Judgment calls…the unborn cry…blood is shed…

Ezekiel 32: 28-32

Yes, you shall be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised,

​​And lie with those slain by the sword.

29 ​​“There is Edom,

​​Her kings and all her princes,

​​Who despite their might

​​Are laid beside those slain by the sword;

​​They shall lie with the uncircumcised,

​​And with those who go down to the Pit.

30 ​​There are the princes of the north,

​​All of them, and all the Sidonians,

​​Who have gone down with the slain

​​In shame at the terror which they caused by their might;

​​They lie uncircumcised with those slain by the sword,

​​And bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit.

31 ​​“Pharaoh will see them

​​And be comforted over all his multitude,

​​Pharaoh and all his army,

​​Slain by the sword,”

​​Says the Lord GOD.

32 ​​“For I have caused My terror in the land of the living;

​​And he shall be placed in the midst of the uncircumcised

​​With those slain by the sword,

​​Pharaoh and all his multitude,”

​​Says the Lord GOD.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=32&v=1&t=NKJVP>

The past three days of reading from chapter 32 in Ezekiel are driving home the impression that there’s a lot of company in the place of judgment.  The reference to those who lie with the uncircumcised is seen as a reference to all who maintain their position outside the company of believers.

“…They shall lie with the uncircumcised,

​​And with those who go down to the Pit….”

Circumcision was a sign given to confirm the contract, or covenant, between God and humanity.  A contract that said God would provide, protect and perpetuate his people in return for their allegiance.

“…Genesis 17:7-10  “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.  And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This [is] My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;…”

When they turn away from God it is seen as breaking the covenant and God continues to offer the privilege of a relationship with him but the second party has chosen to reject it.  At that point they face judgment.  They are no longer privileged to receive redemption from the consequences of sin.  Uncircumcised is used in the new testament to identify those who reject Christ, they are outside the circle of believers, it is the circumcision of the heart that identifies us as heirs with Christ of God’s redemption and relationship.

“…Romans 2:29 but [he is] a Jew who [is one] inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise [is] not from men but from God….”

There is no hope for the uncircumcised of the heart.  There is no hope for those who refuse the existence and provision of their Creator.

On another note, a sword is a type of knife and it is used here to kill and destroy.  Each nation fell in layers of time one upon the other as they refused to honor the God who created them.

“… ​​“There is Edom…​​There are the princes of the north,  ​​All of them, and all the Sidonians,…There [is] Elam and all her multitude,…There [is] Elam and all her multitude,…Assyria [is] there, and all her company,…Pharaoh and all his multitude,”…”

Today the knife is used to kill and maim the innocent; we are fast approaching the point where more are killed through abortion than the number of those who fall and have fallen by war.

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 4/17/12 6:44 PM:  the Roe v. Wade decision that has resulted in more than 55 million abortions.  According to Guttmacher Institute: From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.  (Note the statistics stop at 2008) http://www.lifenews.com/2012/04/17/mitt-romney-repeats-call-for-overturning-roe-v-wade/

Military deaths: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war Less than 55 million.

Will our nation escape the judgment these nations suffered?  It is hard to look at the numbers of innocent babies, the amount of innocent blood that is shed daily in our land.  We have the options and tools of prayer, voice and for a time, government to change that.  Will we commit to action or find ourselves caught up in the coming judgment of a God who says “Enough!”?  We have a personal promise of redemption but we live among the dead walking.  Let us join others in prayer for our nation’s sin.  If my people…

“…2Chronicles 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land….” 

Are we called by his name?  Will we humble ourselves and pray?  Will we seek His face?  Will we turn from our wicked ways?  Then He will hear and will forgive and will heal.  We are in the 40 days to the election, we are in 40 years of killing the unborn child; 55 million + abortions.  Can we spend 40 days “in our wilderness” fasting, praying, whatever the Lord leads us to do?  Can we corporately band together in unity to seek the face of God for healing in our land?

Consequences fit the crime? Is there an escape?

Ezekiel 21:14-23

“You therefore, son of man, prophesy,

​​And strike your hands together.

​​The third time let the sword do double damage.

​​It is the sword that slays,

​​The sword that slays the great men,

​​That enters their private chambers.

15 ​​I have set the point of the sword against all their gates,

​​That the heart may melt and many may stumble.

​​Ah! It is made bright;

​​It is grasped for slaughter:

16 ​​“Swords at the ready!

