Ezekiel's mission: Denounce their terrible deeds in public (Ezek. chap. 22). Who will save them (22:30)? Two sisters betray God, causing destruction (23:2-3,30,46-49). Who are they (23:4)? The Israelites' complete corruption in a boiling pot (24:3). Judgment follows (24:6-14). Did you get the message when Ezekiel's wife died (24:15-24)?
On the very day that God revealed to Ezekiel that his precious wife, the desire (delight) of thine eyes, was to die, God also said: Yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down (Ezek. 24:16). Ezekiel was told by the Lord that, after his wife's death, he was to refrain from all the conventional signs of mourning for the dead. It was not that he was to be insensitive to the death of his wife. But, his own personal grief was to give way to the far greater heartbreak over the death of the nation of God and the destruction of His Temple which took place the same day Ezekiel's wife died. Thus saith the Lord God; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled (plundered). And the company . . . shall slay their sons and their daughters. . . . and ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord God (23:46-47,49).
News of Ezekiel's unusual reaction to his wife's death must have spread quickly, for the people asked: Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us? (24:19). Then came the tragic news from Ezekiel: Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will profane My Sanctuary . . . and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword. . . . when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord God (24:21-24).
Eventually, a messenger who had escaped the devastation of Jerusalem arrived in Babylon to report the city's destruction (33:21). The Israelites' acceptance of false gods and their indifference to the Word of God had brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and the death of their own sons and daughters, just as they had been forewarned by Jeremiah in Jerusalem and by Ezekiel in Babylonia (Gal. 6:7-8).
Often we see people grieving over material losses but showing little concern for their own or their children's eternal welfare. Jesus said that His disciples should not be preoccupied with earthly things, not even our daily needs: For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. . . . But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these (material and otherwise) things shall be added unto you (Luke 12:30; Matt. 6:33).
Thought for Today:
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest (Matt. 9:38).
In the denunciation of Israel's false prophets (Ezek. 22: 25-28). Compare these words with those Christ spoke against the scribes and Pharisees. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23:13-36).
22:7 they set light by father and mother =they treated parents with contempt; dealt by oppression with the stranger =treat oppressively and suffer extortion from a foreigner; they vexed the fatherless and the widow =they wrong the orphan and the widow; 22:12 gifts =bribes; 23:16 doted upon =lusted for them, was infatuated with; 23:20 doted on their paramours =lusted after their male prostitutes; 24:17 tire =turban.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Government Official: Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI) • Country: Australia (19 million) an island continent between the Indian and Pacific Oceans • Major languages: English and native languages • Religious freedom • 40% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 3% Orthodox; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Call to the Lord for help; He will save you out of your troubles (Ps. 34:17).
Optional Reading: Revelation 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 1:29