Ezekiel – Chapter 39

Verse 1 – “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal;

The story of the battle continues. This chapter describes the defeat of evil and the triumph of God and His people.

Verse 2 – “and I will turn you around ad lead you on, bringing you up from far north and bring you against the mountains of Israel.

Verse 3 – “Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand.

Verse 4 – “You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured (Revelation 19:17, 18).

Verse 5 – “You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken,” says the Lord God.

Verse 6 – “And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coast-lands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

Verse 7 – “So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.

Verse 8 – “Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord God. “This is the day of which I have spoken.

Verse 9 – “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years.

This clearly states that He is the defender of Israel. The carnage left in the aftermath of the defeat of Gog will be so massive that the Israelites will fuel their fires for seven years. This gives us some idea of how enormous this army is that comes to fight God and His people.

Verse 10 – “They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord God.

Verse 11 – “It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial-place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hammon Gog.

This burial will be so massive that it will block travel through the land. The only major valley that ran in an east-west direction in Israel was the Jezreel Valley, a vital link on the route from Egypt to Damascus in biblical times. This valley will be the location of the great battle of the tribulation period known as Armageddon. Revelation 16:16 – And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, “Armageddon.”

Verse 12 – “For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land.

Verse 13 – “Indeed all the people of the land will be burying them, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified.” says the Lord God.

Verse 14 – “They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search.

Verse 15 – “The search party will pass through the land; and whenever anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hammon Gog.

Verse 16 – “The name of the city will also be Hamonah. Thus they shall cleanse the land.” ‘

Verse 17 – “And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God, ‘Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: “Assemble yourselves and come; gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you, a great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.

Here is what I find amazing about this verse: The Lord told Ezekiel to speak, then; to call them in his day and time, but yet this battle had not taken place as of yet. All those centuries ago, God’s Word went forth, and when the battle is over, the birds and the beasts will know where to go and what to do! Wow!

Verse 18 – You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams and lambs, of goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.

Verse 19 – You shall eat fat until you are full, and drink blood until you are drunk, at My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you.

Verse 20 – You shall be filled at My table with horses and riders, with mighty men and with all the men of war,” says the Lord God.

Notice another thing: The men of war are riding horses, not driving tanks. I think this battle takes place after the millennial reign and all the military tanks, planes, and ships, were destroyed before it began, so all that is left are horses.

Verse 21 – “I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.

Verse 22 – “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward.

Verse 23 – “The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword.

Verse 24 – “According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face form them.” ‘

Verse 25 – “Therefore thus say the Lord God: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name –

Verse 26 – ‘after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.

It will be brought to remembrance the shame of their transgressions.

Verse 27 – ‘When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies; lands , and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations,

Verse 28 – ‘then they shall know that I am the Lord God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their own land, and left none of them captive any longer.

Verse 29 – ‘And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord God.”

Both, in this prophesy and in Joel 2:28, 29, God promises to pour out His Spirit on mankind. This began to be fulfilled at Pentecost, when God’s Holy Spirit came to live in  all who believe!

 

 

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Ezekiel – Chapter 38

Attack by Gog

Verse 1 – Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

Verse 2 – “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Verse 3 – “and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.

In Revelation 20:8, Gog and Magog are mentioned as coming against the saints. Revelation 20 verse 7 says, “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison (8) and will go out and deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, is as the sand of the sea.”

Instead of thinking of Gog as a country or person, perhaps Gog represents the “beast” as well as Satan. Gog and Magog represent all that is evil that opposes God, maybe.

Verse 4 – “I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.

Verse 5 – “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shields helmet;

Libya and Ethiopia, mixed with the northern invaders, and are tribes from the extreme south, to show that this is a general combination of the foes of God’s people.

Verse 6 – “Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops – many people are with you. (Gomer, one of the sons of Japheth, Genesis 10:2. Togarmah was one of the sons of Gomer.)

Verse 7 – “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them.

Verse 8 – “After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.

Verse 9 – “You shall ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”

Verse 10 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:

Verse 11 – “You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, having neither bars nor gates’ –

Verse 12 – “to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell int he midst of the land.

Verse 13 – “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’ ” ‘

Verse 14 – “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it?

