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7 Judgements

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Ezekiel 12:26–28 NIV - Anglicised
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’ “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ ”
PRAY
By now, if you’ve been following our series in Ezekiel,
you will know that Jerusalem in Judah, 2600years ago,
Ezekiel’s home city and country,
are in for a tough time in the near future.
In fact, they have already had a tough time.
The have been invaded and occupied more than once,
and currently by Babylon.
10,000 people were exiled to the city of Babylon, 500 miles from Jerusalem,
among them the trainee priest Ezekiel.
These events took place 2600years ago
Ezekiel’s has then spent 9 chapters already telling the exiles
of God’s further coming judgement on Jerusalem.
There are a further 8 chapters of prophetic accusations and judgement to consider today.
All becasue God’s people there, have rebelled against him.
Turned their backs on God.
We asked the question last week,
‘Is God too harsh in his judgement’,
both then,
but also in his final judgement of all humanity to come?
And we saw, no, humanity is actually the harsh one.
We push the patient loving and slow to angre God away.
I’d encourage you to listen to that sermon online if you missed it,
as it puts a helpful perspective on Ezekiel generally.
And as I’ve been thinking about todays passages,
I think 3 new questions are to be considered,
You see, it would be hard enough to trawl through another 8 chapters
of seeing how God’s people rebelled against him in different ways, how God is therefore right and just to judge them, and then to apply that to ourselves.
But I think the ongoing nature of this book demands us to ask the bigger questions.
And here they are...
ANd these are the ones we are supposed to ask as we continue today.

1 - Why so many warnings?

Or more so, why does God persist in telling Ezekiele to warn everyone to repent?
Why does God persist in these judgement warnings? over and over again.

2 - Why is no-one listening?

So, far, despite all the warning, there has not been a single verse indicating a positive response to Ezekiel’s warnings!
And Once we know the answers to these questions,
I think that is when we can ask

3 - Why should ‘we listen’ to the ‘warnings’ today?

How does all this warning of Judgement and the fact that no-one is listening, help us today. How do these 2600 year old prophesies and judgements affect us?
How is going to change us today?
First then,

Why so many warning?

