October 29, 2021

In Wrath, God Always Remembers Mercy

Ezekiel 31-36

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Pharaoh to Be Slain

In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his multitude:

Whom...

Pharaoh to Be Slain

In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his multitude:

Whom are you like in your greatness?
    Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon,
with beautiful branches and forest shade,
    and of towering height,
    its top among the clouds. 1
The waters nourished it;
    the deep made it grow tall,
making its rivers flow
    around the place of its planting,
sending forth its streams
    to all the trees of the field.
So it towered high
    above all the trees of the field;
its boughs grew large
    and its branches long
    from abundant water in its shoots.
All the birds of the heavens
    made their nests in its boughs;
under its branches all the beasts of the field
    gave birth to their young,
and under its shadow
    lived all great nations.
It was beautiful in its greatness,
    in the length of its branches;
for its roots went down
    to abundant waters.
The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it,
    nor the fir trees equal its boughs;
neither were the plane trees
    like its branches;
no tree in the garden of God
    was its equal in beauty.
I made it beautiful
    in the mass of its branches,
and all the trees of Eden envied it,
    that were in the garden of God.

10 Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: Because it 2 towered high and set its top among the clouds, 3 and its heart was proud of its height, 11 I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. He shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out. 12 Foreigners, the most ruthless of nations, have cut it down and left it. On the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs have been broken in all the ravines of the land, and all the peoples of the earth have gone away from its shadow and left it. 13 On its fallen trunk dwell all the birds of the heavens, and on its branches are all the beasts of the field. 14 All this is in order that no trees by the waters may grow to towering height or set their tops among the clouds, 4 and that no trees that drink water may reach up to them in height. For they are all given over to death, to the world below, among the children of man, 5 with those who go down to the pit.

15 Thus says the Lord LORD: On the day the cedar 6 went down to Sheol I caused mourning; I closed the deep over it, and restrained its rivers, and many waters were stopped. I clothed Lebanon in gloom for it, and all the trees of the field fainted because of it. 16 I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit. And all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the world below. 17 They also went down to Sheol with it, to those who are slain by the sword; yes, those who were its arm, who lived under its shadow among the nations.

18 Whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? You shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the world below. You shall lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword.

This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord LORD.”

A Lament over Pharaoh and Egypt

In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him:

You consider yourself a lion of the nations,
    but you are like a dragon in the seas;
you burst forth in your rivers,
    trouble the waters with your feet,
    and foul their rivers.
Thus says the Lord LORD:
    I will throw my net over you
    with a host of many peoples,
    and they will haul you up in my dragnet.
And I will cast you on the ground;
    on the open field I will fling you,
and will cause all the birds of the heavens to settle on you,
    and I will gorge the beasts of the whole earth with you.
I will strew your flesh upon the mountains
    and fill the valleys with your carcass. 7
I will drench the land even to the mountains
    with your flowing blood,
    and the ravines will be full of you.
When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens
    and make their stars dark;
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
    and the moon shall not give its light.
All the bright lights of heaven
    will I make dark over you,
    and put darkness on your land,
    declares the Lord LORD.

I will trouble the hearts of many peoples, when I bring your destruction among the nations, into the countries that you have not known. 10 I will make many peoples appalled at you, and the hair of their kings shall bristle with horror because of you, when I brandish my sword before them. They shall tremble every moment, every one for his own life, on the day of your downfall.

11 For thus says the Lord LORD: The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon you. 12 I will cause your multitude to fall by the swords of mighty ones, all of them most ruthless of nations.

They shall bring to ruin the pride of Egypt,
    and all its multitude 8 shall perish.
13  I will destroy all its beasts
    from beside many waters;
and no foot of man shall trouble them anymore,
    nor shall the hoofs of beasts trouble them.
14  Then I will make their waters clear,
    and cause their rivers to run like oil,
    declares the Lord LORD.
15  When I make the land of Egypt desolate,
    and when the land is desolate of all that fills it,
when I strike down all who dwell in it,
    then they will know that I am the LORD.

16 This is a lamentation that shall be chanted; the daughters of the nations shall chant it; over Egypt, and over all her multitude, shall they chant it, declares the Lord LORD.”

17 In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, 9 on the fifteenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 18 “Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt, and send them down, her and the daughters of majestic nations, to the world below, to those who have gone down to the pit:

19  ‘Whom do you surpass in beauty?
    Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised.’

20 They shall fall amid those who are slain by the sword. Egypt 10 is delivered to the sword; drag her away, and all her multitudes. 21 The mighty chiefs shall speak of them, with their helpers, out of the midst of Sheol: ‘They have come down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’

22 Assyria is there, and all her company, its graves all around it, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, 23 whose graves are set in the uttermost parts of the pit; and her company is all around her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who spread terror in the land of the living.

