Ezekiel 33

Ezekiel 33

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At the close of chapter 24 the prophet was instructed to remain silent (actually for three years) till the catastrophe occurred and till the escaped from Jerusalem came to him to witness that judgment was completed (vv26-27). It was in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign and Ezekiel’s captivity that Jerusalem was taken by the Babylonians and on the following month reduced to ashes. “The Jews having behaved so ill, the Lord will not own them for his people (v2), but calls them the prophet’s people, and the children of them: “and say unto them, when I bring the sword upon a land”; “a foreign enemy with an army to invade it, or any other judgment; for there is no public calamity whatever that comes upon a people, but what is by the order or direction of the Lord.”(Gill) The people, like those of Christ’s day, and many religionists today trusted in their pedigree (being Abraham’s seed or today being church goers or having been baptised), they thought this entitled them to covenant blessings but as we are clearly taught in Galatians 3:29 only oneness with the faith and obedience of Abraham carries title to Abraham’s heritage of blessing. “No assurance of God’s favour can be found apart from continuance in faith and holiness before him.” (Fairbairn). Regarding the oft-disputed verse 11 “Therefore, we may undoubtedly read the text this way: I have no pleasure in this, that the wicked does not turn and dies, but in this, that he turns and lives. Whoever does not turn is certainly killed by God with eternal death, and God certainly has pleasure in this death as punishment for sin, for it is a manifestation of His justice. But whoever turns shall live, not because he turns, for that would never be able to earn life for him, nor to blot out his former sins; but because God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked who turns, but in the eternal mercy has blotted out his unrighteousness, so there is but a love for the sinner who turns. ” Herman Hoeksema. Article

Those who were in Jerusalem and no less those now in Babylon were hypocritical, saying one thing, but doing quite another and called again in v17,” the children of thy people” …“Not my people”; for surely the children of God could never say what then follows, “The way of the Lord is not equal (fair!).”

Though he had been prophesying against several nations (preceding chapters), yet these prophecies were likely not delivered by word of mouth, but by writing, and sent into those countries by proper messengers; In this chapter Ezekiel is given his re-commissioning as a watchman who must warn the wicked. Only when the wicked repent and turn in faith to Messiah to come, will they be accepted as righteous, and the self-righteous who sin will die in their sin because they never repented. This passage fits precisely with Christ parable of the Pharisee and tax-collector in the temple.

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