It Is Finished Audio

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Ezekiel Series: Chapter 10 (Written Version)


 

Ezekiel 10

The Glory Departs the Temple

“I looked, and I saw the likeness of a throne of lapis lazuli above the vault that was over the heads of the cherubim. The Lord said to the man clothed in linen, ‘Go in among the wheels beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.’ And as I watched, he went in” (Ezekiel 10:1-2).

            In the previous chapter, Ezekiel is shown the destruction that comes to the people in Judah and its leaders due to their many sins and idolatry, including inside His temple. God’s executioners had been sent throughout Judah, starting with the temple’s leaders, and the body count amongst the idolatrous people was massive. Unfortunately, this was the Lord’s last resort, which came to fruition due to their abominable practices and behavior towards God and one another.

In this next scene, which is a continuation of the previous, Ezekiel describes what looks like a throne made of sapphire rock or lapis lazuli, which is a blue metamorphic rock that has been used as a gemstone or semi-precious stone and pigment over the centuries. The name sapphire is derived from the Greek word sapheiros, which means blue. Now, some bible translations use the word sapphire to describe God’s throne, while others interpret it as lapis lazuli. While the type of stone and its translation may be debated by scholars, the color blue is what’s important, thus representing the glory, power, supremacy, and holiness of the Lord.

Another aspect of this vision recaps the first vision Ezekiel was shown in chapter one. However, there is one difference being the temple context where things are much transparent for understanding. Thus, as mentioned in lesson one of this series, the four-living creatures were cheribum, which Ezekiel sees once again in this vision.[1] Above the cheribum was the Lord’s throne above the vault (sky). Then God said to the man in linen to where the wheels were beneath the cheribum and gather coals in his hands to scatter over Jerusalem. These coals were symbolic of the judgment that God was rendering over Jerusalem. The city would be utterly destroyed as Babylon, God’s tool for justice, besieged the city and brought it to complete ruin in 586 B.C. Ezekiel watched as these events took place.

The coals or fire used was the purify the city of its iniquity, parallel to what the Lord did with Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord also used a coal to purify Isaiah. The Bible says: “Woe to me!” I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:5-6).

“Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the Lord rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the Lord. The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard as far away as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks”  (Ezekiel 10:3-5).

            The Shekinah glory, represented by the cloud, filled the temple court when the man in linen went in. The glory of the Lord was on the south side of the temple, far removed from the northern side of the city where the abominations had occurred. Ezekiel then sees the cloud fill the temple as the glory of God moves, with the sound of the cherubim’s wings being heard likened to God’s voice. Ezekiel could see the glory getting prepared to leave the temple. The cherubims represent God’s glory as they worship the Lord and stand over the mercy seat on both sides of God’s glory. The Bible says: And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth” (2 Kings 19:15).

            This should have been a glorious occasion with the Shekinah glory being in the temple, but this was quite the opposite. The glory of the Lord was preparing for departure. No longer would the Lord’s glory dwell inside the temple that had been defiled first by Judah, and then would be defiled again by the Babylonians being permitted to remove the Lord’s articles from His house. It was as if a stranger had broken in where the resident no longer felt safe to reside permanently.

“When the Lord commanded the man in linen, ‘Take fire from among the wheels, from among the cherubim,’ the man went in and stood beside a wheel. Then one of the cherubim reached out his hand to the fire that was among them. He took up some of it and put it into the hands of the man in linen, who took it and went out. (Under the wings of the cherubim could be seen what looked like human hands)” (Ezekiel 10:6-8).

The man clothed with linen obeyed the command to go and get the fire, for this was the judgment that was to come down on all of Judah. After which, he stood beside the wheel as the cheribum took some of the fire to place inside the man in linen’s hands. The cherubim appeared to have human-looking hands that were used to accomplish God’s command. Even the angles are subject to the will of God and operate as He directs, but Judah failed to learn this lesson. The Bible says: “Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word” (Psalm 103:20).  

 

“I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim four wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like topaz. As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels. I heard the wheels being called “the whirling wheels” (Ezekiel 10:9-13).