24 Elam is there, and all her multitude around her grave; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who went down uncircumcised into the world below, who spread their terror in the land of the living; and they bear their shame with those who go down to the pit. 25 They have made her a bed among the slain with all her multitude, her graves all around it, all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword; for terror of them was spread in the land of the living, and they bear their shame with those who go down to the pit; they are placed among the slain.

26 Meshech-Tubal is there, and all her multitude, her graves all around it, all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword; for they spread their terror in the land of the living. 27 And they do not lie with the mighty, the fallen from among the uncircumcised, who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war, whose swords were laid under their heads, and whose iniquities are upon their bones; for the terror of the mighty men was in the land of the living. 28 But as for you, you shall be broken and lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword.

29 Edom is there, her kings and all her princes, who for all their might are laid with those who are killed by the sword; they lie with the uncircumcised, with those who go down to the pit.

30 The princes of the north are there, all of them, and all the Sidonians, who have gone down in shame with the slain, for all the terror that they caused by their might; they lie uncircumcised with those who are slain by the sword, and bear their shame with those who go down to the pit.

31 When Pharaoh sees them, he will be comforted for all his multitude, Pharaoh and all his army, slain by the sword, declares the Lord LORD. 32 For I spread terror in the land of the living; and he shall be laid to rest among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword, Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord LORD.”

Ezekiel Is Israel's Watchman

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.

So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Why Will You Die, Israel?

10 And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ 11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord LORD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

12 And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness 11 when he sins. 13 Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet if he trusts in his righteousness and does injustice, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his injustice that he has done he shall die. 14 Again, though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns from his sin and does what is just and right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he shall surely live.

17 Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just,’ when it is their own way that is not just. 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it. 19 And when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he shall live by this. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”

Jerusalem Struck Down

21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, a fugitive from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has been struck down.” 22 Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; and he had opened my mouth by the time the man came to me in the morning, so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.

23 The word of the LORD came to me: 24 “Son of man, the inhabitants of these waste places in the land of Israel keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but we are many; the land is surely given us to possess.’ 25 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord LORD: You eat flesh with the blood and lift up your eyes to your idols and shed blood; shall you then possess the land? 26 You rely on the sword, you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbor's wife; shall you then possess the land? 27 Say this to them, Thus says the Lord LORD: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in strongholds and in caves shall die by pestilence. 28 And I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and her proud might shall come to an end, and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that none will pass through. 29 Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.

30 As for you, son of man, your people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, ‘Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.’ 31 And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain. 32 And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays 12 well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it. 33 When this comes—and come it will!—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

Prophecy Against the Shepherds of Israel

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord LORD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.

Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As I live, declares the Lord LORD, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 10 Thus says the Lord LORD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.

The Lord LORD Will Seek Them Out

11 For thus says the Lord LORD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord LORD. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. 13 I will feed them in justice.

17 As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord LORD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats. 18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? 19 And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

20 Therefore, thus says the Lord LORD to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, 22 I will rescue 14 my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken.

The LORD's Covenant of Peace

25 I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. 27 And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the land devour them. They shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid. 29 And I will provide for them renowned plantations so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the reproach of the nations. 30 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord LORD. 31 And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord LORD.”

Prophecy Against Mount Seir

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, and say to it, Thus says the Lord LORD: Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will make you a desolation and a waste. I will lay your cities waste, and you shall become a desolation, and you shall know that I am the LORD. Because you cherished perpetual enmity and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment, therefore, as I live, declares the Lord LORD, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; because you did not hate bloodshed, therefore blood shall pursue you. I will make Mount Seir a waste and a desolation, and I will cut off from it all who come and go. And I will fill its mountains with the slain. On your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those slain with the sword shall fall. I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

10 Because you said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them’—although the LORD was there— 11 therefore, as I live, declares the Lord LORD, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy that you showed because of your hatred against them. And I will make myself known among them, when I judge you. 12 And you shall know that I am the LORD.

I have heard all the revilings that you uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are laid desolate; they are given us to devour.’ 13 And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it. 14 Thus says the Lord LORD: While the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate. 15 As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the LORD.

Prophecy to the Mountains of Israel

And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord LORD: Because the enemy said of you, ‘Aha!’ and, ‘The ancient heights have become our possession,’ therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord LORD: Precisely because they made you desolate and crushed you from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you became the talk and evil gossip of the people, therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord LORD: Thus says the Lord LORD to the mountains and the hills, the ravines and the valleys, the desolate wastes and the deserted cities, which have become a prey and derision to the rest of the nations all around, therefore thus says the Lord LORD: Surely I have spoken in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave my land to themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, that they might make its pasturelands a prey. Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, Thus says the Lord LORD: Behold, I have spoken in my jealous wrath, because you have suffered the reproach of the nations. Therefore thus says the Lord LORD: I swear that the nations that are all around you shall themselves suffer reproach.