​​Thrust right!

​​Set your blade!

​​Thrust left—

​​Wherever your edge is ordered!

17 ​​“I also will beat My fists together,

​​And I will cause My fury to rest;

​​I, the LORD, have spoken.”

18 The word of the LORD came to me again, saying: 19 “And son of man, appoint for yourself two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to go; both of them shall go from the same land. Make a sign; put it at the head of the road to the city. 20 Appoint a road for the sword to go to Rabbah of the Ammonites, and to Judah, into fortified Jerusalem. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the road, at the fork of the two roads, to use divination: he shakes the arrows, he consults the images, he looks at the liver. 22 In his right hand is the divination for Jerusalem: to set up battering rams, to call for a slaughter, to lift the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to heap up a siege mound, and to build a wall. 23 And it will be to them like a false divination in the eyes of those who have sworn oaths with them; but he will bring their iniquity to remembrance, that they may be taken.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=21&t=nkjvp>

No news analyst needed here to know what is coming.  God speaks directly to the people and allows that he will not intervene in what is coming their way.  Instead he suggests their sin has brought this upon them because they have left him and turned to other idols.  He goes further to say the king of Babylon is acting under his direct influence.  This would make one think twice about displeasing the Lord God.  We can see a similar correlation between this  and the child who has deliberately disobeyed by breaking a rule, maybe even one that could cause harm to another and when the one in charge hands out the consequences for the disobedience, the child blames that one for his punishment not recognizing his disobedient action.  How many times do you hear “the teacher made me miss recess,” or  “the principal gave me a detention” or “Dad won’t let me go?”

The difference, of course, is the severity of the punishment in relation to the crime.  Souls were at stake here, disrespect is to the Creator who is the only one who can destroy a  soul.  Christ warns – be in fear of the one who can destroy the soul, rather than anyone who can destroy the body.

“…Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell….”

How does this, or does this apply to us today?  God judges, that is his prerogative and part of his nature.  He is also merciful and grants the way of escape from the consequences of sin that judgment brings, through his son, Jesus.  For us today, the cross makes the difference.  As believers we are covered by the blood of Christ, the sin is forgiven, we are told we are changed into a new creature who now may walk with God.  Accepting that knowledge by faith, we need not fear his judgment and wrath, we can find hope in this life and the next; that we are able to rise above the pain and suffering this world, time, space gives us and also rejoice and embrace the life he gives looking forward to joining him in eternity.

The sword is sharpened…

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.

Ezekiel 21:1-

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.”

8 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the LORD!’ Say:

​‘​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.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=21&t=nkjvp>

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?

I can’t get no satisfaction…

Ezekiel 23:1-21

The word of the LORD came again to me, saying:

2 ​​“Son of man, there were two women,

​​The daughters of one mother.

3 ​​They committed harlotry in Egypt,

​​They committed harlotry in their youth;

​​Their breasts were there embraced,

​​Their virgin bosom was there pressed.

4 ​​Their names: Oholah [fn1] the elder and Oholibah [fn2] her sister;

​​They were Mine,

​​And they bore sons and daughters.

​​As for their names,

​​Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem is Oholibah.

 

5 ​​“Oholah played the harlot even though she was Mine;

​​And she lusted for her lovers, the neighboring Assyrians,

6 ​​Who were clothed in purple,

​​Captains and rulers,

​​All of them desirable young men,

​​Horsemen riding on horses.

7 ​​Thus she committed her harlotry with them,

​​All of them choice men of Assyria;

​​And with all for whom she lusted,

​​With all their idols, she defiled herself.

8 ​​She has never given up her harlotry brought from Egypt,

​​For in her youth they had lain with her,

​​Pressed her virgin bosom,

​​And poured out their immorality upon her.

9 ​​“Therefore I have delivered her

​​Into the hand of her lovers,

​​Into the hand of the Assyrians,

​​For whom she lusted.

10 ​​They uncovered her nakedness,

​​Took away her sons and daughters,

​​And slew her with the sword;

​​She became a byword among women,

​​For they had executed judgment on her.

 

11 “Now although her sister Oholibah saw this, she became more corrupt in her lust than she, and in her harlotry more corrupt than her sister’s harlotry.

12 ​​“She lusted for the neighboring Assyrians,

​​Captains and rulers,

​​Clothed most gorgeously,

​​Horsemen riding on horses,

​​All of them desirable young men.

