August 28, 2021
"The inhabitants will believe this is a false divination because of the oath upon oaths that their false prophets have sworn to the contrary."
“The inhabitants will believe this is a false divination because of the oath upon oaths that their false prophets have sworn to the contrary. But it will cause God to remember their guilt and thus ensure their capture. Therefore, this is what Adonai Elihom says: ‘Because you have caused your guilt to be remembered, with your misdeeds revealed and the sins in all your actions evident – since you have been remembered, you will be captured.’” Ezekiel 21:24
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 out 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 which 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 yet sinners, Messiah died for us.” Romans 5:8
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 we 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 men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, so the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:3-6