Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 12 “Say now to the rebellious house: ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Tell them, ‘Indeed the king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and took its king and princes, and led them with him to Babylon. 13 And he took the king’s offspring, made a covenant with him, and put him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land, 14 that the kingdom might be brought low and not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand. 15 But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Will he prosper? Will he who does such things escape? Can he break a covenant and still be delivered?
16 ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke—with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. 17 Nor will Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company do anything in the war, when they heap up a siege mound and build a wall to cut off many persons. 18 Since he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, and in fact gave his hand and still did all these things, he shall not escape.’ ”
19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “As I live, surely My oath which he despised, and My covenant which he broke, I will recompense on his own head. 20 I will spread My net over him, and he shall be taken in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon and try him there for the treason which he committed against Me. 21 All his fugitives [fn2] with all his troops shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be scattered to every wind; and you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken.”
When we give our word, we need to keep it. The Lord calls Israel a rebellious nation and says that their king even after being granted a reprieve rebelled.
“…“Say now to the rebellious house: …But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt,…”
The nature was unchanged. The attitude was unaltered. Mercy was shown, a powerful head of state that could have crushed the nation of Israel and their king had extended an opportunity to live and continue to flourish under the treaty drawn up and sworn to by their king.
“…he took the king’s offspring, made a covenant with him, and put him under oath. He also took away the mighty of the land, 14 that the kingdom might be brought low and not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand. …”
But their king’s son’s word was no good. The haughty nature spoken of in Ezekiel was unbroken and so the final judgment was complete.
“…Can he break a covenant and still be delivered?…”
God provided for his people and they scorned the provision. Their nature remained unchanged. They were guilty of more than breaking a treaty with another country and king, they were rejecting the provision made for their continued prosperity in their own land. The principle of honesty and truth is broken. This speaks of a root of disobedience that remains. For disobedience there is judgment. God is not mocked.
We are offered a reprieve from the penalty for sin, the sin we are born into and the sin which we commit. The original covenant with God is broken and a reprieve is offered in a new covenant. Mercy is extended to us through Christ. When that is rejected the full judgment of God is executed and the punishment for sin is sure.
“…As I live, surely My oath which he despised, and My covenant which he broke, I will recompense on his own head….”
There is no way back from eternal separation from God.
Accept the offer and eternal life rather than death is the result. Eternity starts now and it can be full of joy or full of despair. Accept life. Accept Christ. Then keep the word that is given. Let the attitude be altered and the nature changed. Let the miracle of new life begin.
“…you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken.”…”