Verse 15 – “Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.

Verse 16 – “You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”

This invasion will take place in the end times, after the people of Israel have been restored to their promise land and are living securely under the Messiah’s rule and protection.

Judgment of Gog

Verse 17 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?

Verse 18 – “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face.

Verse 19 – “For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel,

Verse 20 – ‘so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the fields, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’

Revelation 16:18 – And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.

Verse 21 – “I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every mans sword will be against his brother.

God will bring such confusion on those who oppose His people that they will kill one another. All those who have set themselves against God will be destroyed.

Verse 22 – “And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire and brimstone.

Revelation 16:21 – And great hail from heaven fell upon men every hailstone about the weight of a talent (a talent can vary – 75 lbs). And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.

Verse 23 – “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ‘

God and God alone is the Protector of Israel. There’s coming a day when all the enemies of God’s chosen people will be completely destroyed!

 

Ezekiel – Chapter 37

Vision of Dry Bones

This vision illustrates the promise of new life and a nation restored, both physically and spiritually. The dry bones are a picture of the Jews in captivity – scattered and dead. The two sticks represent the reunion of the entire nation of Israel that had divided into the north and south kingdoms. Ezekiel felt he was speaking to the dead as he preached to the exiles because they rarely responded to his message. But these dry bones responded!

Verse 1 – The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.

Verse 2 – Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry.

Kind of like many of us; in the state of being dead and dried up for a while before being brought to life through Jesus Christ. Some are in this state longer than others.

Verse 3 – And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

Verse 4 – Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!

Verse 5 – ‘Thus says the Lord God to these bones; “Surely I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.

These dry bones represent spiritually dead people. Just as God promised to restore His nation, He can restore us, no matter how dry or dead we may be. God is the giver of life and when He breathes there will be life!

Verse 6 – “I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that  I am the Lord.” ‘ ”

Verse 7 – So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.

Ezekiel is watching this take place; the ligaments, called here sinews, are added in order to unite the bones; then the flesh, the whole muscular system, arteries, and veins; the skin, the dermis and the epidermis.

Verse 8 – Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

Verse 9 – Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, “Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ‘ ”

Verse 10 – So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

The bodies did not come to life until they received an infusion of the Spirit (the words for “wind,” breath,” and “spirit,” are identical in Hebrew and Greek).

Verse 11 – Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’

Verse 12 – “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

Israel’s re-birth depended on God’s power of resurrection. John 5:25, John 5:28, John 5:29: “The hour is coming when they that are in their graves shall hear His voice, and come forth.”

Verse 13 – “Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.

Verse 14 – “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’ ”

Verse 15 – Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

Verse 16 – “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’

The first stick was for Judah, the southern kingdom. The other was for Joseph, because he was the father of Ephraim, the leading tribe in the northern kingdom.

Verse 17 – “Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.

God’s intention is to join the two kingdoms again.

Verse 18 – “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’ –

Verse 19 – “say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” ‘

They are about to become one nation again, since the division when Solomon died.

Verse 20 – “And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.

Verse 21 – “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land;

This took place in 1948 when Israel became a recognized nation.

Verse 22 – “and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.

Politically speaking they never had a king again from that day to this. This verse speaks of a time when Jesus, King of Kings, will rule and reign over all the earth.

Verse 23 – “They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

Verse 24 – “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.

Verse 25 – “Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.

The Messiah was often called David because He is David’s descendant. This kingdom will be forever. 1 Corinthians 15:24 – Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

Verse 26 – “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them in their midst forevermore.

Verse 27 – “My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Verse 28 – “The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” ‘ ”

This tabernacle is Jesus Christ, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Revelation 21:3 – And I heard a loud voice form heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Ezekiel – Chapter 36

Verse 1 – “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord!

Verse 2 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,’ ” ‘

Verse 3 – “therefore prophesy, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people” –

Verse 4 – ‘therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, the hills the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around –

“The ancient heights” refers to the promise land – the land of Israel. Israel’s enemies challenged not only Israel’s boundaries but also God’s promises to Israel. We can still see this challenge today. Israel has been constantly attacked from the beginning in order to wipe them out and take their land. The land that Israel occupies has and always will be theirs, God will see to it!

