Ezekiel 10 -- 13
Ezekiel's second vision revealed the dispatching of seven men, one to spare the faithful minority and six to slay the idolatrous majority. One man . . . clothed with linen marked the foreheads of all who remained faithful to the Lord (Ezekiel 9:2-7).
Ezekiel had observed the leaders of Jerusalem, who, it seemed, were being blessed and called to remain in charge as the chosen ones and the favored people, while so many others had been killed or taken captive. But, in reality, it was the deprived captives in Babylon who eventually learned, through suffering, to repent of their pagan idolatry and trust in the Lord God of Israel. God promised a great future to those who turned to Him. What is important to remember about this marking process is how careful the Lord is to point out individual responsibility. Participating in the public Temple worship did not distinguish the elect remnant; it was their repentance of sin.
While the wicked majority was being judged, the godly minority was being purified. Ezekiel viewed the movement of the glory of God as He prepared to leave the Temple; he saw the very Presence of the Lord, which had rested above the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, just above the mercy seat. The Presence of the Lord moved slowly, departing from the Holy of Holies, and lingering briefly above the threshold of the House (the Temple) (Ezekiel 9:3). It seems that God was expressing His sorrow and reluctance over leaving the place where He once chose to dwell. Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the House, and stood over the cherubims. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord's House (10:18-19).
The cherubim, living creatures (1:5), are angelic servants of God (Genesis 3:24). Two cherubim stood over the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the Word of God (Exodus 25:18-20); their position was symbolic of their protective care and high esteem for the Word of God.
They contrasted with Israel's leadership about whom God said: You have not . . . executed My judgments (Ezekiel 11:12). As a result, the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city (11:23) and made a temporary stop on the Mount of Olives before forsaking Jerusalem, the city which the Lord chose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His Name there (I Kings 14:21). But it appears the Israelites were so involved in their religious activities that they were not even aware that God had forsaken them.
Then a prophecy that reached far into the future was given: I will put a new Spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh . . . That they may walk in My statutes, and keep My ordinances, and do them: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God (Ezekiel 11:19-20). In fact, God promises the same for all who will repent of their sins and humble themselves before Him (Matthew 18:4; 23:12; James 4:6, 10; I Peter 5:5-6). God has scattered the proud. . . . He has put down the mighty . . . and exalted them of low degree (Luke 1:51-52).
As the One who gives a new Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19). This is the promise fulfilled when one accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord (Gal. 4:4-7).
12:3 thee stuff for removing means your belongings for captivity; 12:10 burden means oracle or prophecy; 12:18 with carefulness means with fearfulness and anxiety; 12:23 effect means fulfillment; 13:9 upon means against; 13:10 untempered morter means whitewash; 13:18 women that sew pillows to all armholes means false prophetesses who sew magic charms on divining garments and fasten protective charms to their wrists; 13:21 kerchiefs means veils; 13:23 divine means practice.
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Memory Verse for the Week: