Basic Facts from Ezekiel (Part 2)

Basic Facts from Ezekiel (Part 2)

In Ezekiel 25-32 God presents a series of declarations of impending judgement against the various heathen neighbors of His people (the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Philistines, the Phoenicians/city of Tyre, the Sidonians, and the Egyptians). There are many important points and valuable lessons we should learn from these chapters; here are two that should “stand out” among them: First, the fact that God declares His judgement against these pagan, idolatrous peoples shows that even though they did not worship or acknowledge Him as God, they were still accountable to Him and under His authority (“law”). Many people try to excuse themselves from accountability before God by refusing to recognize Him as God, but that does not alter the fact that it is HE Who “…made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is…,” (Exodus 20:11), and each person shall “give account of himself unto God” (Romans 14:11-12). Second, we should notice His words concerning the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28:15; “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created, Until unrighteousness was found in you” (NASB). This agrees with the earlier statements in Ezekiel 18:4 & 18, about personal, individual responsibility for sin, and with Jesus’ words in Luke 18:16, about the eternal condition of little children (i.e., that they are innocent of sin).

Next, in chapter 33:11 the prophet shows that the idea that God enjoys seeing any person suffer because of sin is a lie;

“As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

While many in the Calvinist denominations of Christendom assert that God cares only for the elect, such a doctrine flatly contradicts both the passage above and verses such as 1 Timothy 4:2 and 2 Peter 3:9 (which show Him rejoicing when a sinner repents).

Chapter 37 brings us Ezekiel’s awesome vision of God restoring the health of His people after the suffering of Babylonian captivity; he sees the Lord “re-clothe” dry bones with flesh and sinew, breathing new life into the resultant bodies (verses 1-14). Verse 14 is the key to understanding the vision, as the Lord declares that these “resurrected” people will know Him as the Source of the Spirit and life within them. In verses 15-23, Ezekiel is to label two sticks (one as “Judah” and the other as “Israel”) and bind them together as one; our misguided friends in the Mormon cult mistakenly claim that these two sticks represent the bible and the book of Mormon, but the context here plainly shows that they represent the reunion of the Northern and Southern kingdoms (hence the names on the sticks!) that would ultimately take place in Christ.

The final chapters of Ezekiel’s prophecy present a vision of the temple of the Lord and worship in it (chapters 40-48). A careful bible student will quickly recognize, however, that the dimensions and descriptions given here fit neither Solomon’s nor Zerubbabel’s temples, nor the greatly enlarged temple of Herod in Jesus’ day. The reason they don’t “fit” is that Ezekiel’s vision looks beyond the national restoration of his people to their spiritual restoration to God, which would take place in Christ. The “temple” he sees does not represent any earthly structure, but an image or metaphoric description of the “temple” Jesus promised to rebuild (John 2:19-20); His church.

-Dave Rogers


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