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                                            Ezekiel 37:1-14

                                          January 9, 202

 

 

 

                                                Total Collapse

 

“Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall

deal with thee?  I the Lord have spoken it.”  (ch. 22:14)

 

  • CONSEQUENT MISERY. The question of the text is not answered;

but the doleful silence with which it is received suggests the misery that is

to follow. If heart and hand fail, the ruin and wretchedness must be

complete. While a good man fighting against adversity is said to be a sight

for the admiration of gods as well as men, a bad man crushed by misery is

only an object of horror. The stout heart of honest intentions can bear up

against unmerited woes and find in its own fortitude a certain solace. But

this solace will be wanting in the collapse of the false hope of the sinner.

Then will follow the deepest misery, the sense of being confounded, the

helplessness of being swept away in a flood of destruction. Pain is not the

worst evil. The depth of hell is reached when heart and strength fail, and

the sinner loses all power to withstand his fate. Hence the supreme need

            OF A SAVIOUR!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Corruption of All Classes (ch. 23-31)

 

To complete the picture of the debasement and moral deterioration of Jerusalem,

the prophet reviews the several classes of which the population of a great city

is composed. He finds in every class signs of departure from God, signs of

abandonment to the vices and crimes which prevailed among the heathen

around.

 

  • THE PROPHETS, WHO SHOULD SPEAK GOD’S TRUTH,

DECEIVE AND LIE, AND THUS MISLEAD THE PEOPLE. In what

sense these worthless deceivers could have been called prophets, it is not

easy to determine. Probably they were persons who pretended to this

office, and who were deemed by their neighbors entitled to the appellation.

But a prophet is one who speaks for God as His representative; and of all

men deception on his part is reprehensible. Prophets are nothing IF NOT

TRUE!  Yet in how many cases have the multitude been misled by crafty,

designing pretenders to Divine illumination! And not the multitude only,

but even kings and commanders have too often given themselves over

to the virtual dictation of men no better than soothsayers and diviners.

 

  • THE PRIESTS, WHO SHOULD KEEP AND REVERENCE THE

DIVINE LAW, VIOLATE AND PROFANE IT. The priesthood must be

regarded as part of a system, the object of which was to maintain right

relations between the Almighty Ruler and His chosen people. Themselves

divinely instituted, they were peculiarly bound to observe every ordinance

and regulation of Heaven. Yet these are the men whom the inspired

prophet of the Lord denounces as doing violence to God’s Law, profaning

holy things, as breaking down the distinction between clean and unclean

a distinction which it was especially their office to maintain. How should

they be clean who bear the vessels of the Lord! “Like priest, like people.”

The moral degradation of the priesthood PROMOTED THE

DEGENERATION OF THE NATION!

 

  • THE PRINCES, WHO SHOULD PROTECT THEIR SUBJECTS

AND PROMOTE THEIR WELFARE, RAVIN, SPOIL, AND

DESTROY. Judah had been afflicted with a succession of monarchs WHO

DID THAT WHICH WAS EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD!  The

deeper the nation sank in poverty, humiliation, and despondency, the greater

the opportunity for those in authority, by self-denial and sympathy, to improve

the state of the nation. (This sounds like current events which too, can be

attributed to A DEPARTURE FROM GOD!  - CY – 2014).  But the

wretched rulers who found themselves in place and power appeared

indifferent to everything except their own selfish interests, and did their

worst to hasten and to complete the ruin which was manifestly so

near.

 

  • THE PEOPLE, WHO SHOULD LIVE IN THE EXERCISE OF

JUSTICE, SYMPATHY, AND CONCORD, OPPRESS AND ROB

THEIR NEIGHBORS. National life may be, and is in many cases, an

opportunity for the display of civic and social virtues. But the abuse of the

best of institutions may make them evil. It is the spirit in which the life of

the nation is lived which determines the condition of the people.

Differences in power, intelligence, and wealth always have existed, and

always will exist, in every community. But superiority ought to be regarded

as a trust to be employed for the public good. Where it is used for

purposes of oppression, especially for the oppression of the poor and the

stranger, such a state of things is a sure presage of national downfall.