            You will see in these verses that they are reminiscent of chapter 1. Here are a few key notes from lesson one that coincide with these verses.

·       The Cheribum and wheels worked together in unison and pace.

·       The four cherubim are guardians of the Lord’s holiness.

·       Cheribum maintain order and keep sin out.

·       Cherubim's wings allow them to fly wherever the Spirit leads them.

·       The wheels described in this vision are called Ophanim (אוֹפַנִּים) in Hebrew and are also referred to as the wheels of God.

·       The brilliance of the Ophanim shined like a yellowish, precious stone or a stone of fire, as topaz is called, in the presence of the Lord.

·       Their eyes allowed them to see everything in secret and full view. Their eyes were filled with wisdom to render judgments according to God’s righteousness and awesome justice.

Each of the cherubim had four faces: One face was that of a cherub, the second the face of a human being, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle” (Ezekiel 10:14).

Ezekiel saw that each cherubim had for faces as he had seen in his first vision. Let’s do a recap of what these faces represent from lesson one.

The face of the cherub:

a.)   The cherub symbolizes the same as the ox from the first vision, embodying Jesus’ mission to accomplish the will of the Father by becoming a servant.

b.)   Jesus put on the yoke of sin for mankind and paid the price through His death on the cross but rose again.

c.)   Jesus was humble, subservient, and loyal to the Father.

The face of the man:

a.)   Jesus accomplished what Adam couldn’t by living perfectly obediently to the Father.

b.)   Jesus came in human form to save man from sin.

c.)   Man was made a little lower than the angels, and Jesus became as such on earth.

The face of a lion:

a.)   Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords, just as the lion is king of the jungle.

b.)   Jesus is a strong tower, and we can get all strength from Him.

The face of an eagle:

a.)   Jesus rose above all challenges as the eagle to provide and care for His children.

b.)   Jesus never leaves us to fend for ourselves, and we can find safety under His wings.

 

“Then the cherubim rose upward. These were the living creatures I had seen by the Kebar River. When the cherubim moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the cherubim spread their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels did not leave their side. When the cherubim stood still, they also stood still; and when the cherubim rose, they rose with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in them” (Ezekiel 10:15-17).

The cherubim prepared to move as the Spirit led, for the Shekinah glory was ready to depart the temple. The wheels moved in sync with the cherubim, for there was no confusion about what they should do. As we talked about in Lesson One, the cherubim moved in sync with the Spirit and as He led. Believers in Christ need to follow as the Spirit leads as well. Do not sway to the right or left but as He follows.

“Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them” (Ezekiel 10:18-19).

 

The presence of God moved forward with His departure from the temple, moving above the threshold over the four cherubim and away from the temple. The people had departed from the ways of God and His decrees, so He no longer dwelt amongst them. The glory had departed through the eastern gate, and now, Judah was in an Ichabod (the glory has departed) state, thus left to their own devices of destruction.

These were the living creatures I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the Kebar River, and I realized that they were cherubim. Each had four faces and four wings, and under their wings was what looked like human hands. Their faces had the same appearance as those I had seen by the Kebar River. Each one went straight ahead” (Ezekiel 10:20-22).

            Once again, Ezekiel describes the cherubims he saw in his first vision. It is important to understand that when the Lord sends a revelation regarding something twice, it means that a thing has been established and will not be turned back. The Bible says: “The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon” (Genesis 41:32). Ezekiel had been shown a similar vision twice, and the final judgment of Judah was already in the making. The cherubim had served the Lord well, and now, it was time for them to depart.

Bibliography

Angel, Hayyim. "Ezekiel: priest--prophet." The Jewish Bible Quarterly 39, no. 1 (2011), 35-45. file:///C:/Users/evang/Downloads/retrieve-12.pdf.

 

Block, Daniel I. Beyond the River Chebar: Studies in Kingship and Eschatology in the Book of Ezekiel. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013.

