Ezekiel 16:20-21; 23:36-39; Psalm 139:13-16
January 16, 2022
The Prophet on the Judgment-Seat (vs. 1-16)
As among men there occurs, now and again, a great assize, when evil
deeds are examined and flagrant offenders judged, so God has His seasons
when high-handed crime is arrested, and the offenders feel the reality of
Divine justice. Penalties are not awarded in the dark. Good men see clearly
the equity of the proceeding and the extreme patience of the Judge. God
places His doings in the public light. “Some men’s sins are open beforehand
going before to judgmentl and some men they follow after. Likewise
also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that
are otherwise cannot be hid.” (I Timothy 5:24-25)
· THE INDICTMENT. It is a long indictment, and embraces all classes of
1. Gross abuse of power. The princes — i.e. heads of tribes — used their
power for the destruction of life, not to preserve it. The scepter was turned
into a dagger. Even neglect to protect innocent life becomes murder.
2. Idolatry. “The city maketh idols against herself.” In
treason. It was the rejection and humbling of their proper King.
3. Murder. “The city sheddeth blood.” He who begins to despise God soon
learns to under-value human life. Their children were made to pass through
the fire. Violence against property and life abounded.
4. Filial disobedience. “In thee have they set light by father and mother.”
The slaughter of innocent children soon produced its natural fruit.
Children grew up without natural affection. (II Timothy 3:3) If the
central sun be destroyed, the planets will soon rush headlong to
mutual destruction. (The Jupiter Effect in thee 1980’s)
5. Tyranny. “They have dealt by oppression with the stranger: they have
vexed the fatherless and the widow.” All regard for humane virtues, for
common morality, had vanished. It is the custom throughout the East to
show hospitality to strangers. This is considered a virtue of the first order;
yet even this ordinary virtue was trampled underfoot.
6. Profanity. “Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my
tokens of His presence and favor which He had not given unto others;
therefore to profane these sacred tokens was to disgrace God in the eyes of
the surrounding heathen. It was as if a soldier on the battle-field trailed his
country’s flag in the mire. It was as if a married woman should fling her
wedding ring into the fire.
7. Murderous intrigues. “Men carry tales to shed blood.” Untruthfulness is
a common sin among the Orientals. Lying intrigues, to encompass a rival’s
death, are plentiful as laws. This sin the Hebrews had copied from their
neighbors. (and could have been avoided had they obeyed God in
destroying the Canaanites - CY - 2022)
8. Unchastity and adultery. “They commit lewdness.” The sanctity of the
marriage-tie disappeared. Virtuous affection was strangled by animal lust.
Incest and other abominations followed. (LGBTQ in modern times for
example - supported by search engines who donate part of their profit - CY
-2022) The people gradually sank to the level of the beasts. (II Peter 2)
All the special dignity and nobleness of manhood died out. Degradation of
9. Judicial bribery. “They have taken gifts to shed blood.” Not an upright
judge remained. Wickedness, like an epidemic (what if the concept of
wickedness was handled by the media [even local media like the New Era]
like they do Covid-19 - daily cramming down the throats of its readers -
same for TV - get immunity through vaccine - can’t get a job
if you are not saved - etc. - CY - 2022) spread and infected every
office and every rank. The fountain of justice became a fountain of
corruption and death.
10. Avarice. There were gains that were dishonest. Extortion was on every
side. Avarice, like a cancer, had eaten out all the healthy flesh of honor and
sincerity. Gold became to them a god. (Is there any possibility of avarice
in those who have developed vaccines for Covid? - CY - 2022)
11. Forgetfulness of God. This was the root and the crown of their sins.
The very memory which God created refused to entertain Him; as if a house
which a man himself had built should shut its doors against him. When God
is driven out, all His retinue — purity, strength, unity, peace, honor — go
with Him. (And this is what happened when He left
to themselves. Do you not see that this can happen and is happening in your
lifetime in the
catalogue of crimes. Basically, these are the same things that will bring down
the house at the end of time. CY - 2022)
And it is probable that Schroder is correct in his opinion that both the false
witnesses and the unrighteous judges were thus wickedly employed by the
and murderous princes. Thus in
human life was no longer regarded as a sacred thing. It was ruthlessly
§ in defiance of law,
§ in defiance of the feelings of our common humanity, and
§ in defiance of the Creator and Father of men.
