When he speaks…

Ezekiel 5

“And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber’s razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair.  You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them. You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment.  Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel.

“Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her. She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.’ Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you’— therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. And I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again, because of all your abominations. Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments among you, and all of you who remain I will scatter to all the winds.

‘Therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; My eye will not spare, nor will I have any pity.  One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.

‘Thus shall My anger be spent, and I will cause My fury to rest upon them, and I will be avenged; and they shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it in My zeal, when I have spent My fury upon them. Moreover I will make you a waste and a reproach among the nations that are all around you, in the sight of all who pass by.

 ‘So it  shall be a reproach, a taunt, a lesson, and an astonishment to the nations that are all around you, when I execute judgments among you in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken.  When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread.  So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the LORD, have spoken.’ ”

“I, the Lord, have spoken.”  When He speaks, it is so.  It is a fearful thing when disobedience is the cause for the Word.

  “…She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.’…”

Consequences follow actions.  Laws are spoken into existence and cannot be reversed.  God’s Word is a sure thing and worthy to take notice of what is said.  Is there a parallel with the Israel described and our land today?

“… ‘Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you’— therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations….”

Are we taking notice of the consequences Israel suffered as a result of their actions?  It didn’t come swiftly, it was a slow process, creeping.  And God’s longsuffering can be mistaken for a God who doesn’t care or walked away as so many are saying today.  But that is not the case.

In the beginning God created with the spoken word and it was so and He spoke that it was good.  Then disobedience entered and the spoken consequences were in place.  Death entered.  But it doesn’t end on this note. Looking at laws and how the spoken word put them in place, we can use gravity as the familiar example.  What goes up will come down.  With creation, the law of gravity was spoken into existence.  It cannot be reversed except by altering the conditions.  Death is a law of life that was spoken into existence with the act of disobedience.  It cannot be reversed except by altering the conditions.  God spoke damnation and God spoke redemption.

This chapter in Ezekiel is a graphic description of life and its consequences.  Four hundred plus years and evil crept in unchecked.

“…‘Therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; My eye will not spare, nor will I have any pity. …”

Do we see another parallel in our churches today? Has evil crept into our places of worship?  Messages of warning are delivered ( this one lasted more than a year!) and nothing changed.

How does this apply to us today? Today the message of the cross is delivered and along with the message of redemption and deliverance is its opposite, the consequences of sin.  For some, nothing changes. But for those who listen, hear and receive every thing is  changed because the conditions are altered. Today we have the blood of Christ covering our sin.  Redemption from the ultimate consequence of sin is offered.  Jesus paid that price for us. The cross is another sword. This sword defeats death and sin.  Death no longer is final.  Eternal life begins with accepting the message of the cross.  The conditions have been altered and the end has been changed.

This journey through Ezekiel provides a glimpse of the God who judges.  He speaks and it is so.

 “… ‘So it  shall be a reproach, a taunt, a lesson, and an astonishment to the nations that are all around you, when I execute judgments among you in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken.…”

Yet in all of this he gives warning – he is merciful.  He does not remove the consequences, He provides an opportunity to return to Him and receive mercy.  He provides an opportunity to experience change and return to following his commands.

“I, the Lord, have spoken.” 

Finality.  Are we listening?

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