Brownlee, William H. "Ezekiel's Parable of the Watchman and the Editing of Ezekiel." Vetus Testamentum 28, no. 4 (1978), 392. doi:10.2307/1517473.

 

Damsma, Alinda. "From Son of Man to Son of Adam—the Prophet Ezekiel in Targum Jonathan." Aramaic Studies 15, no. 1 (2017), 23-43. doi:10.1163/17455227-01501001.

De Vries, Pieter. "The presence of YHWH in exile according to the Book of Ezekiel, with special reference to the meaning of the expression מִקְדָּ֣שׁמְעַט in Ezekiel 11:16." Old Testament Essays 31, no. 1 (2018). doi:10.17159/2312-3621/2018/v31n1a13.

Dean, David A. "Covenent, Conditionality, and Consequence: New Terminology and a Cast Study in the Abrahamic Covenant." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 57, no. 2 (June 2014), 281-308. https://go.openathens.net/redirector/liberty.edu?url=https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/covenant-conditionality-consequence-new/docview/1545898935/se-2.

Dowden, Landon. Exalting Jesus in Ezekiel. Nashville: Holman Reference, 2015.



Duguid, Iain M. Ezekiel. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999.

Duvall, J. S., and J. D. Hays. Grasping God's Word: A Hands-on Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Academic, 2012.

Furman, Refael. "Trauma and Post-Trauma in the Book of Ezekiel." Old Testament Essays 33, no. 1 (2020). doi:10.17159/2312-3621/2020/v33n1a4.

Grudem, Wayne A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.

Hiebel, Janina M. "Hope in Exile: In Conversation with Ezekiel." Religions 10, no. 8 (2019), 476. doi:10.3390/rel10080476.

Jothen, Tiffany. "'The Harbinger': Is God Warning America?" Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Last modified November 27, 2013. https://billygraham.org/story/the-harbinger-is-god-warning-america/.

Klein, William W., Craig L. Blomberg, and Jr. Robert L. Hubbard. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Zondervan Academic, 2017.

Liberty University. "Watch: The Covenental Message of the Prophets." Liberty.edu. 2024. https://canvas.liberty.edu/courses/591820/pages/watch-the-covenantal-message-of-the-prophets?module_item_id=62251153.

Lumpkin, Joseph. The Books of Enoch: The Angels, the Watchers and the Nephilim, with Extensive Commentary on the Three Books of Enoch, the Fallen Angels, the Calendar of Enoch, and Daniel's Prophecy. Bloutsville: Fifth Estate, 2011.

Lundbom, Jack R. The Hebrew Prophets: An Introduction. Mineapolis: Augsburg Fortress Publishing, 2010.

Luther, Martin. Luther's Works. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960.

Lyons, Michael A. "Out of the (Model) City, into the Fire: The Meaning of Ezekiel 5:3–4." Journal of Biblical Literature 138, no. 3 (2019), 605-623. doi:10.1353/jbl.2019.0036.

Montier, Curtis E. "Let Her be Shorn: 1 Corinthians 11 and Femail Head Shaving in Antiquity." PhD diss., University of North Texas , 2015.

Rochester, Kathleen. "Grief in exile and the City of God." STJ | Stellenbosch Theological Journal 5, no. 1 (2020), 347-360. doi:10.17570/stj.2019.v5n1.a16.

Ryrie, Charles C. Dispensationalism. La Salle: Moody Publishers, 2007.



The Silence of the Lambs. Directed by Jonathan Demme. 1991. Hollywood, CA: Orion Pictures, 1991. Film.

Smith, Samuel. "Anne Graham Lotz Confesses 12 'National Sins' of America at National Day of Prayer Observance." Christian Post | Christian News & Commentaries. Last modified May 5, 2017. https://www.christianpost.com/news/anne-graham-lotz-confesses-12-national-sins-of-america-at-national-day-of-prayer-observance.html.

Sor, William S., David A. Hubbard, and Frederic W. Bush. Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996.

