the rest of the world. Isn’t that what sanctification does? Where the Holy Spirit progressively makes us look more and more like Jesus, so that we saved image-bearers let the rest of creation know what He looks like by putting the beauty of His holiness on display?

And that connects to the other thing that struck me, how God links sexual sin to spiritual sin. One commentator wrote, “This chapter [23] contains the most graphic language in the Bible in reference to sexual imagery. For that reason it requires extreme care in teaching and preaching.”

You think???

Sue Bohlin about 1 month ago

(2/2) No wonder there are so many prohibitions against sexual sin throughout the Bible: sex is a physical representation of the deep spiritual truth of the union of God and His bride. It’s so much more than a messy handshake! It’s a picture of what God desires in His relationship with us, where two very different, very OTHER beings become one in a mystical way.

And our reading today helps us understand further how much it hurts God’s heart when we choose other lovers (i.e., idols) over Him.

Greg Jones about 1 month ago

Referencing Ezekiel20:22-“‘But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name . . . .’ God is continually faithful for the sake of His name, not our performance.”

Agreed, I struggle with conflating continually and absolutely.

Ezekiel20:23-24 Yahweh states he swore in the wilderness to scatter these people among the nations because of their rebellion.

Ezekiel20:25-26 “Moreover” He had given Israel statutes that were harmful. They follow these leading to 1st born sacrifices which defiled them in this case.

Genesis22:1-17 God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham is faithful until the angel of the Lord intervenes. A caught ram becomes Abraham’s sacrifice instead. Verse 17 because of Abraham’s obedience the Lord swears an oath.

Between Abraham and Babylon is Egypt and there God revels himself in the death of first born sons and animals alike, to Egyptians and Israelites.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

3 of 3

The ESV notes edify: “Sometimes the righteous suffer not as judgment for their own sin but simply as a trial that is part of life in a fallen world. One must allow here for God’s freedom to judge as he will. This is not the first or last time in Scripture that the righteous experience the heavy hand of God (e.g., Job; cf. James 5:11).”

I link to Romans 3:23.

I pray gratefully that God chose me.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

2 of 3

The imagery gets complicated but what I am centered on is the “all-consuming fire” as described in the notes. In chapter 22 I observe that the purifying fire that usually melts away dross from metal becomes a consuming fire of judgement.

The take-away for me is the purity and holiness of God that cannot stand sin, small or large. It must be purified or consumed.

Lastly, I see in Ezekiel 21:3-4 the use of the sword of God to “cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked.”

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

1 of 3

GM Brad! Love your title, Key Verse and Central Truth. I especially like your Key Verse. I love all the passages that refer or link to the “Name of the Lord” or “for my name’s sake”.

Man is it easy to get so deep in naval gazing that I think it is all about me. When its al about Him. The link from his name to the depth of His goodness, kindness and justice is so comforting.

A pastor once said, “If God is good, kind and just then all he does will be good, kind and just”.

Here are some links I found helpful on the Name of the Lord-

https://www.gotquestions.org/search.php?zoom_sort=0&zoom_query=name+of+the+lord

and on faithfulness

https://www.gotquestions.org/He-who-promised-is-faithful.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-faithfulness.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/faithfulness-of-God.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/search.php?zoom_sort=0&zoom_query=faithful

The passage that really spoke to me is Ezekiel 20:45-21:32. This is the long passage on fire and sword.

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