Chapters 12-19 are the 3rd cycle of 4 judgement prophesies in Ezekiel
against Judah and Jerusalem.
It’s like a trial,
where God presents the evidence against Judah
in the form of parables, illustrations and facts.
We’ll spend some time summarising the chapters now
before we get into the question of ‘why so many warnings....’
Chapter 17 which we had read, reads as a horrific novel.
A great Eagle,
representing King Nebuchanezza of Babylon,
plucks branches from the tree, Judah,
and decimates the tree.
The tree struggles to survive the eagles attacks,
it’s branches it send out roots
but instead of turning to the living God,
it send out roots
to seek help from another great but enemy, Eagle,
the great Pharaoh of Egypt,
seeking refuge from him.
The lesser of 2 eagles you might say!
I wonder how often we turn to a lesser eagle,
rather than God for help in times of trials.
Chapter 16 is one of the most graphic and disturbing chapters in the bible.
It is so forceful and explicit that it was apparently
later excluded from use as a public reading in synagogs.
Our slightly older 1984 NIV bibles,
like the church ones,
have exchanged graphic descriptions of promiscuous behaviour for more gentle euphemisms.
I considered it as part of our reading today,
but I too, think it’s a step too far for corporate reading and discussion.
Perhaps it’s a chapter that would warrant a reading
in a church that has totally turned it’s back on the teaching of the bible.
A church that needs a graphic and brutal wake up call
to how terrible a thing it is to turn our backs on the God of love and grace.
It is a chapter to read this week in private,
and contemplate how disgusting it is for God’s people to turn their backs on God.
Perhaps if you fear you are one of them,
it might be enough to shock you back into God’s loving family,
like a defibrillator does for a failed heart.
It’s a tragic love story.
An abandoned newborn baby lying in the dirt, with it’s cord uncut and in a pool of blood.
An orphan, whom God lovingly picks up and cares for.
But she rebels terribly.
But the queen ungratefully resents His love and becomes a whore and a prostitute.
CHAPTER 16
She then builds idols out of the gifts God has given her.
queen to harlot
She even sacrifices children.
God hands her over to her lovers to get what she deserves.
convict to proverb
After all the love God has shown her,
He is disgusted with her, rightly.
cpnvict who repented
Judgement must be fulfilled, but there is an assurance of restoration.
convict who was saved
Ezekiel 16:58–60 NIV - Anglicised
You will bear the consequences of your lewdness and your detestable practices, declares the Lord. “ ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.
eze 13 2-
ts
eze 13 9
Chapter 13 speaks of the false prophets around:
Ezekiel 13:2–4 NIV - Anglicised
“Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! Your prophets, O Israel, are like jackals among ruins.
As we saw last week,
there is nothing worse in God’s eyes,
than when the leaders of God’s people
turn to their own ways and take people with them.
The NT calls them wolves in sheeps clothing.
And just like then, God today, is enraged by false teachers.
but we will send a moment applying this accusation of God’s to us today.
we should always be careful to believe what people say or teach about God.
As you listen to us teach here at Grace Church,
or any church
always have your bible’s open.
Unless it is from the bible,
there is no way to be sure that it is truth from God,
rather than empty promises from someone’s own imagination as it’s put in 13v2.
It is why you will never hear me say ‘God told me’,
No I turn to prayer, to God’s word, to wise counsel of other christians, and then I deceide what to say and teach.
becasue how can I even be sure it’s not my imagination.
But wolves will use biblical language.
Be careful of leaders who declare their visions and dreams and pictures,
and private messages from God,
and then teach them as authoritative messages to the church.
Beware, says God
Ezekiel 13:9 NIV - Anglicised
My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.
It amazes me how little people have changed in thousands of years.
There are preaches across the globe today,
who promise peace and prosperity, riches and health.
And what were the false prophets speaking of in Ezekiel’s time?
Ezekiel 13:10–13 NIV - Anglicised
“ ‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace”, when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?” “ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.
eze 13 10-
They cover their lies with a whitewash, a facade!
Do not trust them,
they will be judged, more severely than those they lead astray.
But back to our overview of these chapters:
As we saw last week, God is not harsh in his judgement, but right and just.
On and on goes these parables and prophesies and accusations.
In fact let me summarise each of our chapters today to give you a sense of the scale of rebelion, and a sense of how insistant God is to warn them:
Chapter 12
Judah failed to submit to God, even in the face of captivity
Chapter 13 and 14
Judah rejected the true prophets and loved the false prophets and their idols
Chapter 15
Judah failed to bear any fruit at all as God’s people
Chapter 16 we have discussed
Judah has a long history of grace and love,
only to be repaid by a long history of unfaithfulness
Chapter 17 again we’ve mentioned
Judah depended on political alliances for security rather than looking to God to sustain the nation
Chapter 18
Judah is responsible to God for sin but they refuse to accept that
and Chapter 19
a great funeral lament for the rightful judgment.
The New American Commentary: Ezekiel (10) Prophecy Lamenting Jerusalem’s Leaders (19:1–14)

1. Judah failed to submit to God’s chastening and rebelled in the face of captivity (12:1–20).

2. Judah rejected divine revelation. True prophets were ignored while false prophets and the idolatry they approved were accepted (13:1–14:23).

