Having missed a few days this will be an attempt to play catch-up. As the time allows more than one post will be published to bring the stream of posts into a current, chronological flow again.
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, preach against the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel; 3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I am against you, and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and cut off both righteous and wicked from you. 4 Because I will cut off both righteous and wicked from you, therefore My sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from south to north, 5 that all flesh may know that I, the LORD, have drawn My sword out of its sheath; it shall not return anymore.” ’ 6 Sigh therefore, son of man, with a breaking heart, and sigh with bitterness before their eyes. 7 And it shall be when they say to you, ‘Why are you sighing?’ that you shall answer, ‘Because of the news; when it comes, every heart will melt, all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming and shall be brought to pass,’ says the Lord GOD.”
‘A sword, a sword is sharpened
And also polished!
10 Sharpened to make a dreadful slaughter,
Polished to flash like lightning!
Should we then make mirth?
It despises the scepter of My son,
As it does all wood.
11 And He has given it to be polished,
That it may be handled;
This sword is sharpened, and it is polished
To be given into the hand of the slayer.’
12 “Cry and wail, son of man;
For it will be against My people,
Against all the princes of Israel.
Terrors including the sword will be against My people;
Therefore strike your thigh.
13 “Because it is a testing,
And what if the sword despises even the scepter?
The scepter shall be no more,”
says the Lord GOD.
The sword will come against all. Jerusalem the city of God no longer acts as if she belongs to God. And he is going to cut off everyone from the city both righteous and wicked. We live in the land, on this planet and we share in its good and bad. Righteous or wicked, it rains on us all. The poetry is full of sorrow. Wail, beat your breast… When mankind turns from its Creator it is a time of sorrow. When life is terminated on this land where we live, it is cause for sorrow, wailing, beating our breast, groaning. Look again at the nature of God. He is expressing judgment but with that, sorrow; sorrow that runs deep over all creation suffering for their willful ways.
Take away: Could it be that when the warning went out from Ezekiel, those who were righteous were given opportunity to leave a wicked place? Like Lot were they given a chance to go to a place where God’s judgment would not be, but where they could worship him as he wished? Just a thought and couple of questions. We have eternal redemption. We may be caught up in the consequences of the evil around us, but it doesn’t end there. We have the promise that Christ, who also suffered for our sins, our willful ways, will walk with us through those times of sorrow and suffering. That is our faith, he will never leave us nor forsake us. He carries us, comforts us, leads us. He knows our sorrows, they are not alien to him. Evil must be judged and we may get caught in the judgment that falls, but we are not alone and this life is only temporary. We do not have to stay in a place that practices evil. Are we being warned?