Verse 5 – ‘therefore thus says the Lord God: “Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.” ‘

If you noticed in this verse, God said, “My land.” In Genesis 12:1-3, God is telling Abraham to get out of his own country because He’s going to take him to a land where God will make him a great nation. That land belongs to Israel and God also said, “I will curse him who curses you.” When other surrounding nations have the destruction of Israel in their hearts, God will destroy them.

Verse 6 – “Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations.”

Verse 7 – ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God: “I have lifted My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame.

If God protected Israel so ferociously back them, do you not think He will do the same today?

Verse 8 – “But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are bout to come.

The time is near when the people would come out of captivity from Babylon and settle back in their land. This encouraged God’s people when Ezekiel spoke these words, there was hope.

Verse 9 – “For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.

This is in the relationship of the Covenant of blessings followed by obedience to the Mosaic law. The land will be literally cultivated again and God will be at peace with His people.

Verse 10 – “I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.

Verse 11 – “I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

God also says that the latter house shall be greater than the former in Haggai 2:9. Look at Job 42:12 – Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning, for he had… He ended up with double of what he had started with. When we as Christians or Jews, go through loses, keep trusting and keep believing, God will turn it all around to blessings we can’t even imagine. He’s a good God and always wants the best for those who believe.

Verse 12 – “Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, (the land), My people Israel, they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of their children.”

God is still speaking directly to the land in which He gave Israel.

Verse 13 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they say to you, ‘You devour men and bereave your nation of children,’

Verse 14 – “therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nation anymore,” says the Lord God.

God says, “I will bless thee, O land, that thou shall bring forth many sons and daughters, and this reproach shall cease for ever.

Verse 15 – “Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore, nor bear the reproach of the peoples anymore, nor shall you cause your nation to stumble anymore,” says the Lord God.’ ”

This blessing is yet to be fulfilled because Israel is still taunted today by other nations. However, there is a day coming when our precious King sets up His Kingdom and no more will there be people who bring war against God’s chosen ones.

Verse 16 – Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

Verse 17 – “Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity.

Verse 18 – “Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for the idols with which they had defiled it.

Verse 19 – “So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds.

Verse 20 – “When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name – when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.’

Even though God expelled His people from the promised land for the purpose of chastening, their exile reflected unfavorable upon God among foreign nations. The other nations believed that if a people were forced from their land by conquest, famine, disease, etc., it was a sign that their God was not strong enough to protect or care for them. So in essence, they had profaned His very character and reputation. Kind of like when others see a professing Christian act in a way they know is not “Christian like.”

Verse 21 – “But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.

Verse 22 – “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went.

Verse 23 – “And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God,” when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.

Do you know that this is the very reason why Moses and Aaron did not go into the promise land? Numbers 20:12 – then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”

So in order for God to protect His holy name, as He did after Moses, He allowed a remnant to return to their land. His people had the responsibility of representing Him properly to the world. We should ask ourselves, “How is my ambassadorship representing God’s kingdom?”

Verse 24 – “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.

Verse 25 – “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

This figurative language is based on water purification practices when the priest threw water on persons or objects to cleanse them of impurity. The great flood was used to remove the impurities and wickedness from the earth that had been caused by man. In the New Covenant, Christs’ blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness – washed in the blood.

Verse 26 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

A new heart – God will change our affections and passions to the point of wanting what is of Him. A new spirit – He will renew our minds, enlighten our understanding, correct our judgments, and refine our will. A heart of flesh – one that can feel, enjoy, feel love towards God and to others, and be a proper habitation for the Living God – “born again.”

Verse 27 -“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

When people receive God’s Holy Spirit, it enables them to follow decrees and keep His laws. No matter how hard we try to do everything right, its impossible without the Holy Spirit living and directing us, on the inside.

Verse 28 – “Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

Verse 29 – “I will deliver you from your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.

I will call for the grain and multiply it – God causes all things to multiply in the earth by not allowing any more famine.

Verse 30 – “And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.

How amazing that this verse refers to the complete restoration under the Messiah in the end times.

Verse 31 – “Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.

