Ezekiel 14:12-23 basically communicates that it doesn’t matter who intercedes, it can be such men as Noah, Daniel, or Job, if the people refused to repent, if they continued in “persistent unfaithfulness” (Ezekiel 14:12) then God was forced to judge. The only thing that could prevent the sword, the famine, the wild beasts, and pestilence would be genuine repentance on the part of the people.
God did eventually judge, but by His grace, He left a remnant. When it comes to Israel He always does. It brings comfort even in the midst of calamity. Even in wrath, God remembers mercy (Habakkuk 3:2).
Warren Wiersbe shares this commentary on Ezekiel 15, “The vine was a familiar emblem of Israel (Ps. 80:8–13; Isa. 5:1–7). Vines are good for only two things: bearing or burning. You do not build with wood from the vine because it does not lend itself to being cut and shaped. If the vine does not bear fruit, it is useless, and that was the condition of God’s people in Ezekiel’s day.”
In Ezekiel 16 God goes back to the beginning, the day Israel was “born” – she was left helpless, destined to die. But the LORD chose to show Israel favor, cut the cord of paganism, and wash them in the water of the Word…God had pity on Israel. We read His beautiful words:
Ezekiel 16:6 (NKJV) “And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’”
Ezekiel 16:8 (NKJV) “‘When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,’ says the Lord GOD.”
God went on to bless Israel beyond measure. Adorned with gold and sliver; fine clothes and food; her favor from God brought fame, from all around the world.
But she fell, and she fell hard. Her fall from grace reminds me of Lucifer’s fall, who also was in perfect in beauty (Ezekiel 16:14; 28:17).
Israel forgot the God who saved her, chose her, loved her, and blessed her beyond measure. Israel played the harlot to the point that SHE was guilty of soliciting other gods and actually paid and pursued THEM for her acts of spiritual adultery.
A nation and world reaches the bottom of depravity when they start sacrificing their children, which is exactly what Israel did. Such behavior can only be explained by a dark and demonic influence! Abortion is purely Satanic!
Ezekiel 16:20–21 (NKJV) “Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter, 21 that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?”
Israel mingled with the gods of Egypt, so the living God disciplined His children at the hands of the Philistines, Assyrians, and Babylonians, but still her heart did not change.
Ezekiel 16:30 (NKJV) “How degenerate is your heart!” says the Lord GOD, “seeing you do all these things, the deeds of a brazen harlot.”
Jerusalem just continued to commit spiritual adultery, even when she was abused by her lovers. They had come a long way, down the wrong way…after all that God had done for them.
It’s the history of Israel. They would eventually be carried away in the third Babylonian siege. Will I learn from them? May it not be my history, or yours. After all that God has done for us, may we love Him, for He first loved us; may we simply live a life of gratitude, surely He deserves it!
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 Covenant (the Law made nothing perfect ) and ushers in the fresh, final, and New 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 (Jesus) never dies, He continues forever. He has an unchangeable priesthood and is therefore able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him.
This High Priest who is holy sinless and perfect, unlike the other priests, was able to offer up one sacrifice, once and for all, the sacrifice of Himself, and in doing so He has finished the work of perfecting us…forever.
Isn’t that cool?
How beautiful are Jesus’ words in John 19:30, He finished the work, it was always His heart! (John 4:34).
This is another one of those historical Psalms in which the writer wants God to move, again, as He had done in the past. He mentions the mighty acts of the LORD, in order to praise Him, thank Him, and plead for divine intervention.
Notice his prayer in:
Psalm 106:4–5 (NKJV) “Remember me, O LORD, with the favor You have toward Your people. Oh, visit me with Your salvation, 5 That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, that I may glory with Your inheritance.”
The Psalmist longs for the Lord to move once again, that he would see God’s hand, spiritually, nationally, and even globally, with his believing family (inheritance).
It was written in a time when Israel had committed some sort of iniquity (Psalm 106:6), just as Israel has done throughout the ages. He takes us back to that moment in Exodus 14 after God had redeemed them from Egypt with the ten all-powerful plagues, but the Egyptian army was on the attack. What did the people of Israel do? Did they do good? Did they trust God? No! They attacked Moses. They had absolutely no faith in the LORD. They were convinced they were about to die and that they would have been better off if they had stayed in Egypt (Exodus 14:11-12).
But what did God do? We read of His gracious intervention in:
Psalm 106:8–10 (NKJV) “Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power known. 9 He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up; so He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. 10 He saved them from the hand of him who hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.”
We don’t deserve it, we cannot earn it, but, “Lord, please intervene, and show us that same power in our lives today. The power You’ve shown countless times in the past.”
Proverbs 27:4 (NKJV) “Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, but who is able to stand before jealousy?”
Usually, anger subsides, but jealousy resides, until it gets its revenge.
Proverbs 6:34 (NKJV) “For jealousy is a husband’s fury; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”
You might remember that Cain was jealous of Abel, because God looked upon him with favor because of his faith. God then told Cain, “Don’t be discouraged, all you have to do is believe as he does.”
And what did Cain do? He killed Abel.
Beware of jealousy; beware of jealous people.
Proverbs 27:5 (NKJV) “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
In the Proverbs, we have twenty “better” verses. Here we read that, “Open rebuke, is better than love carefully concealed.”
If we as Christians see a person in a dangerous situation, let’s just say they’re a couple living together, but they’re not married, or maybe you work with non-believers, sometimes we think that by never saying anything, we’re being nice and loving. But what good is that type of love carefully concealed?
I know it’s hard, but if we want to help them, we’re gonna have to hurt them, lest we harm them.
Imagine going to the doctor, he sees something wrong but he doesn’t want to tell you because he doesn’t want to discourage you. What if you have a tumor inside, but the surgeon doesn’t want to cut you, ‘cuz he doesn’t want to hurt you. We’d call them crazy, and sue them for malpractice.
The same is true spiritually.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, people who tell us the truth, even if it hurts.
Now, having said that in a simple and clear way, I also need to tell you that you don’t have to rebuke them every time you see them. If you’ve said it at least once your hands are clean – from that point on God might want you to shine a little more before you share. From that point on it’s just being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
That saying is true, “Sometimes they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Be wise, be fishers of men (Proverbs 11:30).
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.