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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ezekiel Series: Chapter 21 (Written Version)


Babylon, The Sword of Judgment

Ezekiel 21

“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to her: ‘This is what the Lord says: I am against you. I will draw my sword from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked” (Ezekiel 21:1-3).

            The Lord used various parallels and metaphors to help His people understand the nature of their ways and the judgments they were facing. In the previous chapter, the Lord instructed Ezekiel to prophesy against the south of Israel, for fire would destroy it. Now, the Lord had another Word for Ezekiel. This time, the Lord used a metaphoric and literal tool that would be used to destroy them—the sword. Unlike today, Israel was quite familiar with swords being used in battle with their enemies. Their sword would equate to today’s gun or rifle. The sword was a destructive tool used to fight or defend one’s self against their enemies. Unfortunately, unlike other battles in Israel’s past, the Lord would be the One swinging the sword, and Babylon would be used as His sharpest weapon of choice.

            No building or person would go unscathed, including the Lord’s temple. Judah had made the mistake in thinking that they were protected because of the Lord’s temple being in their midst. Sadly, they failed to realize that the Lord wanted to live in their hearts and not just a building made of stone. The Lord gave this to say through the prophet Jeremiah:  Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!  If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless” (Jeremiah 7:4-8). The people did not want to transform their ways. Instead, they listened to the false prophets who gave them words of peace and prosperity instead of fire, famine, and the sword due to their lack of repentance. Therefore, the righteous and unrighteous would feel the effects of God’s wrath.

            Remember that Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, Abednego, and Ezekiel were righteous but were still taken captive. The righteous do not always escape being in the fire, but the Lord is there with them. This is something to remember as this nation and the world grows increasingly wicked. Some of God’s faithful may lose their lives in the judgments that will happen to this nation and abroad. Nevertheless, one can rest assured that all who are saved will not die a second death, but those who are lost will spend an eternity without Christ in hell. The Bible says: Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6). We definitely want to be in the first resurrection should we die before Jesus returns. 


To Be print on AmazonTBA

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