After we have been “born-again,” sometimes we look back on our lives and remember just how evil we were. This causes us to loathe, hate, how we acted. Repentance is the driving motivation behind restoration. Romans 2:4 – Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

Verse 32 – “Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”

God’s people had become so callous that they had lost all sensitivity to their sins. Kind of sounds like our society today where people will lie about something and then say, I miss spoke. A lie is still a lie. These verses tell us what we must do: First remember and acknowledge our sins, then despise them, and then repent. We measure ourselves against God’s standards, not other peoples. Let the Holy Spirit guide you to right and wrong. His Spirit will never contradict the written Word of God.

Verse  33 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

Verse 34 – “The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by.

Verse 35 – “So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’

Verse 36 – “Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruin places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.”

Has God ever completely restored an area in your life that you thought was completely gone? How about your marriage, your business, a relationship with another, or the relationship with Him. He’s in the restoration business and it pleases Him to do so.

Verse 37 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock.

Verse 38 – “Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ‘ ”

All God’s people had to do was ask for His forgiveness and turn towards Him and He would restore them . Same is true now for you and me.

Ezekiel – Chapter 35

Verse 1 – Moreover the word of the Lord came to me saying,

Verse 2 – “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir and prophesy against it,

Verse 3 – “and say to it, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against you; I will stretch out My hand against you, and make you most desolate;

Verse 4 – I shall lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

In this prophesy, Ezekiel is probably using Edom (Seir) to represent all the nations opposed to God’s people. Edom had offered to help destroy Jerusalem and rejoiced when the city fell. Edom’s longstanding hostility against God’s people resulted in God’s judgment.

Verse 5 – “Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end,

Verse 6 – “therefore, as I live,” says the Lord God, “I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.

Verse 7 – “Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns.

Verse 8 – “And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall.

Ezekiel not only prophesied against the people of Edom, but also against the mountains and land. Their home was Mount Seir and their mountains symbolized power and strength and pride, thinking they could get away with evil. Edom’s desire for revenge turned against them.

Verse 9 – “I will make you perpetually desolate, and your cities shall be uninhabited; then you shall know that I am the Lord.

Verse 10 – “Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them; although the Lord was there,

Verse 11 – “Therefore, as I live,” says the Lord God, “I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I have judged you.

The principle in this text is: “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth etc.” The punishment would fit the crime.

Verse 12 – “Then you shall know that I am the Lord. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.’

Verse 13 – “Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.”

Edom had watched Jerusalem fall. Then they boasted that they would go and take their inheritance – the land. Watch out what you say when you see a Christian fall because you never know all the facts. The same calamity that fell on them just might fall on you.

Verse 14 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate.

Verse 15 – “As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as Edom – all of it! Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ‘

As Edom rejoiced over Judah’s fall, so the world would later rejoice over Edom’s fall. When God restores Israel’s fortunes in the future, He will judge the other nations based on their treatment of Israel.

Ezekiel – Chapter 34

The False Shepherds

Verse 1 – And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

Verse 2 – “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

The shepherds are the political leaders, kings, and spiritual leaders. Ezekiel shows what the rulers should have been, what they have been, and what in the coming times they will be when the True King shall reign in the true kingdom.

Verse 3 – “You eat fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fat-lings but you do not feed the flock.

Verse 4 – “The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.

That one verse has a lot to say about a person that God appoints to lead His people. I believe a flock, a congregation, should be a reflection of their leadership. When only the top leaders are prospering while the rest go without, there is a problem. The same goes for the leaders in our government.

Verse 5 – “So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered.

When the flock is scattered – when they leave the protection of a good shepherd, they are exposed to worldly theology and ideas and become prey for deception.

Verse 6 – “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.

Not only had Israel been scattered and separated by the Assyrians and Babylonians, but their leaders had done a pretty good job of not attending to their needs.

Verse 7 – ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:

Verse 8 – “as I live,: says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock” –

Verse 9 – ‘therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord!

Verse 10 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”

This is a very strong warning for those who are in leadership over God’s people. God expects those chosen to be caring and help those in need or He will remove them from their position.

Verse 11 – ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.

Verse 12 – “As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.

Babylon was not the only country where the Jews had been scattered. God knew where every single individual was and He intended to bring them back to Israel. God knows where we are too. Please don’t ever think that you have strayed so far that He can’t find you!

Verse 13 – “And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country.