13 ​​Then I saw that she was defiled;

​​Both took the same way.

14 ​​But she increased her harlotry;

​​She looked at men portrayed on the wall,

​​Images of Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion,

15 ​​Girded with belts around their waists,

​​Flowing turbans on their heads,

​​All of them looking like captains,

​​In the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea,

​​The land of their nativity.

16 ​​As soon as her eyes saw them,

​​She lusted for them

​​And sent messengers to them in Chaldea.

17 ​​“Then the Babylonians came to her, into the bed of love,

​​And they defiled her with their immorality;

​​So she was defiled by them, and alienated herself from them.

18 ​​She revealed her harlotry and uncovered her nakedness.

​​Then I alienated Myself from her,

​​As I had alienated Myself from her sister.

19 ​​“Yet she multiplied her harlotry

​​In calling to remembrance the days of her youth,

​​When she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

20 ​​For she lusted for her paramours,

​​Whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys,

​​And whose issue is like the issue of horses.

21 ​​Thus you called to remembrance the lewdness of your youth,

​​When the Egyptians pressed your bosom

​​Because of your youthful breasts.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=23&v=1&t=NKJVP>

What imagery!  The underlying issue is unfaithfulness, dissatisfaction, leaving a first love for another, looking after greener pastures, giving into a hedonistic lifestyle.  Could we say these are all anti-God desires?  The emphasis is on self and “what I want” rather than an outward focus on others and the Lord.  The results are disappointment, dissatisfaction, destruction, death.  Take away is be warned and always alert to our focus.  There is death apart from God; but there is life in God.  We do not need to look elsewhere for satisfaction; it doesn’t get any better than this life with Christ.  The grass is not greener elsewhere for there is poison hidden in that grass.  Giving in to the flesh nature does not bring satisfaction; the hunger only grows.  Christ is the only spiritual food that satisfies.

A God of mercy…

Ezekiel 18:10-23

​“If he begets a son who is a robber

​​Or a shedder of blood,

​​Who does any of these things

11 ​​And does none of those duties,

​​But has eaten on the mountains

​​Or defiled his neighbor’s wife;

12 ​​If he has oppressed the poor and needy,

​​Robbed by violence,

​​Not restored the pledge,

​​Lifted his eyes to the idols,

​​Or committed abomination;

13 ​​If he has exacted usury

​​Or taken increase—

​​Shall he then live?

​​He shall not live!

​​If he has done any of these abominations,

​​He shall surely die;

​​His blood shall be upon him.

14 ​​“If, however, he begets a son

​​Who sees all the sins which his father has done,

​​And considers but does not do likewise;

15 ​​Who has not eaten on the mountains,

​​Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,

​​Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife;

16 ​​Has not oppressed anyone,

​​Nor withheld a pledge,

​​Nor robbed by violence,

​​But has given his bread to the hungry

​​And covered the naked with clothing;

17 ​​Who has withdrawn his hand from the poor [fn1]

​​And not received usury or increase,

​​But has executed My judgments

​​And walked in My statutes—

​​He shall not die for the iniquity of his father;

​​He shall surely live!

18 ​​“As for his father,

​​Because he cruelly oppressed,

​​Robbed his brother by violence,

​​And did what is not good among his people,

​​Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.

19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. 23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=18&v=1&t=NKJVP>

We have a God who judges with finality; but also a God of mercy when there is repentance and a turning away from the sins.  Three times he has listed those things that require a death penalty and as many times he states that the soul that sins is the one that dies.  We are each of us responsible for our own actions.  These are what we will be judged for by Almighty God.

“…‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live….”

And he states:

“… The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself….”

Mercy is granted to us when we turn from our own ways to follow his.  We receive mercy when we receive Christ’s payment for our sins.  He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.

“…“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die….”

When we accept Christ we are accepting the new covenant that frees us of our sin past, present and future.  And his righteousness becomes our righteousness.

Romans 3:21-22,25-26 “…  But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. … For there is no difference;  whom God set forth [as] a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,  to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus….”

So we can turn from our wicked ways and find forgiveness thanks to what Jesus has done for us.  Then when judgment comes as it shall, God looks upon the blood of his son covering our sins and remembers them no more.

“…None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live….”

We have this promise:

“…1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness….”

Isn’t wonderful to hear God say:

“…Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?…”

He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked but does have pleasure in the life of those who are covered with his righteousness.