“When all men live like brothers,” a nation may defy a public enemy, a

foreign foe. But suspicion and discord lay the axe at the root of the tree.

Such being the state of Jerusalem and Judah, all classes striving together as

it were for the nation’s ruin, no wonder that to the prophet the outlook

appeared gloomy, and the day of retribution near at hand. “I sought,” says

Jehovah, “for a man among them, that should make up the fence, and stand

in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found

none.”

 

 

A Man to Stand in the Gap (v. 30)

 

The nation of the Jews is in a desperate condition. Their defense is broken

down, and God is ready to rush in through the breach with devastating

vengeance. But He is loath to do so, and, though His is the threatening

power, yet in a wonderful clemency God looks for some one to fill the gap

and so to save the devoted nation. Unhappily, no such man is to be found.

 

  • THE BREACH IS MADE. The Jews have been already beaten in the war

with Babylon. In the corresponding experience of souls the same

lamentable condition is observable. The sinner sets himself against God

with a brazen face, and makes the stoutest fence of worldly precautions

wherewith to protect himself. But alas! this is a feeble structure. We have

not to wait long before we discover that it has been broken through.

Trouble has come. Misfortune has fallen on the self-complacent sinner. Or

it may be he has suffered from severe sickness, that has weakened the

energies of his body. Possibly his mental faculties have begun to fail. He

receives unpleasant warning of his mortality. There is a breach in his hedge.

 

  • GOD IS PREPARING TO COME THROUGH THE BREACH. He

cannot disregard the sins of His people, for He is their King, and He must act

justly. He might even make a breach at any moment, and in the awful crash

of judgment sweep away the strongest fortifications of the soul as so much

dust and rubbish. Much more, then, must the enfeebled soul, with ruined

fences, stand open to the irresistible wrath of God! So long as we live in

sin we are inviting God to come in vengeance through the ever-widening

breaches in our paltry defenses.

 

  • GOD WISHES THE BREACH TO BE FILLED. Here is the

wonderful part of our subject. Though we deserve God’s vengeance, He is

reluctant to wreak it upon us. While He is necessarily preparing to smite the

sinner, He longs to spare him. When the soul is indifferent to its own

danger, God grieves over it and looks out for a way of escape. God now

longs to save us before we think of seeking for our deliverance.

 

  • A MAN IS NEEDED TO FILL THE BREACH. The Jews cannot do

this for themselves. They do not see their danger, or they are too busily

engaged upon the walls, or no one among them is strong and brave enough

to take so perilous a position. We cannot mend the breach in our own lives.

We cannot fortify our own souls against the wrath of God.

 

  • NO MAN IS FOUND TO FILL THE BREACH. Jeremiah might have

seemed the most likely savior in this time of extreme need; but even that

great prophet was not able to stand alone against the inrushing army of

vengeance. No man can save his neighbor from sin and ruin. The evil of the

world is too great for all the good men in it to resist. The case of man is

hopeless if it is left only to his fellow-man to save him.

 

  • GOD HAS SENT HIS SON TO FILL THE BREACH. God looked to

see if there was any to save, and wondered that there was no man. Then

His own arm brought salvation.  (Isaiah 59:16)

 

Ø      Christ came as a man. A man was wanted. God coming in wrath

against mankind must be met by a representative man.

Ø      Christ came into the world. He stood in the breach and met the

fury of the storm. He was “made sin for us”  (II Corinthians 5:21,)

and faced the curse of the cross. 

Ø      Christ came in the might of God.

 

(I would be amiss if I did not relate a personal testimony here.  When I was

twelve years old, I received a call from God to “Prepare!”  My reaction to

this call was to study the Bible, for what the calling, I did not know!  I thought

rather apprehensively, it might be China.  With God’s help and direction, I

developed a plan of study, that in my seventy years (now 78 - 2021), have never

been improved upon!  I read one chapter consecutively and daily, from Genesis to

Malachi.   I read a chapter from the Four Gospels daily and consecutively, and I read

from Acts to Revelation, one chapter daily and consecutively, with only the

Holy Spirit to guide me.  When I went to Cumberland College in 1962,

I become exposed to the Pulpit Commentary, at the school library.

