Israel's leaders refuse to listen to the prophets of God. The consequences are inevitible (Ezek. chap. 20). God guides Babylon to fulfill His judgment against Israel (21:3). A fork in the road. Babylon heads for Judah (21:18-23). God accuses the people of open sin with no shame (21:24).
The king and the religious leaders of Judah had expressed growing hatred for the prophet Jeremiah because of his messages of judgment against them. There comes a time when God says: Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer (Prov. 1:28). It was now too late to pray for God to spare Jerusalem from destruction. However, Ezekiel records: Certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire (ask for guidance) of the Lord, and sat before me (Ezek. 20:1). Then God gave Ezekiel the following message for them: I will not be inquired of by you . . . . I chose Israel. . . . But they rebelled against Me. . . . they despised My judgments . . . for their heart went after their idols (20: 3,5,8,16).
Following this, Ezekiel received a terrifying message from the Lord for Israel: I am against thee, and will draw forth My sword. . . . to give it into the hand of the slayer (21:3,11).
Ezekiel's prophecy of the sharpened sword was a message of impending destruction. King Zedekiah, the profane wicked prince of Israel (21:25), and the people would soon be captured. Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, who, no doubt, congratulated himself on his triumph in Judah. But, he was unknowingly being used to fulfill the judgment of God upon His rebellious people. This is a reminder that the lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord (Prov. 16:33).
Over and over again God orchestrates events, people, and circumstances to fulfill His righteous purposes.
No king has been anointed to sit on the throne of David in Israel for the past 2500 years. As Ezekiel foretold: Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem (turban), and take off the crown. . . . I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it (to) Him (Ezek. 21:26-27). In the time of Jesus, an Edomite named Herod was merely a puppet king appointed by Rome to govern only the Jews of Judea.
According to the purpose and prophetic Word of God, the promised land will continue to exist without a king until the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings, and Lord of lords (I Tim. 6:15).
Thought for Today:
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name (Matt. 6:9).
As the One who will gather His people from all nations and will purge out the false from the true (Ezek. 20:34-38). When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. . . . And these (goats) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Matt. 25:31-46; also 3:12).
20:5 I lifted up mine hand = bound myself by an oath; 21:2 drop thy (your) word toward =pour out your words against; 21:13 the sword contemn even the rod =there is a testing in store by the sword since you despised the rod (refused to be corrected).
Pray for Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Rep. Danny Davis (IL), Rep. John Kline (MN), Rep. Sander Levin (MI), Rep. Kendrick Meek (FL), and Gov. Bill Ritter (CO) • Country: Armenia (3.8 million) southwest Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia • Major languages: Armenian and Russian • Religious freedom • 78.5% Armenian Apostolic Church; 3.3% Muslim; .05% Protestant; 17.7% Atheist/Agnostic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will keep you from speaking evil (Ps. 34:13).
Optional Reading: Revelation 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 1:29