3. Judah failed to fulfill the purpose of fruitfulness for which God had created it (15:1–8).

4. Judah had a long history of unfaithfulness to God (16:1–63).

5. Judah depended on political alliances for security rather than looking to God to sustain the nation (17:1–24).

6. Judah was responsible to God for sin though there was reluctance to accept it (18:1–32).

7. Judah already was spiritually dead, so its political life also was allowed to die (19:1–14).

They are spiritually dead says God,
so now they will die physically,
becasue nothing is left anyway.
Is God simply nagging,
going on and on and on about their rebellion and sin?
Has he got nothing better to do,
so might as well moan,
like we do about everything?
No. God is not nagging out of boredom.
He is not nagging at all.
In fact, he is being very, very loving.
With the message of bad news comes the message of Good.
In fact, what is good news unless you understand the bad!
eze 14
Why is he predicting judgement for their rebellion repeatedly?
Ezekiel 16:61 NIV - Anglicised
Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both those who are older than you and those who are younger. I will give them to you as daughters, but not on the basis of my covenant with you.
eze
The answer is throughout todays chapters, 14v10, 16v63, but turn to 18v30-32
Ezekiel 14:11 NIV - Anglicised
Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves any more with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ ”
Ezekiel 16:63 NIV - Anglicised
Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ ”
Ezekiel 18:30–32 NIV - Anglicised
“Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offences; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offences you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
eze 18 30
God persists becasue he wants to give time and reminders for repentance.
He wants people to turn to him! To live. To accept His mercy and love!
Ezekiel 17:24 NIV - Anglicised
All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “ ‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’ ”
But that was the truth in Ezekiels time, and that is truth today.
But it is a message of love, not a message of tedium or nagging.
The more we hear about our rebelion, the more we appreitiate God’s love. If i think i’m not too bad a person before God, then I don’t think he’s made much of a sacrifice to save me. Jesus died on the cross in my place sure, but, most of that death was for the criminal over there who did really bad things before God saved me. Who appreciates God’s love and forgiveness more? The one who knows he’s been spared a terrible and rightful judgement.
1 - The more we hear about our rebelion, the more we appreitiate God’s love. If i think i’m not too bad a person before God, then I don’t think he’s made much of a sacrifice to save me. Jesus died on the cross in my place sure, but, most of that death was for the criminal over there who did really bad things before God saved me. Who appreciates God’s love and forgiveness more? The one who knows he’s been spared a terrible and rightful judgement.
We glorify God more and more as we enjoy his forgiveness more and more, understanding our rebelion more and more!
Do not mistake the repeated nature of judgement in the bible as nagging. Understand it as a repeated attempt by God to elivate the good news of his forgiveness for those that do repent.
I think we sometimes like to imagine that there will be no judgement to face from God,
We must never tire of the Good News. And the Good News of Jesus saving us, is only Good if we hear and accept the bad news, that we cannot save ourselves!
and then we think,
Everyday the Lord delays his judgement, is another day for those who are yet to repent, to repent.
eze 17 22
as if by magic,
We must never tire of the Good News. And the Good News of Jesus saving us, is only Good if we hear and accept the bad news, that we cannot save ourselves!
all the world would fall at the glorious feet of God!
Nonsense, few bow down even with the knowledge of judgement!
The good news that was even promised in the depth of this passage in .
God, speaking of the eagles of Babylon and Egypt breaking off the branches of the fruitless vine of Judah, declares He too will break off a branch.
Warnings are repeated,
But listen carefully to God’s intentions with that branch:
though-out Ezekiel,
Ezekiel 17:22–24 NIV - Anglicised
“ ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “ ‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’ ”
Without doubt, God promises that He himslef will interven into history. He will be the shelter that we need from His judgement. And all the trees, meaning all nations, all of us around the world will know that God is the saviour of all who repent, all who are lowly.
through out the bible,
Jesus is the tender sprig that grows in splendor!
I don’t want to hear I’m a bad person every week
Because God does not want to see anyone perish!
We must not tire of God’s repeated call to repent of our rebelion against him, becasue it reminds us we need Jesus. It reminds us that God saves.
God is loving, and patient and slow to angre.
But if we insist on turning away from him, we will get what we have chosen!
But that does raise our next question.
Is that why week after week you hear preached from the front here at Grace Chruch the need to repent and trust in Jesus.
We’ve heard it all before. Why do we keep on going on and on about it?
But that’s how far and how shocking God made his prophesies and!!!!! and yet they still didn’t listen!
CHAPTER 16
The accusations....
God loves to save, patient.
Gives time for a remanat to be saved

Why is no-one listening?