I have studied the books of the Bible extensively from this commentary,

a twenty-three volume work.  For Christmas in 1963, my father and mother

gave me a full set of my own.  It is from these commentaries that you

see the results on this website.  The Pulpit Commentary is public domain,

therefore, I am trying to share it in a more presentable venue and that

people, unaware there is such a thing, may experience what I have gleaned

in a life’s work.  The Holy Spirit has been no less present in my studies since

the teenage years.  In 1966, when getting out of college, Bro. Howard

Prather, the pastor at Oak Hill Baptist Church in Somerset, KY, of which

I was a member, preached a sermon on “I sought for a man among them,

that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land,

 that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”  I was convicted to respond,

offering my service to God to try and fulfill this calling.  In retrospect,

I must say that I believe with all my heart that I have been where I was

supposed to be – the only problem being, doing what I was supposed to

do.  I will have to give account at the Judgment as to my faithfulness or

unfaithfulness to this calling.   Thank God, for an Advocate, Jesus Christ

the Righteous – I John 2:1 -  I interpret “making up the hedge and standing

in the gap” as it applies to my calling,  as thirty-four years of teaching in

high school, during a time when the JUDAEO-CHRISTIAN VALUES in

America was being cast aside by political and philosophical leaders, lawyers,

liberal professors in major universities, Hollywood, the Supreme Court

and lower courts in the United States, and enough of the general populace

who love to have it so along the spirit of Jerimiah 5:31, all playing r oles

in  AMERICA’S DEPARTURE FROM GOD, much like Israel and Judah did,

in our present study!  Late in my teaching career, I was  encouraged to learn

from a guest speaker at an  opening of the school year at the Fairgrounds Center,

when before all the administrators and faculties of all the schools in Christian County,

that he was a “Promise Keeper” and that their motto was “TO STAND IN THE

GAP AND MAKE UP THE HEDGE!”  Apparently, one other, facet

of my calling has been to try to “stand in the gap and make up the hedge”

from the podium of the Adult Bible Class, which has Providentially been

carried over the air via WHOP radio.  Through God’s grace, I am in the

44th (now 50th - a year of jubilee) year of having the opportunity to share God’s

word, and probably  for the last twenty years, has also broadcasted over local

television.  (However Spectrum, our local cable provider, stopped this

three years ago  - this being 2022.  May God bless His Word which shall not

return unto Him void!  - Isaiah 55:11 – CY – June 2014 - amended 2022)

 

                                               

                                                            ch. 33

 

1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them,

   When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take

   a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:

3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the

   trumpet, and warn the people;                         

4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not

   warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be

   upon his own head.

5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood

   shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his

   soul.

6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the

   trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take

   any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but

   his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house

   of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn

   them from me.

8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die;

   if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that

   wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at

   thine hand.

9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if

   he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou

   hast delivered thy soul.

 

10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus

   ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and

   we pine away in them, how should we then live?

11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in

   the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and

   live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O

   house of Israel?

12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people,

The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day

of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall

not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness;

neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in

the day that he sinneth.

13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he

trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his

righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that

he hath committed, he shall die for it.

14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn

from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;

15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed,

walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall

surely live, he shall not die.

16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto

him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely

live.

17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not

equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.

18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth

iniquity, he shall even die thereby.

19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is

lawful and right, he shall live thereby.

20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel,

I will judge you every one after his ways.

21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth

month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out

of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten.

22 Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he

that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came

to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no

more dumb.

23 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel

speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we

are many; the land is given us for inheritance.

25 Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with

the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood:

and shall ye possess the land?

26 Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile

every one his neighbor’s wife: and shall ye possess the land?

27 Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live,

surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him

that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and

they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.

28 For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength

shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none

shall pass through.

29 Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the

land most desolate because of all their abominations which they

have committed.

30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking

against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak

one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you,

and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.

31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before

thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do

them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart

goeth after their covetousness.

32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a

pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear

thy words, but they do them not.

33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they

know that a prophet hath been among them.

 

·         THE JUDGMENT AND RETRIBUTION OF A FUTURE

            STATE. What we know not now we shall know hereafter. The anomalies

            of the present state of being are such as to suggest that this is only a

probationary state, that we do not  now and here see the unfolding of the

complete purposes of the Lord and Judge of all.  The Scriptures reveal a

state in which retribution and compensation shall be complete,

as we know they are not here. The righteous and the wicked shall not

always be confused in one common category, and consigned to one

common doom.  The discrimination which is not exercised now shall be

exercised hereafter. Prosperous sinners shall not forever elude the

righteous judgment of God. The suffering and patience of the virtuous

and pious shall one day be rewarded, not only by the approbation of the Judge,

but by an everlasting recompense.  (“Some men’s sins are open beforehand,

going before to judgment; 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)

 

 

 

 

 

                                                CHAPTER 34

 

 

34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy,

and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds;

Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should

not the shepherds feed the flocks?

34:3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that

are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

34:4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that

which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken,

neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither

have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty

have ye ruled them.

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34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they

became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were

scattered.

34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every

high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth,

and none did search or seek after them.

34:7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

34:8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a

prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field,

because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search

for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my

flock;

34:9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

34:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and

I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from

feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any

more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may

not be meat for them.

34:11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search

my sheep, and seek them out.

34:12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his

sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will

deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the

cloudy and dark day.

34:13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from

the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them

upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited

places of the country.

34:14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of

Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a

fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

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34:15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the

Lord GOD.

34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was

driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will

strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the

strong; I will feed them with judgment.

34:17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I

judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.

34:18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good

pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your

pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul

the residue with your feet?

34:19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your

feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

34:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I,

will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.

34:21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all

the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;

34:22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey;

and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

34:23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them,

even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their

shepherd.

34:24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince

among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

34:25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the

evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in

the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a

blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season;

there shall be showers of blessing.

34:27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall

yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall

know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their

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yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served

themselves of them.

34:28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the

beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none

shall make them afraid.

34:29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, (The Righteous Branch,

from the roots of Jesse) and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in

the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

34:30 Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them,

and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the

Lord GOD.

34:31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your

God, saith the Lord GOD.

 

 

 

·         SUBVERSION OF HUMAN SYSTEMS SHALL MAKE FOR THE

ESTABLISHMENT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. “I will overturn, overturn,

overturn it… until he come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.”

(ch. 21:27) There is no question but that this Coming One is “Jesus Christ

the Righteous.” “Because He loveth righteousness and hateth wickedness,”

therefore His throne shall be forever and ever. The only solid foundation

for a throne is righteousness. The dynasty founded in might shall be demolished

by a greater might. Mere power has an ephemeral tenure. The mightiest thing

in heaven or earth is holiness. This is the thing that cannot be shaken: this

            shall remain. (Hebrews 12: 27)  (also So that the fishes of the sea, and

            the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping

            things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the

            face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall

            be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall

            fall to the ground.” ch. 38:20) Today the strongest kingdom upon the earth

is the most righteous. “There shall be new heavens, and a new earth!”

And what shall be their distinctive principle — their special glory?

In them dwelleth righteousness.”  (II Peter 3:13)  The man of right

is the man of might.

 

 

                                                CHAPTER 35

35:1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

35:2 Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, and prophesy against

it,

35:3 And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O mount Seir, I

am against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I

will make thee most desolate.

35:4 I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt

know that I am the LORD.

35:5 Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood

of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of

their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end:

35:6 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto

blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood,

even blood shall pursue thee.

35:7 Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him

that passeth out and him that returneth.

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35:8 And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in

thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with

the sword.

35:9 I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not

return: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

35:10 Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries

shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was

there:

35:11 Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according

to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used

out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known

among them, when I have judged thee.

35:12 And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard all

thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of

Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume.

35:13 Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have

multiplied your words against me: I have heard them.

35:14 Thus saith the Lord GOD; When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will

make thee desolate.

35:15 As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel,

because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be

desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it: and they

shall know that I am the LORD.

 

 

                                                CHAPTER 36

 

36:1 Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and

say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD:

36:2 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against

you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:

36:3 Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because

they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side,

that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and

ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the

people:

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36:4 Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD;

Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the

rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities

that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue

of the heathen that are round about;

36:5 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my

jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and

against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their

possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to

cast it out for a prey.

36:6 Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the

mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus

saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in

my fury, because ye have born the shame of the heathen:

36:7 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up mine hand,

Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.

36:8 But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches,

and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to

come.

36:9 For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be

tilled and sown:

36:10 And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all

of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be

builded:

36:11 And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall

increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates,

and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall

know that I am the LORD.

36:12 Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel;

and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and

thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.

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36:13 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou land

devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations:

36:14 Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy

nations any more, saith the Lord GOD.

36:15 Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen

any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any

more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith

the Lord GOD.

36:16 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

36:17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they

defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was

before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.  (Gender problems

without a spin)

36:18 Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had

shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted

it:

36:19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed

through the countries: according to their way and according to their

doings I judged them.

36:20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they

profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the

people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.

36:21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had

profaned among the heathen, whither they went.

36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I

do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy

name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither

ye went.

36:23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the

heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the

heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD,

when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of

all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

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36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean:

from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within

you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I

will give you an heart of flesh.

36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my

statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye

shall be my people, and I will be your God.

36:29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for

the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

 

 

To put a people in their own territory would be of no avail to the national life

were not the people gifted with a spirit of patriotism, of unity, of

hopefulness, above all, of true religion. A restoration such as that effected

for Israel, in order to be a real thing, must be accompanied by the new heart,

the new national endeavor and patience, the new devotedness to the higher

aims of social and political existence. God, who gives the boon, gives also

the preparation by which the boon may be appropriated and used.

 

36:30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the

field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the

heathen.

36:31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that

were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for

your iniquities and for your abominations.

36:32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto

you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of

Israel.

36:33 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you

from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities,

and the wastes shall be builded.

36:34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the

sight of all that passed by.

36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the

garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are

become fenced, and are inhabited.

36:36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the

LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I

the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.

 

36:37 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the

house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men

like a flock.

36:38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts;

soshall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall

know that I am the LORD.

 

 

                                                CHAPTER 37

 

37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the

spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley

which was full of bones,

37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there

were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I

answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

 

·         MARK ISRAEL’S DESPERATE CONDITION. Whatever may have

been the fortunes of some individuals, as a nation their fortunes were

deplorable. All that was distinctive about Israel had vanished. Tithings,

temple ritual, priesthood, Passover, distinction in meats, — all had

disappeared. They were fast becoming amalgamated, in language, habits,

and occupation, with their conquerors. As a body, they were utterly

dislocated. Their several orders had vanished. The organism was broken

up. Their national life was destroyed. Their condition was deplorable, fitly

symbolized by dry and dissevered bones. Prospect of restoration there was

none. The faithful few were sinking into despair. Vivid picture this of

human nature SEVERED FROM THE LIVING GOD!  Compared with the

purity and nobleness that might be, the condition is aptly figured by death.

 

Ø      Filial love and trust are dead.

Ø      Conscience, the sense of right, is dead.

Ø      Heavenly aspirations are dead.

Ø      The hope of immortality is dead.

 

Departing from God, men become “earthly, sensual, devilish.” (James 3:15)

The captivity of the grave aptly symbolizes their estate. The high design of

their being is frustrated. Severance from God is followed by:

 

Ø      the rupture of social ties,

Ø      mutualdiscords, and

Ø      mutual hate.

 

No real improvement in human nature can be achieved WITHOUT GOD’S

POWER!  Although the man of God was charged to prophesy, his message

simply declared what God was about to do. “I will lay sinews upon you; I

will bring up flesh upon you; I will cover you with skin,” saith the Lord

God. No advancement is abiding that does not come from God. All

political organization that is to produce benefit to a nation MUST

BE FULL OF GOD!  Every step in the process of moral elevation

MUST HAVE GOD IN IT! We can only act successfully while we act

in the line of His Law, and have all the channels we create filled with

a Divine force. God deigns to take a practical interest in the minutest

affairs of men.

 

37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto

them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

37:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause

breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you,

and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live;

and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there

was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together,

bone to his bone.

37:8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon

them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in

them.

37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of

man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from

the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they

may live.

