It Is Finished Audio

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ezekiel Series: Chapter 18 (Written Version)


Individual Accountability

Ezekiel 18

“The word of the Lord came to me: What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:’ ‘The parents 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 everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die’” (Ezekiel 18:1-4).

            Judah had been found guilty of committing despicable sins against the Most High. The Lord had repeatedly warned that judgment was coming to their shores through His servants, the prophets. Yet, they plugged their ears and rejected what they knew to be true by discounting it as the mere ramblings of crazy men. Therefore, the Lord would deal with them according to what their behavior demanded. He had another message to give to Ezekiel about Judah’s national judgment based on individual sins.

            Some people in Judah thought it was unfair to judge them for the sins of their ancestors. They had a famous proverb that stated as much. However, the Lord was basing His judgment on their current state.


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ezekiel Series: Chapter 17 (Written Version)


The Two Eagles and the Vine

Ezekiel 17

“The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell it to the Israelites as a parable. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar, he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders” (Ezekiel 17:1-4).

            Once again, Ezekiel receives another Word from the Lord, but this time, it was directed toward Zedekiah, king of Judah. However, let’s go over a bit of background leading up to the reign of Zedekiah. After the death of King Josiah, who was the last king of Judah to follow the Lord, Jehoahaz, his son, became his successor for three months (2 Kings 23:29-37). Pharaoh Necho took Jehoahaz to Egypt after he dethroned and replaced him with Josiah’s other son, Eliakim, thus changing his name to Jehoiakim. During his reign, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah and left Jehoiakim on the throne, but he rebelled against him after three years. After this, the Lord sent Judah’s enemies against him, for it was the Lord’s will to bring Judah to ruin because of Manasseh, Judah’s former king’s sins. Jehoiakim ruled for eleven years. After which, his son, Jehoiachin, succeeded him on the throne.

            Jehoiachin’s reign was very short-lived, a mere three months when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Judah and took him prisoner, along with his other family members, the elite class, and government officials in the city. However, Nebuchadnezzar replaced the king with his uncle, Mattaniah, and changed his name to Zedekiah. Similar to his uncle, he later rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar and the Lord, so this allegory God gave Ezekiel was in response to Zedekiah’s pride (2 Kings 24:15-20).

            The mighty eagle in this text represents the power of Babylon, who came to Judah with its military might and took its king captive. King Nebuchadnezzar was God’s instrument of judgment that He used against Judah. Therefore, the first part of this metaphor details the events of Babylon dethroning Jehoiachin and replacing him with Zedekiah.

“He took one of the seedlings of the land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water, and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs. ‘But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water. It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine’” (Ezekiel 17:5-8).

            The seed that was described here is Zedekiah, who was placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar. Zedekiah had been given just enough power to control the land, but not to become too powerful, for he was still subject to the authority of Babylon. He would have been able to remain in Judah as king, but the other eagle, Egypt, became more appealing to Zedekiah as he sought to have an alliance with Pharaoh to gain his independence from Babylon despite already being in a good position and was allowed to thrive, while under Babylonian rule.

To Be print TBA

Ezekiel Video Series: Chapter 17

Monday, May 20, 2024

Ezekiel Series: Chapter 16 (Written Version)


Jerusalem, The Adulterous Wife

Ezekiel 16

“The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable practices and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised” (Ezekiel 16:1-5).

            Repetition, repetition, repetition! Yes, the Lord wanted to ensure through constant repetition of Judah’s sins that His people could not say they were not warned regarding the judgments against them and why. Therefore, this is the longest chapter in Ezekiel that carries an extensive indictment of Judah’s adulterous ways as deemed by the Lord her Creator. The Lord served as the judge and jury, while Ezekiel was the prosecuting attorney who laid out the charges against them. Therefore, the Lord gave Ezekiel another Word regarding Jerusalem’s future.

            Jerusalem, also known as the city of David, was not originally in the hands of Israel. It had initially been Canaanite territory where the Jebusites lived. However, the Lord gave David victory when he besieged the city and took it for himself after he had become king over Israel (2 Samuel 5:6-10). The Jebusites, a part of the Amorite tribes, were descendants of Jebus, a descendant of Ham, and the son of Noah. The Jebusites were pagan worshipers and participated in abominable practices that angered the Lord. Therefore, He forbade the Israelites to intermarry with them, which they later defied, and ordered for them to be completely destroyed. (Deuteronomy 20:16-17). Similarly, Israel defied the Lord and continued in the practices of the heathen nations, thus bringing about judgment upon themselves.

            To help Israel understand their prior and present state, the Lord used the metaphor of a baby with an uncut biblical cord still covered in afterbirth. This description is indeed very graphic, but the Lord needed Judah to see the serious nature of their condition before He made them His own. Israel had been living as slaves in the land of Egypt, where no one cared whether she lived or died. Yet, the Lord took pity on her and brought her out of a place full of pagan worship to make them His. They were not faithful to the Lord and had taken on the Egyptian ways of worship, which is why they requested that Aaron make a golden calf in the wilderness.

To Be Continued in Print...TBA