Because Christ is the good Shepherd, we are reminded that He can turn any tragic situation around. Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Ezekiel was reminding those in exile that a hope was in their future where God would lead, provide, and protect them.

Verse 14 – “I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.

Verse 15 – “I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God.

Verse 16 – “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”

Cause them to lie down – when complete trust is placed in the Good Shepherd, you can rest! You can sleep at night without worry for tomorrow; you can feel secure knowing that God All Might’s got this! When we depend on anything or anyone but God, frustration and disappointment will come which brings lack of peace.

Verse 17 – ‘And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats.

He will judge between men and men, between the smaller and the weaker, the greater and stronger, the rams – rulers, according to their deeds.

Verse 18 – “Is it too little for you to have eaten up the good pasture, that you must tread down with feet the residue of your pasture – and to have drunk of the clear waters, that you must foul the residue with your feet?

Verse 19 – “And as for My flock, they eat what you have trampled with your feet, and they drink what you have fouled with your feet.”

Verse 20 – ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God to them: “Behold, I Myself will judge between the fat and the lean sheep.

A bad shepherd is not only selfish but destructive. A minister who muddies the waters for others by raising unnecessary doubts, teaching false doctrines, and acting sinfully is destroying his flock’s spiritual nourishment. James 3:1 – My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. Matthew 22:14 – “For many are called, but few are chosen.” The truth is, many hear the call on their lives to teach the Word of God to others, but few will respond because they let distractions and others get in their way. Same goes for hearing the Gospel. Many will hear the true Gospel of Christ, but it takes a response for it to change a life. Teachers and ministers are held to a higher standard. Why? Because they have to lead by example according to God’s Word, not their own.

Verse 21 – “Because you have pushed with side and shoulder, butted all the weak ones with your horns, and scattered them abroad,

Verse 22 – “therefore I will save My flock, and they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

Verse 23 – “I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them – My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd.

God promised Israel to appoint a shepherd, the Messiah, from the line of David. David is also referred to by name elsewhere in scripture, that looks forward to a future restoration of Israel.

Verse 24 – “And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord, have spoken.

Verse 25 – “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.

Verse 26 – “I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.

Verse 27 – “Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. The shall be safe in their land and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.

Yoke refers to the wooden bar or frame that joined animals so they could carry or pull a heavy load. The yoke became a symbol of bondage. The word yoke here represents foreign domination.

Verse 28 – “And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid.

There is coming a day when Israel will no longer be prey to other nations. They will live in their own land, absent of any fear or harm. This is a promise from God that will come to pass when the King of Kings rules and reigns for all eternity.

Verse 29 – “I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore.

Verse 30 – “Thus they shall know that I , the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord God.’ ”

Verse 31 – “You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord God.’ ”

All through these verses, Ezekiel continually reminds the exiles that “They are God’s people!” Even though judgment had come upon them, being taken captive, lost their land, and maybe their hope, God said, “You are still mine.”

In our own lives we will go through hardships, disappointments, crises, fiery trials, and losses, but it never changes the fact that you still belong to a Mighty, Loving, Caring, God!

Ezekiel – Chapter 33

The Appointment of Ezekiel as Watchman

Verse 1 – Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

Verse 2 – “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon the land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman,

Verse 3 – ‘when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people,

Verse 4 – ‘then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head.

The trumpet was used by the watchman to warn the people of coming danger. If the watchman failed to sound a warning, then what happened next would be on his head.

Verse 5 – ‘He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.

Throughout the Bible are warnings of a coming judgment. Some will head that warning and choose to live following Christ, many will ignore and rebel. Each person is responsible for the choice they make while living because after death it’s too late!

Verse 6 – ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’

Those who God has anointed and appointed as pastors and leaders of His people are the watchman over God’s people. If people aren’t told the truth of the “Whole Gospel,” then what good is it for God to place them in that possession in the first place. Yes, there is a loving Savior who died for all the world, but an individual has to receive that love and forgiveness, however when people leave out the consequences for denying Him, then there will be consequences for them.

Verse 7 – “So you, son of man; I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.

Verse 8 – “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.