37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into

them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding

great army.

37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole

house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope

is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD;

Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to

come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your

graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place

you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have

spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

37:15 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

37:16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it,

For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take

another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim

and for all the house of Israel his companions:

37:17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become

one in thine hand.

37:18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying,

Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

37:19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the

stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of

Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick

of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine

hand.

37:20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before

their eyes.

37:21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take

the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be

gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their

own land:

37:22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of

Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no

more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms

any more at all.

37:23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor

with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions:

but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they

have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people,

and I will be their God.

37:24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall

have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and

observe my statutes, and do them.

37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my

servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell

therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children

for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an

everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and

multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for

evermore.

37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and

they shall be my people.

37:28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel,

when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

 

 

                                                CHAPTER 38

 

38:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

38:2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief

prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

38:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O

Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

38:4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will

bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of

them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with

bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and

helmet:

38:6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north

quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

38:7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy

company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto

them.

38:8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt

come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is

gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel,

which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the

nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

38:9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud

to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with

thee.

38:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the

same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an

evil thought:

38:11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I

will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them

dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

38:12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the

desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are

gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods,

that dwell in the midst of the land.

38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the

young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a

spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry

away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great

spoil?

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38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the

Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely,

shalt thou not know it?

38:15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou,

and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great

company, and a mighty army:

38:16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to

cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee

against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be

sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

38:17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in

old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in

those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

38:18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come

against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall

come up in my face.

38:19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken,

Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of

Israel;

38:20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the

beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the

earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall

shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down,

and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the

ground.

38:21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my

mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be

against his brother.

38:22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I

will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people

that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire,

and brimstone.

38:23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be

known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am

the LORD.

 

 

                                                Total Collapse

 

“Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall

deal with thee?  I the Lord have spoken it.”  (ch. 22:14)

 

  • CONSEQUENT MISERY. The question of the text is not answered;

but the doleful silence with which it is received suggests the misery that is

to follow. If heart and hand fail, the ruin and wretchedness must be

complete. While a good man fighting against adversity is said to be a sight

for the admiration of gods as well as men, a bad man crushed by misery is

only an object of horror. The stout heart of honest intentions can bear up

against unmerited woes and find in its own fortitude a certain solace. But

this solace will be wanting in the collapse of the false hope of the sinner.

Then will follow the deepest misery, the sense of being confounded, the

helplessness of being swept away in a flood of destruction. Pain is not the

worst evil. The depth of hell is reached when heart and strength fail, and

the sinner loses all power to withstand his fate. Hence the supreme need

            OF A SAVIOUR!

 

 

 

                                               

 

                                                CHAPTER 39

 

39:1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus

saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief

prince of Meshech and Tubal:

39:2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and

will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee

upon the mountains of Israel:

39:3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine

arrows to fall out of thy right hand.

39:4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy

bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the

ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be

devoured.

39:5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the

Lord GOD.

39:6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell

carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people

Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and

the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in

Israel.

39:8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; THIS IS

THE DAY WHEREOF i HAVE SPOKEN!

39:9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall

set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers,

the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and

they shall burn them with fire seven years:

39:10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down

any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire:

and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that

robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.

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39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a

place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the

east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and

there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call

it The valley of Hamongog.

39:12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them,

that they may cleanse the land.

39:13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to

them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord

GOD.

39:14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing

through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain

upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven

months shall they search.

39:15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a

man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have

buried it in the valley of Hamongog.

39:16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they

cleanse the land.

39:17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every

feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble

yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my

sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the

mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.

39:18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the

princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks,

all of them fatlings of Bashan.

39:19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be

drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.

39:20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with

mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.

39:21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen

shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I

have laid upon them.

39:22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God

from that day and forward.

39:23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into

captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me,

therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of

their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.

39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their

transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.

39:25 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the

captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel,

and will be jealous for my holy name;

39:26 After that they have born their shame, and all their trespasses

whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely

in their land, and none made them afraid.

39:27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered

them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the

sight of many nations;

39:28 Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused

them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have

gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any

more there.

39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured

out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.