“It will seem like false divination in the eyes of those who have sworn an oath to the Babylonians, but it will draw attention to their guilt so that they will be captured. Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: Because you have drawn attention to your guilt, exposing your transgressions, so that your sins are revealed in all your actions, since you have done this, you will be captured by them.” Ezekiel 21:23-24 (HCSB)
Pretending to be the King of Babylon, Ezekiel – standing at some imaginary crossroads – decides whether to take his army eastward and attack Rabbah of the Ammonites or go westward and attack Jerusalem. In his typical “performance art” manner, Ezekiel marked the two routes by drawing a simple map on the ground. Then, using an elaborate method of divination – something on which the Babylonians relied extensively – Ezekiel portrays the King of Babylon casting lots (dice), shooting arrows, and consulting idols to indicate the possible course of action. The lot falls upon Jerusalem.
Verse 22 outlines the battle plans, including “battering rams” to break down the city walls, a “ramp” to scale the city wall, and “siege works” – wooden or stone structures that the enemy would use to gain cover from attack. Those who remained in Judah simply would not believe Ezekiel’s message, partly because those left behind after the siege of 598 B.C. made an oath with King Nebuchadnezzar to be loyal to him. Interesting, God knows our rebellion before we do! And yet, He chooses to love us, not only despite the sin we have committed but also despite the sin we have yet to commit. And how has God chosen to love us?
“But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
Another reason Israel refused to believe Ezekiel’s message was that they simply chose to believe the lies of the false prophets instead of trusting in God’s Word. Whenever people follow a false prophet, it is always because they are void of an intimate knowledge of God’s Word. Had they known God’s Word, they would have been able to distinguish the false prophecies because of their inconsistencies with God’s Heart.
Lest we fall into the same delusion as apostate Judah and believe such a blatant ignorance of God’s Word (among His people) is only a thing of the past, perhaps we should be reminded of what is prophesied for the Church-at-large’s future:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.” 2 Timothy 4:3-6 (NKJV)
Elevating your Faith with daily Bible reading and devotionals written by Steve Wiggins.
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