What are we doing after we receive his son?   Is our choice apparent in our lifestyle?  Does our life mirror that of the son who followed after God and his ways?  Do we act in love toward one another and toward the God who created and loves us?

What are we doing!?! …..

Ezekiel 16:20-42

“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? 22 And in all your abominations and acts of harlotry you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, struggling in your blood.

23 “Then it was so, after all your wickedness—‘Woe, woe to you!’ says the Lord GOD— 24 that you also built for yourself a shrine, and made a high place for yourself in every street. 25 You built your high places at the head of every road, and made your beauty to be abhorred. You offered yourself to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your acts of harlotry. 26 You also committed harlotry with the Egyptians, your very fleshly neighbors, and increased your acts of harlotry to provoke Me to anger.

27 “Behold, therefore, I stretched out My hand against you, diminished your allotment, and gave you up to the will of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior. 28 You also played the harlot with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; indeed you played the harlot with them and still were not satisfied. 29 Moreover you multiplied your acts of harlotry as far as the land of the trader, Chaldea; and even then you were not satisfied.

30 “How degenerate is your heart!” says the Lord GOD, “seeing you do all these things, the deeds of a brazen harlot.

“You erected your shrine at the head of every road, and built your high place in every street. Yet you were not like a harlot, because you scorned payment. 32 You are an adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband. 33 Men make payment to all harlots, but you made your payments to all your lovers, and hired them to come to you from all around for your harlotry. 34 You are the opposite of other women in your harlotry, because no one solicited you to be a harlot. In that you gave payment but no payment was given you, therefore you are the opposite.”

‘Now then, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD! 36 Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because your filthiness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your harlotry with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children which you gave to them, 37 surely, therefore, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved, and all those you hated; I will gather them from all around against you and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. 38 And I will judge you as women who break wedlock or shed blood are judged; I will bring blood upon you in fury and jealousy. 39 I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your shrines and break down your high places. They shall also strip you of your clothes, take your beautiful jewelry, and leave you naked and bare.

40 “They shall also bring up an assembly against you, and they shall stone you with stones and thrust you through with their swords. 41 They shall burn your houses with fire, and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women; and I will make you cease playing the harlot, and you shall no longer hire lovers. 42 So I will lay to rest My fury toward you, and My jealousy shall depart from you. I will be quiet, and be angry no more.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=16&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Loving the Lord in return for his love and then turning away from him to other interests is described as a form of prostitution, but different.  Different in that the one turning away is paying the others for what the Lord gave freely.  No wonder proverbs calls it foolishness.  To do this to one who can destroy not only your body but your very soul is foolish indeed.  Jesus said:

“…Matthew 10:28  – And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell….”

The nature of God includes wrath.  It is seen towards those who disrespect him with their self-importance.  Not only this but they included others in their actions, the innocent, the children.

“…you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured….”

Brings to mind our present day abortion issue.  We continue to flaunt self-worth at the expense of others, self-interest at the expense of the unborn child and also our children born to us; through neglect and abuse we demonstrate thinking only about ourselves.  Abortions are common and child abuse abounds.  Are we calling down the wrath of God today as Israel did  in Ezekiel’s days?

“…I will lay to rest My fury toward you, and My jealousy shall depart from you. …” and

“…you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?…”

Has God changed?  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  What to do?  Be active in opposition to the killing of the unborn?  Be active in opposition to the neglect and abuse of children?

Counter with the teaching and message of the love of God and God’s blessings on the lives of those who follow him?  We need to hear the voice of God, in the anguish of the abused, neglected and aborted.  We need to obey his voice and be found faithful to him, not prostituting our allegiance to others or ourselves.

Worth taking the time to read.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month at http://jenblizzard.blogspot.com/2012/04/april-is-national-child-abuse.html

Pretend I’m a Tree and save Me: http://loveundefiled.blogspot.com/2010/08/pretend-im-tree-and-save-me.html#!/2010/08/pretend-im-tree-and-save-me.html

Planned Parenthood and Gender Based Abortions      http://biltrix.com/2012/05/30/planned-parenthood-and-gender-based-abortions/

Time runs out…

Ezekiel 12:21-28

And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, what is this proverb that you people have about the land of Israel, which says, ‘The days are prolonged, and every vision fails’?  Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will lay this proverb to rest, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.” But say to them, “The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision. For no more shall there be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel.  For I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and perform it,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”

Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  “Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ 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.’ ”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=12&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Who questions God Almighty?  Only the foolish ones, only the unbelievers would tread in these dangerous waters.  One capable of creation, one capable of bringing something into existence with the spoken word is one for whom we would have respect and regard.  A flippant people say this

: “…The days are prolonged, and every vision fails’…” 

“…the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ …” 

And we hear similar conversations today.  The warnings are still valid.

