November 5, 2021

Ezekiel 12:1–14:11

Ezekiel continues to prophecy verbally and visually. The people had eyes to see, but only saw on the surface; they had ears to hear, but refused to take in God’s Word, to truly listen, learn and live for the Lord. The same thing was true in Isaiah’s day, during Jesus’ earthly ministry, and even nowadays, wouldn’t you say?  (Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 13:15-16; Romans 11:25). For this reason 7 times in the book of Revelation Jesus challenges us to effectively use our ears, to hear, not just audibly, but spiritually, to truly listen to God

(NKJV) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29: 3:6, 13, 22)

Ezekiel was commanded to act out and demonstrate what it would look like to be carried away in captivity. After showing them visually, he explained, verbally:

Ezekiel 12:10–11 (NKJV) “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are among them.’’ 11 Say, ‘I am a sign to you. As I have done, so shall it be done to them; they shall be carried away into captivity.’”

Pastor Chuck Smith, “This prophecy was fulfilled 5 years later when King Zedekiah attempted to escape through the wall of Jerusalem but was caught and blinded by Nebuchadnezzar’s troops (2 Kings 25:7).”

The second “visual” of this chapter was Ezekiel eating his food, and drinking his water while trembling with anxiety. This represented the fear the people would have in seeing their land surrounded and then violently decimated.

The people mocked at the likes of Jeremiah and Ezekiel who predicted the judgment of God, but the time was near, and God is faithful to keep all His promises.

Ezekiel 12:28 (NKJV) “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done,’ says the Lord GOD.’ ”

People say the same thing today:

2 Peter 3:3–4 (NKJV) “…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’”

But Jesus will come – as Judge and we need to be ready.

In Ezekiel 13 he addresses the false “prophets,” and Israel’s daughters of divination. 

The false prophets were claiming to speak from the LORD, when in all reality they were speaking from their own hearts. The message of the day was to be a word of warning, to turn the people from their sins and bring them back to God, but the false prophets’ message was one of peace…when there was no peace (Ezekiel 13:10).

The false prophets had a false security in the walls they built with untempered mortar, which is sand without any lime. It looks solid and strong but it’s not; not strong enough to avert God’s judgment…only repentance can do that.

But it wasn’t just the men, there were also women who claimed to speak supernaturally, with magic charms, and divination. Ezekiel likens these women to hunters, they hunted the people down killing them with their lies. Make no mistake about it, the enemy is out and about on the prowl.

God would judge the false prophets who claimed to speak in the name of the LORD, as well as these daughters, diviners, who spoke under the influence of demons. Why do people pay attention to them? Why do so many listen to those who dare to share their own message and not the Word of God? Is it because they’re good communicators? Is it because they tell them what they want to hear? Why are so many seduced? (Ezekiel 12:10). I suppose ultimately it’s because they do not know the Lord, but one day they will, but it may be too late.

Ezekiel 13:14 (NKJV) “So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”

Ezekiel 13:23 (NKJV) “Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

In Ezekiel 14 the elders come to inquire of the LORD, but God shows Ezekiel that these men have idols in their hearts. 

Ezekiel 14:4–5 (NKJV) “Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, 5 that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.’”

We need to know that God wants ALL of our heart. 

Proverbs 23:26 (NKJV) “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.”

We must beware of any form of idolatry!

1 John 5:21 (NKJV) “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”

An idol is anyone or anything we put before God, or make equal to God. I must always check myself! It can be the unholy trinity – me, myself, and I; it can be family, the ministry, food, sports, television, money, you name it. It doesn’t have to be a statue or an organized religion, idols come in many forms. God sees what’s going on in our hearts.

Is He really #1 without any rival thrones?

God’s only answer to these types of people who inquired of Him was to get right. If the prophets answered anything else to these idolaters, then God would deal with them as well (14:9-10). It’s not just because God is mad, it’s because God loves the people and longs to restore them.

