Day 193 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 25 – Chapters 25-32 is the second major section of Ezekiel’s prophecy. The first section (chapters 1–24) contained repeated warnings about God’s judgment of Israel’s sin. It ended in chapter 24 when Ezekiel was told in a vision that King Nebuchadnezzar, acting as God’s sword, has laid siege to Jerusalem. The third section will begin in chapter 33, when a fugitive from the ruined Jerusalem arrives in Babylon to tell the exiles that the city is fallen. From chapters 33–48, then, Ezekiel’s message changes from one of warning and judgment to one of hope and restoration.
This second section (chapters 25–32) represents the time when the fugitive is making his way from Jerusalem to Babylon. In dramatic fashion, the “camera” spins out from the besieged Jerusalem—and the fugitive beginning his journey to Babylon—to a kaleidoscopic vision of God pouring out judgment on the nations of the world who have oppressed and belittled His people.Even as the divine sword pierces into Jerusalem’s heart—before word of the city’s fall has even reached the ears of the exiles—God’s heart turns with ferocious love to defend and restore His people. In these eight chapters, He asserts His authority over all the nations of the world, and indeed takes up His sword on behalf of His afflicted people.
We see the same ferocious, defending love of God for His people when Jesus endures the temptations of Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–11). He is not simply acting as an individual man there but rather as the pioneering champion of His people. He succeeds where they failed; He defeats Satan even as they were defeated by Him (Colossians 2:15). At the cross of Jesus, God not only takes up the sword on behalf of His people; He aims it against His own Son. Such love arrests us. It changes us. We cannot remain as we are.
This chapter names the first four of seven nations against whom God pronounces judgment. Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia suffer God’s wrath. As we read such extended pronouncements of judgment against godless nations, it is at first difficult to see how all this connects to the grace and love shown by God in sending Jesus. Yet upon further reflection we remember that it is the wrath deserved not only by pagan nations but by all of humanity that Jesus came to assuage. The punishment falling on the foreign nations throughout Ezekiel is the very punishment from which the work of Jesus delivers us. As our King, He ultimately restrains and conquers all His and our enemies. He demonstrates that He can accomplish this by these accounts of His judgment upon the enemies of the covenant people.
As we read these denouncements, our hearts are sobered and softened. We are reminded, once more, that Jesus stood in for us. “In our place condemned He stood.” We are also reminded that God will not overlook the wrongs done to His people. The clock is ticking; all wrongs will one day be put right. God’s people will be vindicated. Penitent sinners are forgiven; impenitent sinners are not. On both counts, we praise and hope in God.
How does seeing the just judgement of God, lead you to thank and worship Jesus for taking upon Himself what we deserve?
Ezekiel 26 & 27 – Chapters 26-28 reveal that the fifth nation to suffer God’s wrath is Tyre, a wealthy and beautiful coastal trading city. Chapters 26–27 describe Tyre’s beauty, and then chapter 28 contains two prophecies against the king of Tyre. Ezekiel 28:20–24 describes God’s judgment against Sidon, a sister city of Tyre and the sixth nation to fall under God’s wrath.
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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