But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. 10 And I will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt. 11 And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 12 I will let people walk on you, even my people Israel. And they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no longer bereave them of children. 13 Thus says the Lord LORD: Because they say to you, ‘You devour people, and you bereave your nation of children,’ 14 therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, declares the Lord LORD. 15 And I will not let you hear anymore the reproach of the nations, and you shall no longer bear the disgrace of the peoples and no longer cause your nation to stumble, declares the Lord LORD.”

The LORD's Concern for His Holy Name

16 The word of the LORD came to me: 17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. 18 So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. 19 I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them. 20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.’ 21 But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.

I Will Put My Spirit Within You

22 Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord LORD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord LORD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 15 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. 30 I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord LORD; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

33 Thus says the Lord LORD: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. 34 And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. 35 And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the LORD; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.

37 Thus says the Lord LORD: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. 38 Like the flock for sacrifices, 16 like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”

Footnotes

[1] 31:3 Or its top went through the thick boughs
[2] 31:10 Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew you
[3] 31:10 Or its top through the thick boughs
[4] 31:14 Or their tops through the thick boughs
[5] 31:14 Or of Adam
[6] 31:15 Hebrew it
[7] 32:5 Hebrew your height
[8] 32:12 Or wealth
[9] 32:17 Hebrew lacks in the twelfth month
[10] 32:20 Hebrew She
[11] 33:12 Hebrew by it
[12] 33:32 Hebrew like the singing of lustful songs with a beautiful voice and one who plays
[13] 34:16 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate I will watch over
[14] 34:22 Or save
[15] 36:27 Or my just decrees
[16] 36:38 Hebrew flock of holy things

In Wrath, God Always Remembers Mercy



Key Verse | Ezekiel 33:11, 36:26

"Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways . . . ." 

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

Bio | Taylor Ray

Hi, everyone! I was born and raised in Houston; but ever since coming to Dallas Baptist University, I've called Dallas home. I have a younger brother and sister whom I love and am trying to convince to follow me to Dallas. A fun fact about me is that I have a passion for art. I even started my college career as an art major. But more than anything, I love reading God's Word and am so excited to share what this passage of Scripture has taught me!

Central Truth

God is both a God of justice and a God of mercy; He is not only one or the other.

Devotional | Ezekiel 31-36

I think all too often we only see one side of God. The side of wrath and judgment or the side of mercy and love. The truth is, God is both. He is just, and He does judge the evil of this world. But He is...

I think all too often we only see one side of God. The side of wrath and judgment or the side of mercy and love. The truth is, God is both. He is just, and He does judge the evil of this world. But He is also a God who is merciful and full of love.

Before I had a relationship with God, my life was a mess. I was full of anger, desperate for the approval of others. But most remarkably, my heart was like a stone, apathetic and hardened. The truth was, I didn't care about other people. I was so focused on myself and my pain that it consumed me. I lived a careless life full of bad decisions that hurt others. Eventually, I lost hope I could ever change. 

At the time, I didn't understand that God is both just and merciful. At the time, I only knew the side of God that dealt with evil through judgment.  

But then I learned God is a merciful and loving God. Ezekiel 33:11 makes it clear—God's utmost desire is that everyone would turn away from evil and instead find life. He even provided us with the way to turn from death to life. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to bear the punishment for our sins. He didn't let the evil go unpunished. However, through Jesus' death and resurrection, God provided a way for us to have a new life and heart.

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26)

We must remember that God is both just and merciful. He will not let the evil of this world go unpunished. But He also provides a way for people who want a new beginning and a right relationship with Him. He takes hearts of stone and revives them with new life. That is reason to celebrate!

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Discussion Questions

1. Our view of God's character is vital to our understanding of the gospel. How do you see God's judgment on sin and His mercy in the good news of Jesus?

2. Looking back on your life, in what ways or areas of your heart has God softened and brought new life to you?

3. Who in your life needs to be reminded or told of God's mercy through Jesus' death and resurrection?

11 Comments available

Sue Bohlin 28 days ago

Thanks, Taylor. Ezekiel 36:26 is one of my favorite verses, and one of my favorite calligraphy pieces I’ve ever lettered. “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” A friend was given this verse by her counselor, who provided a paraphrase with the ending, “I will give you a heart that feels.” Love that!

In this passage, I was also struck by God’s promise in 33:13 that if righteous people “sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered.” I’m thinking of once-faithful believers who have embraced a lie about their “authentic selves,” now living out and proud in their flesh. Rosaria Butterfield says, “We can’t lose our salvation, but we can lose everything else.”