Ezekiel 14:11 (NKJV) “‘that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God,’ says the Lord GOD.’”

Hebrews 7:1-17

We now enter-in to a more detailed study of this mysterious figure named Melchizedek who is first mentioned in Genesis 14:18-20. He appears to be an appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament. God had given Abraham victory over his enemies and then, after the battle, seemingly out of nowhere, appears the King of Salem (King of Peace) who also happens to be the Priest of God Most High. 


About 1,000 years later Melchizedek is mentioned in: 

Psalm 110:4 (NKJV) “The LORD has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’”

This is a Messianic Psalm, written by David, telling us that the Messiah would be a perpetual priest according to a different priesthood, the order of Melchizedek. He had no beginning and no genealogy – definitely sounds like God to me! Abraham tithed to Him (again…sounds like God to me). And something not mentioned in Hebrews but found in Genesis, is that while this brief interaction was taking place, Melchizedek appears with the bread and the wine (where have we seen that before?) looks like communion to me.

And then there’s that passage in John 8:56, Where Jesus said to the Jews that, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” When did Abraham see Jesus? When he saw Melchizedek. 

I believe that Melchizedek was none other than Jesus Christ appearing in the Old Testament (scholars refer to this as a theophany, or a Christophany).

The writer to the Hebrews explains that if the Levitical Priesthood was sufficient, there wouldn’t have been any need for a new Priesthood spoken of in Psalm 110:4 according to the order of Melchizedek. This new priesthood annuls the former (the Old Covenant) and ushers in the fresh and final covenant, by which we can draw near to God (remember Hebrews 4:16?).

This is a better covenant for many reasons but one which is mentioned here is the fact that the priests of the old covenant all died and were unable to continue, but this Priest never dies.

Hebrews 7:17 (NKJV) “For He testifies: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’”

Psalm 105:37-45

This Psalm definitely focuses on God’s gracious wonders and purposely leaves out Israel’s foolish blunders. The writer sees the bright side of history, the goodness of God.

The nation of Israel was redeemed from Egypt Al-mightily, victoriously, triumphantly, they were blessed with quail for meat in the wilderness, manna for daily bread, water from the rock – it ran like streams in the desert. God fulfilled His promise to Abraham –  innumerable descendants and the Promised-Land. What an awesome God He is! And notice what the proper response should be:

Psalm 105:45 (NKJV) “That they might observe His statutes and keep His laws. Praise the LORD!”

Obedience to His Word…and praise to our God.

As I look back on my life, I’ve made many mistakes, but God has washed them all away. Although I do my best to learn from my many failures, I don’t focus on them, I try to focus on the Lord.

Look what He’s done! 

It should lead me/us – to do as He says. He’s saved me to serve, and observe…His Word.

This Psalm reminds me of the story of Balaam and Israel:

Numbers 23:21 (NKJV) “He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a King is among them.”

Even though Israel failed, fell, and sinned big time, when God looked at Israel, He saw no iniquity, He saw no wickedness, God was with them, and worked through them; eventually David, and ultimately Jesus would come.

All by grace!

Psalm 105 doesn’t mention any of Israel’s sins – it’s a very unique Psalm. It shows us (from a positional standpoint) how God sees us believers – without sin. It reminds us how awesome He is. We read it early on in this Psalm:

Psalm 105:1–2 (NKJV) “Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works!”

Talk of His work (not ours). God has fulfilled His word to Abraham which consisted of three things.

1. The land

2. The descendants

3. The Messiah/King – Jesus

Proverbs 27:3

Proverbs 27:3 (NKJV) “A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but a fool’s wrath is heavier than both of them.”

The Hebrew word translated “wrath” is often translated “grief” or “provocation.” A fools wrath definitely takes its toll, it can weigh heavy on us, like stones and sand on our souls.

It’s an observation, a declaration, and even a word of caution. Don’t be a fool…and avoid them if you can. If you can’t (maybe you live with one, or work with one) pray for them and do what you can, not to fire them up even more!

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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