The Lord hears and removes his stay of execution. In his mercy and long-suffering he has extended the time for repentance. He says the voice of the people will change.  Events will change their saying to:

“…The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision….”

He responds with affirmation that he is Lord and we will know it.

“… I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed;…” and “…I will say the word and perform it,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”…”

And so we do well to take note and live accordingly.  We are covered in the blood of Jesus and need have no fear, but the message of that salvation must needs be put forth for what he says he will do he will do.  We act in love when we share the message of salvation.  Jesus paid the price for us on the cross but it is up to us to receive it.  Take heed:

“… “None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done,” says the Lord GOD.’ …”

Just a word that these posts are the reflections and words that come to me during the early morning hours in my personal time with the Lord.  They are what I receive and apply to my walk with the Lord. They are shared in the hope and belief that they may help encourage and inspire others as well.  This is a search for the very nature and being of God.  What emerges is the image of one who is powerful and does not sway with the wind as mankind does.  There is constancy here, reliability here and there is fearsome judgment from which we have a way of escape.  The  gift of salvation from the curse of sin through Jesus Christ is freeing in all areas of life.  The one who created, loved and continues to love.  So should we.

You shall know…

Ezekiel 11:1-15

Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the East Gate of the LORD’s house, which faces eastward; and there at the door of the gate were twenty-five men, among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. And He said to me: “Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give wicked counsel in this city, who say, ‘The time is not near to build houses; this city is the caldron, and we are the meat. ’Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man!”

Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said to me, “Speak! ‘Thus says the LORD: “Thus you have said, O house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind. You have multiplied your slain in this city, and you have filled its streets with the slain.”  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Your slain whom you have laid in its midst, they are the meat, and this city is the caldron; but I shall bring you out of the midst of it. You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you,” says the Lord GOD.  “And I will bring you out of its midst, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and execute judgments on you. You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. This city shall not be your caldron, nor shall you be the meat in its midst. I will judge you at the border of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you.” ’ ”

Now it happened, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will You make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?”

Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  “Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen, and all the house of Israel in its entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Get far away from the LORD; this land has been given to us as a possession.’

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=11&v=1&t=NKJVP>

“…this city is the caldron, and we are the meat…” 

Claiming the city as their own.  They will not build houses but claim the city as theirs.  To carry this intent out they were guilty of killing many who already were there.  The Lord’s judgment was to let them know those they killed were the ‘meat of the pot’ and the plotters were going to be thrown out of the city.

Their judgment came also because they did not keep the commandments of God.

“…you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you.” ’ ”…” 

It’s all about ‘me’ and what ‘I’ want.  Envy, greed drives the desire to have what is not mine, either by gift or by acquisition. And these driving forces are not of God.  They are in direct opposition to the nature of God.  They do not operate out of love but disregard for another.  They are not evidence of obedience to the commands of the Lord.  For that they receive judgment.  For that all mankind will receive judgment.

The leaders of the people demonstrated these attributes and so the city fell.  Those in a position of leadership will be judged for their inability to lead the people according to the commands of God.  The people suffer as well.  So what is our take away from this word, passed down through time to us?  If we are in positions of leadership, we will look to the commands of God for how to live.  If we are believers we will be examples of a people who follow the principles set forth in the Word.  Our lives share what we believe more so than our words.  Sharing is light to the unbeliever, not coercion.  Not imposition.  The message of the cross, salvation from judgment through the Lord Jesus Christ frees us from judgment and can be life-saving for those we know, love and meet.  Are we knowledgeable like the leaders of the people but following our own way, or are we knowledgeable and following the paths set out before us by the Lord?  Time to take account of our own purpose and meaning in life.  Time to reassess our relationship with the Lord.  If we have been to the cross and accepted its message we can rejoice in freedom, if not take the time to do so now.

“…you shall know that I am the LORD; …”

No fear of judgment…

Ezekiel 9

Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple. Then He said to them, “Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” And they went out and killed in the city.

So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?”

Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!’And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head.”

Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, “I have done as You commanded me.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=9&v=1&t=NKJVP>

There was a mark placed on those who wept over the evils they saw in the city.