There are 2 reasons the people give for not listening to God’s warnings.
.
.
Firstly,
Ezekiel 12:27–28 NIV - Anglicised
“Son of man, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’ “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ ”
It’s not urgent.
It’s not urgent.
Ezekiel 12:26–28 NIV - Anglicised
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’ “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ ”
Unbelievably,
they have mistaken God’s patience in bringing his judgement
as a failure to deliver on his promise at all!!!!!!!!
Or at best think it’s irrelevant to them for now!
People in the NT said the same thing:
2 Peter 3:8 NIV - Anglicised
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
2 Peter 3:7 NIV - Anglicised
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
2 Peter 3:9 NIV - Anglicised
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:3–4 NIV - Anglicised
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
What a terrible mistake they have made,
to think that God’s judgement is far off!
For in the next section of Ezekiel, Jerusalem will fall.
The temple will be destroyed.
God will leave his people.
Some will escape the destruction,
but look at why God will allow them to escape:
Ezekiel 14:22–23 NIV - Anglicised
Yet there will be some survivors—sons and daughters who will be brought out of it. They will come to you, and when you see their conduct and their actions, you will be consoled regarding the disaster I have brought upon Jerusalem—every disaster I have brought upon it. You will be consoled when you see their conduct and their actions, for you will know that I have done nothing in it without cause, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
Even those who escape will still not listen and repent, but God will use them to show the exiles in Babylon that He was justified in his judgement!
Where we will get a sense that those who rebel against God without repentace will be judged eternally, but they will still not repent. Their actions will still be repulsive to God and his people. They will still be receiving what they truly desire.
They didn’t listen becasue they didn’t think it was relevant to them.
matt
james
And it’s nothing new today. How many people have you heard say, I’ll deal with God or Christianity another day. I don’t want to deal with it now. Perhaps that’s you.
But even i
Matthew 24:35–44 NIV - Anglicised
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. “No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Matthew 24:34–44 NIV - Anglicised
I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. “No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
It’s not really our fault - Father’s to blame

Live everyday as if it’s the last!

Live everyday as if it’s the last!
Live everyday as a saved remnant!
Way 1 -
Even you will be shocked by their attitudes and actions! says God.
It’s a terrible mistake to misunderstand God’s patience in judgement
for his failure to judge at all.
For the time will come!
The other reason given for not listening is in Chapter 18 v2

“ ‘The fathers eat sour grapes,

and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

They accuse God of blaming them for the sins of their father’s,
so almost,
what’s the point of repenting,
we’ll be judged becasue of our father’s anyway!
But the response is explained in simple stories in Chapt 18,
and the point is also simple.
Nice try, but no.
Each will be held accountable for their own sin.
The problem really is,
that you just don’t want to listen to the warning!
You want to ignore God’s rule in your life.
It’s a terrible mistake to not listen to God,
chapter 13 - false prophets condemned, god wants to save
it will not change the reality of his promise of judgement.
There is no escape.
So our final question...

3 - Why should ‘we listen’ to the ‘warnings’ today?

Ezekiel 13:20–23 NIV - Anglicised
“ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives, therefore you will no longer see false visions or practise divination. I will save my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ”
eze 13 20
The New American Commentary: Ezekiel (3) Prophecy Condemning False Prophets and Prophetesses (13:1–23)

All this sounds uncomfortably familiar when applied to many self-styled “prophets” today. In days of moral crisis there are always those who seek personal profit by establishing counterfeit ministries, who preach man-made systems instead of divine truth, proclaim peace instead of repentance, use materialistic methods, and set up idols in human hearts (14:1–11)

I’m sorry if you are here and don’t like
being told that without Jesus we are rebelling against God.

Nothing will change after judgement, they will still rebel against God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And hearing that you will be judged for that.
Ezekiel 14:22–23 NIV - Anglicised
Yet there will be some survivors—sons and daughters who will be brought out of it. They will come to you, and when you see their conduct and their actions, you will be consoled regarding the disaster I have brought upon Jerusalem—every disaster I have brought upon it. You will be consoled when you see their conduct and their actions, for you will know that I have done nothing in it without cause, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
CHAPTER 16
orphan to queen
queen to harlot
But that was the truth in Ezekiel’s time, and that is truth today.
harlot to convict
convict to proverb
cpnvict who repented
convict who was saved
Chapter 17

Despite the treachery and unfaithfulness - God will save eternally.