Verse 9 – “Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

Verse 10 – “Therefore you, O son of man,  say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live!” ‘

God wanted the captive to know that even though they had rebelled against Him all these past years, they didn’t have to continue in their sin. God assured them of forgiveness if they repented – turned towards God. God looks at what we will become through Christ, not at what we have been without Him. We are not to continue to live under the heavy burden of our past guilt, we give it all to Christ and He will give us rest.

Verse 11 – “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel!’

Verse 12 – “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.

Some people think because they have lived by doing good works will excuse their sin or transgressions. They assume the good works out-weigh the bad. Re-read verse 12 because God is very clear. However, when the wicked turn from their evil ways toward God, their wickedness is remembered no more.

Verse 13 – “When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die.

Plain and simple: Past good deeds will not save a person who decides to turn to a life of sin! We have no righteousness on our own. Some may disagree with me on this, but I believe this verse is referring to those who “Backslide,” and continue backsliding without true repentance.

We have no righteousness of our own. Christ took all our transgressions and iniquity when He died for the sins of the world, however, we as His children, received His righteousness in exchange when we chose to give Him our hearts and souls! So the righteousness that the children of God now have is of God, Jesus Christ.

Verse 14 – “Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right,

Verse 15 – ‘if the wicked restores the pledges, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

Make restitution when possible. Read Luke 19:1-10. It makes no sense to ask God for forgiveness for yourself when you are holding what you took wrongfully from another. Benefits obtained by dishonest means, is greed for gain and Proverbs 1:19 says that it will take away the life of its owners.

Verse 16 – None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

Verse 17 – “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair!

Verse 18 – “When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it.

Verse 19 – “But when the wicked turns form his wickedness an does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it.

When the wicked turn from their wicked ways and begin to live for Christ, we call this being “born again.” Whether some believe it or not, we were all wicked, dying in our sin before we came to Christ. Here is what God is saying, “If you continue to backslide, even though you once knew the Lord, you will die in your sin unless yo truly repent. I’ve heard too many people say, after their loved one passes away, that they used to go to church so I know they went to heaven.” However, there is not one shred of evidence that they were ever “born again” from their life-style that they lived. The Bible says we will know them by their fruit. We ought to be able to tell the difference between a believer and  none-believers.

Verse 20 – “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

Verse 21 – And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has been captured!”

It took a messenger five to six months to reach Ezekiel with the news Jerusalem had fallen captive. The siege of Jerusalem lasted two years and seven months.

Verse 22 – Now the hand of the Lord had been upon me the evening before the man came who had escaped. And He (God) had opened my mouth; so when he came to me in the morning, my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.

Remember reading at the beginning of Ezekiel’s ministry that he was unable to speak unless God opened his mouth with a specific message? After the false prophets were exposed and all of Ezekiel’s prophecies came true, he was able to open his mouth on his own again.

Verse 23 – Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

Verse 24 – “Son of man, they who inhabit those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one, and he inherited the land. But we are many; the land has been given to us as a possession.’

Verse 25 – “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “You eat meat with blood, you lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood. Should you then possess the land?

Verse 26 – “You rely on your sword, you commit abominations, and you defile one another’s wives. Should you then possess the land?” ‘

Verse 27 – “Say thus to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “As I live, surely those who are in the ruins shall fall by the sword, and the one who is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and caves shall die of the pestilence.

Verse 28 – “For I will make the land a desolate, her arrogant strength shall be so desolate that no one will pass through.

Verse 29 – “Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.” ‘

Verse 30 – “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’

Verse 31 – “So they came to you as people do, they sin before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.

Verse 32 – “Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.

The people showed up to listen to Ezekiel, probably patted him on the back and said, “That was a fine and good message.” However, God saw into their hearts, just as today, and knows as He knew them, that the people had no intention of obeying the Lord’s ways.

Verse 33 – “And when this comes to pass – surely it will come – then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

Do you know why there are so many people who live as though there is no God? Do you ever wonder why, even some of those who call themselves Christians, don’t believe God’s word is true? It’s because so few actually read His word for themselves. I’m amazed with God’s people who know so little about His blessings and what belongs to them as a child of the Most High. If you want that deep loving relationship that comes with “Being born-again,” then read His word and find out what it means to have a loving Father who will never, ever, leave you or let you go!!