“…put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”…”

That mark spared them.

 “… do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.”…”

Believers have a mark that spares them the final judgment brought by sin.  They have the blood of Jesus shed to cover their sin.  Those who do not have the mark are destroyed.

And they had to begin with the church, in the sanctuary.  How sad!!  Is there a parallel today?  Is there need to cleanse the church?  Sin practices had crept into the temple and spread from there.  The cleansing began there with destruction of those who did not have the mark. It began with the elders who led the people astray.

  “… they began with the elders who were before the temple. …”

Judgment was meted out to those who did not accept the knowledge of God and his ways.  They knew and rejected him to turn to other gods.  They said,

“…‘The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!’…”

We hear this today, taught to our children if we do not watch, that God is not here, He created and left us.  Or, God may or may not exist.  There is knowledge of God that is rejected and be sure what is sown will be reaped.

“…I will recompense their deeds on their own head.”…”

In the beginning, the penalty for disobedience and rejection of God’s words was given and it stands for eternity, the penalty of death.

We also see, however that those who accepted that knowledge of God and lived by it received the mark that allowed the destruction to ‘pass over’ them.  And the same is true for all eternity, the ‘mark’ of the blood of Jesus covers us giving us freedom from the curse of death.  Life begins for eternity when we accept the mark of Jesus’ blood. We have not rejected the knowledge of God, we have received it and it is based upon faith, not whether or not we ‘feel’ him, or ‘see’ him.  He is in the land and He has not forsaken us.  His promises are true and amen.  Final.  And so judgment was carried out even against the plea of Ezekiel.

“… My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head.”…”  and “…“I have done as You commanded me.”…”

God is not mocked – what he says he will do he does.  Another trait, another facet of the nature of God.  He says he will pardon those who accept his son, he says he will judge those who reject him.

“…My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head.”…” and “…do not come near anyone on whom is the mark…”

Are we covered by Jesus’ blood shed for our sins?  If so we do not have fear of God’s judgment. Say with Paul in Philippians  1:21 NKJV –

“For to me, to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.”

Freedom from judgment…

Ezekiel 8

And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there. Then I looked, and there was a likeness, like the appearance of fire—from the appearance of His waist and downward, fire; and from His waist and upward, like the appearance of brightness, like the color of amber. He stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my hair; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the plain.

Then He said to me, “Son of man, lift your eyes now toward the north.” So I lifted my eyes toward the north, and there, north of the altar gate, was this image of jealousy in the entrance.

Furthermore He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations.” So He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, there was a hole in the wall. Then He said to me, “Son of man, dig into the wall”; and when I dug into the wall, there was a door.

And He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.” So I went in and saw, and there—every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls. And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.’ ”

And He said to me, “Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing.” So He brought me to the door of the north gate of the LORD’s house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.

Then He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, you will see greater abominations than these.” So He brought me into the inner court of the LORD’s house; and there, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.

And He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=8&v=1&t=NKJVP>

On the quest for knowledge of God what is seen here?  God is a God provoked to anger and jealousy.  What is capable of this?  Idols standing in his place.  Worship of images of the creation rather than the Creator.  We have evidence of rejection of God, of disobedience to his commands.  For this there is already a judgment pronounce.  In the beginning he spoke:

  “…eat of it and you shall surely die..” 

For disobedience is sin, sin has a spoken penalty.  The elders said that God does not see, has forsaken them and so they turn to the creation for worship.

“…do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.’ ”

How often do we hear today that we cannot see God, we cannot feel God, we have a sense of being forsaken?

“These are the days of Ezekiel…” 

Can we see the parallels?  Do we realize we do not base our knowledge of God on our feelings?  Faith is our basis.  Faith states he is here. Faith states we are in him therefore he cannot be a far off and he hasn’t forsaken us.  Sin does abound, but we are not a part of it.  We find ourselves at its effect.  That does not mean he has forsaken us.

How does God react to those who turn from him?

“Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.” 

But that is not the end.  It was for Israel.  We have the promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  A promise that he doesn’t leave us.  A promise of salvation from the judgment called for by sin.  God is love and when we accept his son we become part of that love.  That love carries us above the pain and destruction of the present earth.  We are not always exempt from sin’s effects, we are always possessors of the peace of God that passes understanding, something we cannot explain.

We can be with him,

“…riding on the clouds, shining like the sun…”

Salvation has come.