Week #106; Wed, Jan 08: Ezekiel 16:1-20:49
Ezekiel 16, The Lord’s Faithless Bride
I. “Again the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on that day that you were born.” (16:1-5)
A. Inference: “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. . . . I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.” (16:6-8) “But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his.” (16:15)
1. FINDINGS: Jerusalem’s abominations flourished like a plant of the field.
2. CRITERIA: Faithfulness in the Lord God and not brazen temptation.
3. CONDITION: The beauty of Jerusalem was lavished on all passers.
4. CAUSE: Jerusalem trusted in her own beauty and broke her covenant with the Lord God.
5. EFFECT: Even thou the Lord God declared that Jerusalem was his and he entered into a covenant with her, his vow was not honored and he judged her to be stoned.
6. RECOMMENDATION: The Lord God cut off all of the gifts he bestowed on Jerusalem because of her unfaithfulness; he was provoked to anger. The Lord God judged Jerusalem guilty of unthinkable abominations.
B. Inference: “Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have enraged me with all these things, therefore, behold, I have returned your deeds upon your head, declares the Lord God. Have you not committed lewdness in addition to all your abominations. (16:43)
1. FINDINGS: Jerusalem was more corrupt than her neighboring sisters. “Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways.” (16:47)
2. CRITERIA: Keep the covenant with the Lord God and all his ways.
3. CONDITION: Jerusalem maxed out her abominations and broke her covenant with the Lord God.
4. CAUSE: Uncontrollable lust.
5. EFFECT: Jerusalem provoked the anger of the Lord God.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Repent and return to the Lord God of her youth.
Ezekiel 17, Parable of Two Eagles and a Vine
I. “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, propound a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel; say, Thus says the Lord God: A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, rich in plumage of many colors, came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar. He broke off the topmost of its young twigs and carried it to a land of trade and set it in a city of merchants. Then he took of the seed of the land and planted it in fertile soil. He placed it beside abundant waters. He set it like a willow twig, and it sprouted and became a low spreading vine, and its branches turned toward him, and its roots remained where it stood. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out boughs. And there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage, and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and shot forth its branches toward him from the bed where it was planted, that he might water it. It had been planted on good soil by abundant waters, that it might produce branches and bear fruit and become a noble vine. Say, Thus says the Lord God: Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers, so that all its fresh sprouting leaves wither? It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it from its roots. Behold, it is planted; will it thrive? Will it not utterly wither when the east wind strikes it–wither away on the bed where it sprouted?” (17:1-10)
A. Inference: “Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Say now to the rebellious house, Do you not know what these things mean? Tell them, behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took her king and her princes and brought them to him to Babylon. And he took one of the royal offspring and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath (the chief men of the land he had taken away), that the kingdom might be humble and not lift itself up, and keep his covenant that it might stand. But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and a large army. Will he thrive? Can one escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant and yet escape?” (17:11-15)
1. FINDINGS: Jerusalem and its king rebelled.
2. CRITERIA: Humility; keep the covenant with the Lord God.
3. CONDITION: Covenant is broken.
4. CAUSE: The kingdom lifted itself up and did not remain humble.
5. EFFECT: The kingdom fell.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Seek humility.
II. “Thus says the Lord God: ‘I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.” (17:16-22)
A. Inference: “On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.” (17:23-24)
1. FINDINGS: Broken covenant with the Lord God.
2. CRITERIA: Keep the covenant.
3. CONDITION: Nobles will not escape.
4. CAUSE: Rebelled
5. EFFECT: Oath will be on the nobles head; they will be brought low along with all their troops.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Repent and seek humility.
Ezekiel 18, The Soul Who Sins Shall Die
I. “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all the souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine; the soul who sins shall die.” (18:1-4)
A. Inference: “If a man is righteous and does what is just and right–if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, . . . executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully–he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord God.” (18:5-9)
1. FINDINGS: The kingdom turned to idols and away from the Lord God.
2. CRITERIA: “Execute true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully.” (18:9)
3. CONDITION: Abominations of all sorts are being committed.
4. CAUSE: Turn to the Lord God and restore his covenant.
5. EFFECT: Death.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Return to the Lord God and restore his covenant.
II. “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him self, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” (18:20)
A. Inference: “But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.” (18:21)
1. FINDINGS: The house of Israel says that “The way to the Lord is not just.” (18:25)
2. CRITERIA: The house of Israel should consider and turn away to save his life.
3. CONDITION: The Lord says, “Is it not your ways that are not just?” (18:29)
4. CAUSE: The house of Israel turned to idols and other abominations and away from the Lord.
5. EFFECT: Failure to turn away from idols and other abominations will result in death.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Turn from idols and other abominations; return to the Lord God and his covenants.
Ezekiel 19, A Lament for the Princes of Israel
I. The princes of Israel are compared to a lion’s cub(s) that grows and learns to catch prey, devouring men. (19:1-3, 5)
A. Inference: “But “then the nations set against him from provinces on every side; they spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. With hooks they put him in a cage and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into custody, that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel.” (19:8-9)
1. FINDINGS: “. . . no strong stem remains, no scepter for ruling.” (19:14)
2. CRITERIA: The house of Israel needs good rule by a king that follows the Lord God and his covenants.
3. CONDITION: The house of Israel has no scepter for ruling.
4. CAUSE: The house of Israel turned from the Lord God and his covenants.
5. EFFECT: High vulnerability to surrounding nations, especially Babylon.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Repent and return to the Lord God and his covenants.
Ezekiel 20, Israel’s Continuing Rebellion
I. “And the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God, Is it to inquire of me that you come? As I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.” (20:2-3)
A. Inference: “Thus says the Lord God: On the day I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” (20:4-7)
1. FINDINGS: “But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.” (20:8)
2. CRITERIA: “I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.” (20:11-12)
3. CONDITION: “Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.” (20:9)
4. CAUSE: “But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned.” (20:13)
5. EFFECT: “Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them.” (20:13)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “And I said to the children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.” (20:18-20)
II. But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths.” (20:21)
A. Inference: “Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.” (20:22)
1. FINDINGS: The children of the house of Israel rebelled against the Lord God.
2. CRITERIA: Walk in the statutes of the Lord God carefully obeying his statutes and rules and upholding his Sabbaths.
3. CONDITION: The children defiled themselves as their fathers whoring after detestable things, presenting their gifts and offering up their children in fire.
4. CAUSE: The children of Israel went after idols of wood and stone to be like the other nations.
5. EFFECT: The Lord God would not be inquired by the elders of Israel.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Stop provoking the Lord God; follow his statutes, and rules; uphold his Sabbaths.
B. Inference: “As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord God. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” (20:36-38)
1. FINDINGS: The Lord God is profaned by their gifts and idols.
2. CRITERIA: Follow the statutes and rules of the Lord; uphold his Sabbaths.
3. CONDITION: The Lord God will restore Israel after they have passed under the rod.
4. CAUSE: The people turned against the Lord God for idols.
5. EFFECT: “For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord God, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings.” (20:40)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Know that the Lord God is he and worship only him and listen to him only. Abandon all corrupt deeds.
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