Strine, C. A. "The Role of Repentance in the Book of Ezekiel: A Second Chance for the Second Generation." The Journal of Theological Studies 63, no. 2 (2012), 467-491. doi:10.1093/jts/fls064.
Wellum, Stephen. "Progressive Covenantalism and New Covenant Theology." The Gospel Coalition. Last modified April 13, 2020. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/progressive-covenantalism-and-new-covenant-theology/.



[1]Iain M. Duguid, Ezekiel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999), 147.

Ezekiel Video Series: Chapter 10 pt 2

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Ezekiel Series: Chapter 9 (Written Version)

 

Ezekiel 9

Idolaters’ Death

Then the Lord thundered, ‘Bring on the men appointed to punish the city! Tell them to bring their weapons with them!’ Six men soon appeared from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man dressed in linen, who carried a writer’s case at his side. They all went into the Temple courtyard and stood beside the bronze altar” (Ezekiel 9:1-2).

            The Lord had previously given Ezekiel a vision that showed the secret sins of Judah’s leaders and people. He laid out the charges and incriminating evidence against His people. Ezekiel was an eyewitness to their crimes. Now, the Lord was about to carry out the penalty phase of His judgment. The Lord had His ministers of justice, His warring angels, ready to deliver the deadly destruction to the city. These six men were God’s executioners who were armed with deadly weapons to destroy the inhabitants of Judah. The number six represents mankind; thus, judgment was being brought on mankind at the altar. The Lord has used His angels of death numerous times throughout the Bible, with one occasion being right before the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. The death angel went throughout the land, killing every firstborn human and animal whose homes did not have blood on the doorpost. The Bible says: “And that night at midnight, the Lord struck down all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn son of the prisoner in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died” (Exodus 12:29-30). Therefore, the Lord was once again ready to use His ministers of justice to render His guilty verdict upon Judah. Even Michael, the great prince who protects the Lord’s people, could not intervene in this deadly assignment. The Bible says: At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). The Prophet Daniel was speaking of a later time, but Judah had been judged by God himself and had been found wanting.

          Ezekiel described a man wearing linen garments, representing Christ’s righteousness, carrying a writer’s case or vessel (an inkhorn) by his side. This was no ordinary man but the pre-incarnated Jesus Christ who was about to place a seal, represented by the inkhorn, on His people to distinguish them from the others. The sealed ones were those who were heartbroken over the abominations that had taken place in the city. Everyone present went to the Temple’s courtyard and stood by the bronze altar. As a reminder, some of Judah’s citizens, such as Daniel and his three friends, had been taken into captivity during Babylon’s first siege, who had been faithful to the Lord.

            The Apostle John also wrote about those who would have the seal of God at the end and would have refused to be marked by the beast. The Bible says: “Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4). There is a remnant of God right now who is refusing to follow along to get along but has chosen to follow the Lord no matter the cost. Is that you?

“Then the glory of the God of Israel rose up from between the cherubim, where it had rested, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. And the Lord called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer’s case. He said to him, ‘Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city’ ” (Ezekiel 9:3-4)

            The departure of the Lord took place in stages, moving from the Most Holy Place to the Temple’s entrance, where He would make His exit to the East Gate and the Mount of Olives before His final departure. Even so, the Lord had those who had genuine sorrow for the despicable acts having been done throughout the land to be sealed and protected from judgment. These were those who had not defiled themselves with idol worship and remained true to the Lord.

“Then I heard the Lord say to the other men, ‘Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all—old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin right here at the Temple.’ So they began by killing the seventy leaders” (Ezekiel 9:5-6).

            All who did not have the seal of the Lord were killed. The seal of God was a sign of His divine protection, just as the blood on the doorposts in Egypt was a sign for the death angel to pass over that home. Similarly, upon Jesus’ return or through death, those whose names are written in the Book of Life are sealed by God. The Bible says: “And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

            The Lord told His executioners to begin at the temple, and the 70 leaders were the first to be killed. Why was this? The Bible says: For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17). The ones who are to know the Lord is responsible for living better than those who do not. Judah knew the way of the Lord, but failed to live accordingly. The leaders were responsible for leading the people to God but failed in their roles and lived just as unholy as the people they were supposed to lead. Therefore, they were the first to be on God’s chopping block.