The scene of these sins.
words, “in thee,” or “in the midst of thee,” not less than twelve times.
22:3 Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood
in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against
herself to defile herself.
read v. 4
22:7 In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of
thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have
they vexed the fatherless and the widow.
22:9 In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat
upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness.
22:13 Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain
which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the
midst of thee.
Son of man, the house of
brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they
are even the dross of silver.
22:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become
dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of
22:20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the
midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I
gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there,
and melt you.
(taking a break from “in the midst of
“For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the
earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no
more cover the slain.” (Isaiah 26:21)
God’s concept of the blood - “For the life of the flesh is in the blood
and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for
your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he
said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood
crieth unto me from the ground.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her
mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee
her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of
every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of
every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for
in the image of God made He man.
7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the
earth, and multiply therein
Isaiah 750-698 B. C. - 52 years
Jeremiah 625-585 B. C. - 40 years
Ezekiel 590-571 B. C. - 20 to 22 years - a priest - 30-50 years of age
A Picture of Human Depravity and Destitution
Divine Condescension and Favor.
“Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, cause
Jerusalem to know her abominations,” etc. “We have here,” says
Hengstenberg, “one of the grandest prophecies of Ezekiel. The prophet
surveys in the Spirit of God the whole of the development of
past and the future.” In this development we have the following stages:
*The condition in which the Lord found His people;
* the condition to which He raised them;
* their shameful departures from Him;
* His severe judgments upon them; and
* their restoration to His favor.
· A PICTURE OF HUMAN DEPRAVITY AND DESTITUTION, OR
OF THE CONDITION IN WHICH THE LORD FOUND HIS PEOPLE.
Ø Their depraved moral parentage. “Thus saith the Lord God unto
was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.” The people of
designated “Canaanites,” to indicate their degraded moral character and
condition. “The Amorites and the Hittites are two chief Canaanitish tribes,
that elsewhere so often represent the whole of the Canaanites; the Amorites
already, in Genesis 15:16, where they specially represent the
Canaanitish people in their sinfulness.” Moral character and conduct are
often viewed as indicative of moral parentage. “When men live according
to the courses, natures, manners of others, they are styled their sons, or
children.” Thus the Jews are called “sons of the sorceress,” etc. (Isaiah
57:3). The Jews in the time of our Lord’s ministry upon earth claimed to be
“Abraham’s seed They said unto Him, Abraham is our father.” But Jesus
said unto them, “Ye are of your father the devil” (John 8:33-44). And
the devil” (Acts 13:10). The tendency to sin which characterizes human
nature indicates sinful parentage. (The psalmist says, “In sin did my
mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5 - CY - 2021) The doctrine of original sin
has often been stated in a very objectionable manner. But there is a basis of
fact underlying that doctrine. It is certain that human beings manifest in early
life a proclivity to sin. The modern scientific teaching as to inherited
tendencies conducts to the conclusion that we inherit a depraved moral
Ø Their destitute moral condition. “And as for thy nativity, in the day thou
wast born thy navel was not cut,” etc. (vs. 4-5). These verses point to
nation may have said to have been born. There was nothing there to foster
the moral life and health of the young nation. Nay, more, their physical
condition was one of cruel oppression and bitter persecution (one can read of
in Exodus 1:7-22). They were abhorred, afflicted, and brutally ill treated.
But the verses illustrate man’s spiritual condition apart from the grace of
God and the provisions of that grace. (The New Testament parallel is
“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the
having no hope, and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:12 - CY -
2021) Man is morally unclean as an unwashed infant, morally neglected
as an uncared for infant, left to live or die, no one taking an interest
in its condition, and being completely incapable of self-help. Is not that a
picture of man’s spiritual state apart from the grace of God? We inherit a
sinful nature. We cannot convert or sanctify ourselves, or even do anything
with a view to such results WITHOUT DIVINE INFLUENCE! We cannot
repent except as we are summoned and strengthened to do so from heaven.
(Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me
draw him.” John 6:44 - CY - 2021) And man cannot save us if he would;
for EVERY MAN IS A SINNER, AND NEEDS SALVATION HIMSELF!
Neither can angels save us. Their utmost wisdom, love, and might ARE
INADEQUATE TO THE DIFFICULT TASK. GOD ALONE has pity
enough and power enough for this work. If He leaves us we must perish.
If we are to be saved HE MUST BEGIN AND CARRY ON THIS
GRACIOUS WORK! And we rejoice to know that He does not leave
any people to perish without witness of Himself, or without some gracious
influences from Him (compare Acts 14:17; Romans 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:4).
(back to in the midst of
attempt to penetrate
and change “small town”
22:21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath,
and ye shall be melted in the midst therof.
22:22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be
melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD
have poured out my fury upon you.
22:25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a
roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have
taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many
widows in the midst thereof.
22:27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey,
to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
This was a grievous aggravation of their sins that they were committed
seat of the worship of the true and holy God; it was celebrated in
sacred song as the dwelling-place of the Most High (Psalm 76:2);
and it was favored religiously above any other city in the world. But
now it had become “the bloody city,” the “defiled” city, the home
of the foulest crimes.“ A
a den of murderers.” And if it do so, its former privileges aggravate
its guilt and augment its doom (compare Matthew 11:20-24;
Luke 12:47- 48).
Ø The maturity of these sins. “Thou hast caused thy days to draw near,
and art come even unto thy years” (v. 4; compare ch. 21:25, 29). By
reason of its sins
Divine judgment. By the extent and enormity of its transgressions it had
hastened the time of its doom. In the history of persistent wickedness
there comes a crisis when the evil-doers are ripe for judgment; and
then the Divine executioners go forth against them.
· THE DIVINE VISITATION ON ACCOUNT OF THE PEOPLE’S SINS.
Ø They become a reproach among the nations. “Therefore have I made
thee a reproach unto the nations, and a mocking to all the countries.
Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee,
thou infamous one and full of tumult.” We noticed (ch. 21:28) how
the Ammonites reproached the people of
for so doing. Yet although the people of Ammon had no right to
reproach their suffering neighbors, the Jews deserved reproach.
a reproach and a mocking unto the nations. “Righteousness exalteth a
nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
“The wicked shall be turned into hell and all nations that forget
God.” (Psalm 9:17)
Ø There is an attraction in cosmopolitanism. (including or containing people
from many different countries." immigration transformed the city into a
cosmopolitan metropolis" have wide and varied relations with the world,
Christianity claims all the earth as its domain. But the fatal charm is that
of following the example of the various practices
of mankind instead of impressing a Christian influence on the race. This
succumbed to the spirit of the world. There is great danger lest the Church
should follow her example in this respect. Indeed, this has happened already
to a deplorable extent. A pseudo-liberalism claims to be following the
zeit-geist (the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as
shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time) and so to be adapting
Christianity to the world. This means unfaithfulness to Christ. St.
Paul would be all things to all men, but only that he might win all men to
Christ, never so as to surrender Christ to please the world. That is the
part of a Judas.
Base ingratitude. How shameful were the returns which
His great kindness to them! Very strikingly is this set forth in Ezekiel 16.
And their conduct has been too closely reproduced by us.
o For His fidelity we have returned unbelief;
o for His love, coldness of heart;
o for His beneficence, disobedience.
Heinous infidelity. This is the aspect of
is given in the text. In forsaking the Lord God for idols they committed a
treacherous breach of a sacred engagement. Their conduct is an
illustration of the action of those who, having avowed their allegiance
to Him, turn their backs upon Him and upon His cause. Terrible is
their guilt, and deplorable their condition. “It is a miserable thing,”
says Bishop Ryle, “to be a backslider. Of all unhappy things that can
befall a man, I suppose it is the worst. A stranded ship, a broken-winged
eagle, a garden overrun with weeds, a harp without strings, a church in
ruins, — all these are sad sights; but a backslider is a sadder sight still.”