Ezekiel 17:19–24 NIV - Anglicised
“ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will bring down on his head my oath that he despised and my covenant that he broke. I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment upon him there because he was unfaithful to me. All his fleeing troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to the winds. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken. “ ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “ ‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’ ”
eze 17 19-
chapter 18
Each accountable for themselves
Ezekiel 18:25–32 NIV - Anglicised
“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed he will die. But if a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will save his life. Because he considers all the offences he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust? “Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offences; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offences you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

JUDGMENT FOR THE CHIRTSINS>@!

eze 18 25-
The New American Commentary: Ezekiel (9) Prophecy of Individual Responsibility (18:1–32)

Judgment is a theme sometimes mistakenly applied only to those not saved. Ezekiel rightly declared that the prospect of divine punishment is a reality for everyone. The Bible clearly teaches that those lost are judged because of sin and a lack of a Savior-Redeemer (e.g., John 3:18; Rev 20:11–15). But the Bible also teaches that the saved will be judged according to their stewardship of life (see Rom 14:10–12; 1 Cor 3:11–15; 2 Cor 5:10).

1 - Individually accountable
2 - Not bound by previous sin - repentance and salvation is on offer to all!

CHapt 19 - a lament for the loss of Jerusalem, the kings and the nation.

But it is a message of love, not a message of tedium or nagging.

The charge against God

Ezekiel 18:1–4 NIV - Anglicised
The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “ ‘The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.
The more we hear about our rebellion,
the more we appreciate God’s love.
If i think i’m not too bad a person before God,
then I don’t think he’s made much of a sacrifice to save me.
Ezekiel 8:1–4 NIV - Anglicised
In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came upon me there. I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man. From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood. And there before me was the glory of the God of Israel, as in the vision I had seen in the plain.
Eze 8

The charge against the exiles

Ezekiel 16:15–34 NIV - Anglicised
“ ‘But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favours on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.You took some of your garments to make gaudy high places, where you carried on your prostitution. Such things should not happen, nor should they ever occur. You also took the fine jewellery I gave you, the jewellery made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them. And you took your embroidered clothes to put on them, and you offered my oil and incense before them. Also the food I provided for you—the fine flour, olive oil and honey I gave you to eat—you offered as fragrant incense before them. That is what happened, declares the Sovereign Lord. “ ‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols. In all your detestable practices and your prostitution you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, kicking about in your blood. “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, declares the Sovereign Lord. In addition to all your other wickedness, you built a mound for yourself and made a lofty shrine in every public square. At the head of every street you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, offering your body with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by. You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbours, and provoked me to anger with your increasing promiscuity. So I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your territory; I gave you over to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were shocked by your lewd conduct. You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians too, because you were insatiable; and even after that, you still were not satisfied. Then you increased your promiscuity to include Babylonia, a land of merchants, but even with this you were not satisfied. “ ‘How weak-willed you are, declares the Sovereign Lord, when you do all these things, acting like a brazen prostitute! When you built your mounds at the head of every street and made your lofty shrines in every public square, you were unlike a prostitute, because you scorned payment. “ ‘You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband! Every prostitute receives a fee, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favours. So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no-one runs after you for your favours. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.
eze 16 15-

