Ezekiel 20


God is not impressed with those who pretend to be enthusiastic about going to the prophet or God’s house to enquire about a word from the Lord for themselves, while not simultaneously repenting of their sins and the sins of their fathers. And even if leaders in the Church inquire in this manner, then God is determined not to give them His counsel too, vs 1-4!

He exhorts Ezekiel to enlighten them on how their forefathers sinned against Him, by refusing to give up their idols of Egypt, after he brought them out of the land of Egypt, though God promised to bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey, 5-8. However God refrained from destroying all of them, on account of the reputation of His great Name, vs 9. So, He allowed them to roam in the wilderness where He gave them His commandments so that they could obey Him and live, vs 10,11. He also gave them His sabbaths, to be a sign between Him and them, that they might know that it was He who is the Lord who sanctifies them, vs 12.

Yet once again they chose to rebel and God again did not destroy them all on account of the reputation of His great Name. However, this time he decided not to let all those who rebelled against Him to enter into the land of Canaan, vs 13-17. He then exhorted the children not to participate in the rebellion of their fathers, after entering into the promised land, but instead to keep his statutes and sabbaths, nevertheless, they also rebelled and provoked God to pour out His fury on them in the wilderness, vs 18-21.

However, he refrained from destroying all of them again on account of the reputation of His great Name, vs 22. But this time God decided to scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries on account of their rebellion, vs 23,24. Yet, even in the places to which they were exiled they learnt the evil ways of the Nations, vs 25-30, and now refusing to repent of the same, they dared to come and seek counsel from the Lord, which He was determined not to give them at all, vs 31,32!

Instead, God now assured them that having no option left, He would only visit them with judgment, vs 33-35, just like he did to their fathers, vs 36! In this manner he would separate the obedient from the rebels, and then He would bring those who endured the cleansing fire, on His Holy mountain where all those who are true Israelites would serve Him and He would accept them there and then seek their contributions, gifts and holy things, vs 37-40. And as He displays His holiness among them in the sight of all Nations, they would know that He alone is God, and on remembering their conduct, by which they defiled themselves, they would despise themselves on account of all the evil deeds they had done, vs 41-43.

God will do all this for them only so that His reputation will be kept intact among all Nations, vs 44. God then told Ezekiel to prophesy about the coming judgments in the form of flaming fire that would come upon the Negev, on account of their idolatory, which will be seen by all, vs 45-48. Nevertheless, even yet, on hearing what Ezekiel told them, the people and elders felt that Ezekiel was speaking to them in parables and failed to understand what God was seeking to communicate to them, vs 49!

This was the state of their blindness! We cannot expect God to give us some new revelations when we refuse to obey what He has already told us in the first place! Further it must be noted that consistent rebellion attracts God’s consistent judgment. Those who submit to His judgment and repent will be saved and blessed, but those who refuse to repent will die!

Let him who has ears to hear, hear!
Amen.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.

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