And appalling will be their doom, even “a certain fearful expectation
of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the
adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:27) Says Bunyan, “They fall deepest into
hell who fall backwards into hell.” Let backsliders return unto the Lord
while there is yet time. “Return, thou backsliding
I will not look in anger upon you,” etc. (Jeremiah 3:12, 13,14;
An Encouraging Assurance for a Depressed People (26:20)
“And I shall set glory in the land of the living.” Accepting this rendering as
expressing the meaning of the original, and as applicable to
A REMARKABLE DESIGNATION OF THE
called “the land of the living.” Hengstenberg views “the land of the living”
as standing in “contrast to Sheol, the land. of the dead, to which in the
foregoing the inhabitants of
refer particularly to
land of the living is the land of the true God, as opposed to the land of the
dead, to which is gathered the glory of the world.” And Matthew Henry,
“The holy land is the land of the living; for none but holy souls are properly
living souls.” There was propriety in applying this designation to that land,
The living God was known and
known: His Name is great in
thirsteth for God, for the living God,” ( ibid. ch. 42:2). The people of
other lands had riches, honors, power; but they were idolaters. Their
gods were no gods, but dead idols. In the highest sense no land can
be called living whose deity or deities are dead, unreal, mere human
inventions. To the people of
God had revealed Himself through law-giver, prophet, and. poet,
and through His hand in their history as a nation.
Ø The living Word was possessed. The sacred writings of the Jews are far
superior to those of heathen nations.
o They were true: “the Word of truth” (Psalm 119:43, 142, 160).
o They were vital and lasting: “living oracles” (Acts 7:38);
“the Word of the Lord endureth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).
o They were life-giving . “Thy Word hath quickened, me”
(Psalm 119:50, 93). Moreover,
o their Scriptures were light-giving: “Thy Word is a
lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”
(Psalm 119:105, 130).
Ø The living ordinances were observed. The pure worship of the living and
true God was instituted and practiced there, and, after the return from the
Captivity, without any admixture of idolatry. Worship, when it is
directed to the true Object and offered in a true spirit, develops and
strengthens the noblest life of the worshipper. To the pious Jews the
means of grace were as “wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3) In these
living.” And with even greater fullness and force may the designation
be applied to this favored land of ours.
· AN ENCOURAGING ASSURANCE CONCERNING THE HOLY
LAND. “I shall set glory in the land of the living” Let us look at this
Ø In its primary signification. By the side of the utter overthrow of
Ezekiel predicts the renewal of the Divine favor and of prosperity to
Judah from captivity to their own land, the rebuilding of the temple of
Jehovah, the re-establishment of religious ordinances, and the restoration
of the sacred city. And all these things were in due season accomplished.
And thus interpreted, the assurance given in the text is the more significant
from the fact that, after their return home, the Jews never obscured the
Divine glory by the practice of idolatry. They neither gave God’s glory to
another nor His praise unto graven images.
Ø In its other and grander signification. The text prophetically points to
the coming of the Messiah and the proclamation of the glorious gospel. In
the work of redemption by Jesus Christ we have a much more illustrious
of the glory of God than in the return of the exiles from
increasing amongst men as the triumphs of the gospel are multiplied. The
enemies of the cause of God are being vanquished by truth and love, and
His true kingdom is constantly being established more and more deeply and
widely in this world. And at length “all the earth shall be filled with the
glory of the Lord.” (Numbers 14:21-23; Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 11:9)
· CONCLUSION. Even in the darkest seasons of its history there is always
a bright and inspiring hope for the true
unfaithfulness it may bring upon itself severe chastisement from its great
Head; but it shall arise from the dust purified and strengthened, and go
forward in its glorious course, “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, terrible
as an army with banners.” (Song of Solomon 6:10)
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