Exposition of Ezekiel (15) Seven Judgments
Yahweh brought a cumulative case of judgment to Jerusalem (5, then 6, now 7 messages of doom) and then destroyed her,. She was “Worse than Sodom...” Today we see in 20-23 seven messages of judgment.
Wilderness - There will be a new wilderness for Judah, 20:1-44. Verses 1-26 describe the first wilderness - including a reference to the coarse language of Ezekiel (God) about idols, the “dung-idols” (20:7) [He didn’t really say the equivalent of “dung”]. In vv 27-44, Judah will go through a new wilderness.
Wood - God's fire will consume both the green and the dry wood, 20:45-49, cf. Luke 23:31. “I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry.”
Wickedness - God's sword will cut off the righteous and the wicked, ch. 21. Ezek 21:27 is a Messianic promise: “It will not be restored until he comes to whom it rightfully belongs; to him I will give it.” a) Nebuchadnezzar's decision, 19-22 b) Ammon's destruction, 28-32.
Bloodshed - God's dispersion of the bloody city, 22:1-16, rehearsing the ten commandments. “They have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the alien and mistreated the fatherless and the widow. . . .desecrated my Sabbaths.”
Bronze - The refining fire melts the impurities of Israel, 22:17-22. “As men gather silver, copper, iron, lead and tin into a furnace to melt it with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath.”
Building - No not one was found to stand in the gap, 22:23-31. “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.”
Brothel - The parable of Oholah (which means “her tent”) and Oholibah (“my tent is in her”), the two prostitutes (Jerusalem and Samaria - Israel and Judah), ch. 23. Their lust is extreme (Ezek 23:20, 16:26 [KJV], Jer. 5:8). The meaning of this passage is focused on their alliances with other nations, rather than trusting Israel’s God.
God promised to judge Israel and Judah, but also promised to restore. In Jesus, the people of God are vindicated and given new hearts to forsake adulteries and idolatries. As we stand in Jesus, we are to grow deeper in repentance and deeper in faith.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more
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