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

From a desiring God interview with D.A.Carson

in Ezekiel 34:10–31 God himself says again and again and again that he will come and shepherd his people. That is equivalent to God saying: He will come and reign. He will come and rule over them directly. He will nurture them. He will provide them with the food and the water they need. He will discipline them. He will separate sheep from goats. He will be their shepherd. It is shepherd language to talk about his coming kingdom. And then at the end of that he says — after declaring about 25 times that he will come and reign — then he says: I will send my servant David to do so (see Ezekiel 34:23–24). So again, you are seeing the coming of God himself in the coming of the promised Davidic King.

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

God is sovereign over prayer. Ezekiel 36:37

God calls their hearts like stone. His spirit will work changing these diamond hard hearts into hearts of flesh.

For varioius reasons Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel have been called prophets focusing on the different persons of the Trinity.

Jeremiah (the Father) The wise man can boast He known me

Isaiah ( the Son) The servant songs and other prophesies pointing to Jesus

Ezekiel (the Spirit) with the Spirit changing hearts

Michael Scaman about 1 month ago

God himself will shepheld His people. God will set David as shepherd. Two ideas that sould in tension but are not if in this case “David” is a type of a shepherd that is fully God and fully man.

The shepherds of Israel have not cared for and brought harm to the sheep. God says many ways He will seek the lost, feed them, He himself will be their shepherd repeatedly said.

And then after saying over and I myself will shepherd them, God says he will set David over them and he will be their shepherd. Suggesting someone is coming as the ultimate shepherd who is in a sense God

Just as David is a man after God’s own heart, the sheep will have new hearts.

Linda Green about 1 month ago

Amen, Taylor- no matter what is going on around us we can always celebrate His great mercy to have saved us through Jesus! Love Ezekiel 33:11 too- would be a great verse to memorize.

I used to judge if God was loving and righteous by what I saw around me, often questioning God’s motives. I just could not fully believe God is good.

But one day, sitting in a service at Watermark listening to what God said about Himself over and over in the Bible, I decided to take Him at His word. That He is good, even when circumstances were overwhelming.

It changes my heart to praise God for His goodness; to rest in His control of the world and His desire to be all I need. Jesus was His gift to me, who gives peace that passes understanding and hope for the future!

Sarah Crotty about 1 month ago

Taylor, this was thought provoking, and yet simple: He is both just and merciful. Grateful for that!

Neil Curran about 1 month ago

Hi Taylor, Ezekiel 36 is one of the great passages of Scripture. You did a great job on your devotional! Thanks. Neil Curran

Greg Jones about 1 month ago

During this time Israel sits between two super powers, Pharaoh and Egypt to the south Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon to the north. Babylonians are seen as performing right acts of God at this time, defeating and plundering the Egyptians is viewed as payment for their hard work, Ezekiel29:17-20. In a sense Babylonians are like a consuming fire sent by God. Out of hell Nebuchadnezzar has come influencing Israel and the world.

A portion of Daniel is about the influence he and his friends have on Nebuchadnezzar. Within the furnace they impact Nebuchadnezzar, there’s the picture of another in Nebuchadnezzar’s fire.

Ezekiel places God in Nebuchadnezzar’s fire in a less obvious way. He wants Israel to look into the fire and see another with Nebuchadnezzar to understand Ezekiel33:10-11 and the v12 ‘therefore’ going forward.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

3 of 3

Again, the notes point me towards a place of hope:

“One appointed function of Israel’s experience in the land was to show the whole world a restored Edenic life, lived in God’s presence and with his blessing.”

I pair this with prior learning about desiring to live a quiet life of covenantal faithfulness with order and dignity.

Edenic really is the best word.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

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The verses in these sections that really spoke to me are Ezekiel 34:11 and Ezekiel 34:23.

God takes these passages with those wonderful images and shows me how He will restore Israel. He promises he will seek, gather, feed and secure His sheep.

From the ESV SB Notes:

“The passage is emphatic that the role of the shepherd is to ensure the safety and well-being of the flock.”

I don’t have the imagination to envision the chaos and hardship wrought on Israel by Assyria, Egypt and Babylon. How incredibly comforting it must have been for the survivors to hear these words.

Hugh Stephenson about 1 month ago

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GM Taylor! From art major to Watermark Equipping!

Thank you for all the great work you do for us in equipping. What a blessing you are.

Love your title; wrath and mercy. Great statement of His character.

A friend notes- “I want justice for others and grace for me”. I get that.

After all the chapters on oracles of judgement I locked in on Ezekiel 34. The two subsections are “The Lord God will seek them out” and “The LORD’s covenant of peace”.

For years I have been interested how God uses sheep and shepherds to teach me about Him and me. My go-to book is “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”.

What I have learned is the rebellious nature of sheep as well as the gentle but firm temperament required to be a shepherd.

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