“ ’Defile the Temple!’ the Lord commanded. ‘Fill its courtyards with corpses. Go!’ So they went and began killing throughout the city” (Ezekiel 9:7).

            During Moses’ day, the priests would be considered ceremonially unclean if they were to touch a dead body. The Lord had strict instructions regarding their contact with anyone or anything that had died. The Bible says: “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Give the following instructions to the priests, the descendants of Aaron.’ ‘A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean by touching the dead body of a relative. The only exceptions are his closest relatives—his mother or father, son or daughter, brother, or his virgin sister who depends on him because she has no husband. But a priest must not defile himself and make himself unclean for someone who is related to him only by marriage’ ” (Leviticus 21:1-4). To touch the dead would make the priest defiled. Therefore, when the Lord commanded for His temple to be defiled with dead bodies, this was symbolic of the defilement that had already taken place within the temple spiritually and naturally.

            The temple was no longer a place of holiness where the Most High could dwell. It had been defiled by the sins of the people and their priests. The priests had allowed the people to desecrate their Lord’s house with foreign gods and altars. Not only did the people fail to honor the Lord and His house, but the priests entertained their debauchery as well. The priests did not uphold God’s laws and decrees. They did not teach the people the ways of the Lord. The priests allowed them to feel comfortable in their sins and committed the same evil practices themselves. They were thus guilty of spiritual malpractice.[1]

What is malpractice? According to various dictionaries, including Merriam-Webster, malpractice is a dereliction of professional duty, misconduct, negligence, or failure to exercise or meet a standard of professional care, resulting in injury, loss, or damage. According to some statistics, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States.[2] Researchers from Johns Hopkins Hospital performed a study that concluded medical errors are the cause of 250,000 deaths each year.[3] So, if these are the statistics for deaths in the medical field, how much more would they be for those in the spiritual?

Leaders within the body of Christ are supposed to lead people away from sin and to Jesus, but how can they do so when many of them are the main ones advocating for their sin of choice? For example, Judah’s leaders did not teach God’s law; they broke it. The leaders did not live holy, but only looked the part. The Bible says: “And I said: ‘Hear now, O heads of Jacob, And you rulers of the house of Israel: Is it not for you to know justice? You who hate good and love evil; Who strip the skin from My people, and the flesh from their bones’ ” (Micah 3:1-2).

 The priests did not keep foreign idols from the Lord’s temple, but they invited the idolatry in and made altars for their gods. Instead of warning the people to return to the one true God, the false prophets encouraged the people to continue in sin as if their defiance would not bring about undesirable consequences. Even their legal system was corrupt, and the judges took bribes and perverted the cause of justice. The Bible says: “Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who make my people stray; Who chant ‘Peace’ while they chew with their teeth, But who prepare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths” (Micah 3:5). The false prophets chewed the people and spit them out, not in a cannibalistic manner, but they robbed the people of finances and wealth, a true relationship with God through genuine repentance, and the opportunity to regain His favor, only to give them lies and falsehoods in return with no regard for their spiritual well-being.

            The same is happening today. The President of the United States made 2024’s Resurrection Sunday a day to celebrate men wanting to be women, ultimately self-made eunuchs, and women wanting to be men. So-called Pastor and Democrat Senator Warnock, aka Warlock, had this to say when rebutting Representative Mike Johnson’s stance against the President’s actions: [Apparently, the Speaker finds trans people abhorrent, and I think he ought to think about that. But this is just one more instance of folks who do not know how to lead us trying to divide us. And this is the opposite of the Christian faith. Jesus centered to marginalize. He centered the poor. And in a moment like this, we need voices, particularly voices of faith, who would use our faith not as a weapon to beat other people down but as a bridge to bring all of us together”]. This is a prime example of why the United States and its leaders from the White House to the Church House will be judged as well as the whole nation. We can’t support what God is against, even when it is popular. The Bible says:  Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them” (John 14:21). Jesus did not change God’s law but fulfilled it perfectly (Matthew 5:17). Therefore, it the Lord went as far as to rain down fire upon the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their evil, how much more will He do to any nation who defies Him? Therefore, the Lord had something to say about those who spoke falsely in His name. The Bible says: “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst” (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). The Lord did not and does not take kindly to those of the cloth who lead people astray.