The charge against Jerusalem

Jesus died on the cross in my place sure,
but,
Ezekiel 19:1–14 NIV - Anglicised
“Take up a lament concerning the princes of Israel and say: “ ‘What a lioness was your mother among the lions! She lay down among the young lions and reared her cubs. She brought up one of her cubs, and he became a strong lion. He learned to tear the prey and he devoured men. The nations heard about him, and he was trapped in their pit. They led him with hooks to the land of Egypt. “ ‘When she saw her hope unfulfilled, her expectation gone, she took another of her cubs and made him a strong lion. He prowled among the lions, for he was now a strong lion. He learned to tear the prey and he devoured men. He broke down their strongholds and devastated their towns. The land and all who were in it were terrified by his roaring. Then the nations came against him, those from regions round about. They spread their net for him, and he was trapped in their pit. With hooks they pulled him into a cage and brought him to the king of Babylon. They put him in prison, so his roar was heard no longer on the mountains of Israel. “ ‘Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches because of abundant water. Its branches were strong, fit for a ruler’s sceptre. It towered high above the thick foliage, conspicuous for its height and for its many branches. But it was uprooted in fury and thrown to the ground. The east wind made it shrivel, it was stripped of its fruit; its strong branches withered and fire consumed them. Now it is planted in the desert, in a dry and thirsty land. Fire spread from one of its main branches and consumed its fruit. No strong branch is left on it fit for a ruler’s sceptre.’ This is a lament and is to be used as a lament.”
most of that death was for the criminal over there who did really bad things
before God saved him.
eze 19 1
Who appreciates God’s love and forgiveness more?
The one who knows he’s been spared a terrible and rightful judgement.
We glorify God more and more as we enjoy
his forgiveness more and more,
through understanding our rebellion more and more!
Do not mistake the repeated warnings of judgement in the bible as nagging.
Understand it as a repeated attempt by God
to elevate the good news of his forgiveness
for those that do repent.
The Good News of Jesus saving us,
And the Good News of Jesus saving us, is only Good if we hear and accept the bad news, that we cannot save ourselves!
is only Good if we hear and accept the bad news,
that we cannot save ourselves!
This is the key in fact to Ezekiel.
Judgement is coming on all who rebel against God.
But in-fact, we learn we all rebel against God,
So what hope do we have?
Have a look at again.
Remember the eagles attacking the branches of the fruitless vine of Judah,
Well God joins in the attack...
But listen carefully to God’s intentions with that branch:
But listen carefully to God’s intentions with that branch:
Ezekiel 17:22–24 NIV - Anglicised
“ ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “ ‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’ ”
Without doubt, God promises that He himself will intervene into history.
He Himself will make salvation possible,
despite our rebellion.
He will take a tender sprig plucked from the house of Judah.
That sprig will provide the shelter and protection we all long for.
so you can accept the good news of his protection,
God himself, in the person of Jesus, will do all that we couldn’t.
found in repentacene,
All we need do, is accept Jesus’ protection through repentance.
found in the tender sprig plucked from the house of Judah
Found in..... JESUS
And all the trees, meaning all nations,
And all the trees, meaning all nations,
will know that God is the one who saves.
We must not tire of God’s repeated call to repent of our rebellion against him,
becasue it reminds us we need Jesus.
It reminds us that God saves.
The second way this passage speaks to us is also significant.
People not listening to God’s warning is also nothing new today.
'I’ll deal with God or Christianity another day’. ‘I don’t want to deal with it now.’
But this message is urgent!
But this message is urgent!
Both for the Christian and the non-Christian.
For the Non-Christian,
it’s urgent becasue you do not know the time of your death,
or indeed,
if Jesus will return today.
Are you willing to take the chance to leave it another day?
Do not misunderstand his patience as a failure to judge at all.
And for the Christian, are we listening.
Are we heeding the warnings of this book?
Are we ready for Jesus’s return -
when the final judgement of all humanity will take place.
Will we be found sheltering in the shade of Jesus,
or sending out roots to the world of sin?
To finish I’m going to read several passages now from the NT to make this point.
And I can’t say it better than the bible.
Matthew 24:36–44 NIV - Anglicised
“No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
James 5:7–9 NIV - Anglicised
Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
Romans 13:11–12 NIV - Anglicised
And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.
1 Thessalonians 5:1–10 NIV - Anglicised
Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety”, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
Let’s go home today expecting Jesus to return.
Because with him there is no wrath of God, only shelter and peace.
If he doesn’t return today.
Then let’s wake up each morning and say
“Jesus in whom I shelter, is coming today, I’m going to live for him in his shade”.
PRAY 3
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