 

“While they were out killing, I was all alone. I fell face down on the ground and cried out, ‘O Sovereign Lord! Will your fury against Jerusalem wipe out everyone left in Israel?’ ” (Ezekiel 9:8).

          Ezekiel was shown the devastation concerning Judah as the Lord carried out His wrath upon the nation. Yet, he took no joy in what he saw nor gloated regarding the punishment of the wicked. Instead, he interceded on their behalf, just as Moses had done on behalf of Israel. The Bible says: “ ‘The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a terrible sin, but I will go back up to the Lord on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgiveness for your sin.’ So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a terrible sin these people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves. But now, if you will only forgive their sin—but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!” (Exodus 32:30-32). Moses not only rebuked the people for what they had done against the Lord, but he interceded on their behalf by asking the Lord to have mercy on them. Likewise, as leaders in the body of Christ, one should always pray for and over the people, intercede on their behalf, and ask for the Lord’s mercy in forgiving those who had done wrong. Similarly, Ezekiel interceded on behalf of the people, not because of their deserving God’s mercy, but because of who God is.

“Then he said to me, ‘The sins of the people of Israel and Judah are very, very great. The entire land is full of murder; the city is filled with injustice. They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see it! The Lord has abandoned the land!’ So I will not spare them or have any pity on them. I will fully repay them for all they have done” (Ezekiel 9:9-10).

            God heard Ezekiel’s intercession, but His reply did not come as he would have wanted. The Lord’s answer was likened to a parent who had had enough of their child’s insolence. The Lord once again gives a synopsis of Judah’s sins in His response to Ezekiel. Judah had done great evil before the Lord, such as murder, lying, stealing, cheating, worshiping idols, killing their children, and much more. Their sins required nothing less than a mighty response in the form of judgment from the Lord. They refused to change, and their evil was increasing the longer the Lord waited. Therefore, it came time for them to be judged due to their failure to repent and change. The Bible says: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

            Judah tried to make a mockery out of God and His temple, but the Lord was the One who had the last laugh. God’s wrath was well-deserved, and when He finally poured out His judgments upon them, there was no turning back, for He had been merciful to them, but they rejected Him. Yet, even in His judgments, He is a God of mercy and justice. The Bible says: “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is life eternal through Jesus Christ the Lord” (Romans 6:23). The Lord does not want anyone to be lost, but the choice is up to each and every individual. Yet, the day is coming when the living and dead will be judged according to their deeds.

“Then the man in linen clothing, who carried the writer’s case, reported back and said, “I have done as you commanded” (Ezekiel 9:11).

            The Man in linen with the writer’s case, Jesus, had carried out what the Father had asked. Those who were to be sealed had been sealed, and those who were not received their judgment as the six men had been told to carry out accordingly. Those who had the seal of God were protected from His wrath and did not receive the judgments that had fallen on the wicked. This is why we always want to be in good standing with the Lord; He protects those who are His and hears when His children cry out to Him for help and protection. This is not to say that one will not encounter trials, but even in the midst of trials, one can see the Lord’s hands in operation if one stays at His feet.

 



[1] "Definition of MALPRACTICE," Merriam-Webster, last modified November 3, 2023, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malpractice.

 

[2] Christy Bieber, "Medical Malpractice Statistics Of 2024," Forbes Advisor, last modified February 5, 2024, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/legal/personal-injury/medical-malpractice-statistics/.

 

[3] Miller & Zois, "Medical Malpractice Statistics | 2024 Update," Medical Malpractice, last modified January 18, 2024, https://www.millerandzois.com/medical-malpractice/medical-malpractice-statistics/.