Scripture reading – Ezekiel 12

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Ezekiel’s heart was moved by the visions of God’s judgments (Ezekiel 10-11). After witnessing the latter vision that warned the judgment of God was imminent (Ezekiel 11:21), the Spirit of the LORD placed Ezekiel in the midst of “of the captivity” (those living in Babylon, Ezekiel 11:24). Then, he began to tell the people all the LORD had shown him in visions regarding the fate of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 11:25).

Ezekiel 12

Israel and Judah’s Rebellion (Ezekiel 12:1-2)

Ezekiel was commanded to portray a symbolic, compelling act to depict Jerusalem’s imminent destruction and captivity. Addressing Ezekiel as “Son of man” (Ezekiel 12:2), the LORD described the spiritual condition of the children of Israel as “a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 12:2, 9). Though they were His people, their sins had left them spiritually blind and deaf to the voice of God.

Ezekiel’s Illustration of God’s Judgment (Ezekiel 12:3-6)

To warn the people in captivity of the inevitability of Jerusalem’s fall and destruction, the LORD commanded Ezekiel to pack his personal belongings as though he was going on a long trip (Ezekiel 12:3). He was commanded to move his possessions in the day time, that the people might observe his unusual activities (Ezekiel 12:4).

In the evening, Ezekiel was commanded to depart from his house, portraying some in Jerusalem who would soon “go forth into captivity” (Ezekiel 12:4). With the people watching, Ezekiel was told to break through the wall and carry his possessions out upon his shoulders (Ezekiel 12:5-6), with his face covered as though he was blind (Ezekiel 12:6). All of this served as a “sign unto the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 12:6).

Ezekiel’s Explanation of His Actions

Ezekiel’s Explanation of His Actions (Ezekiel 12:7-16)

Ezekiel did as he was commanded (Ezekiel 12:7), and on the next day, when the people asked, “What doest thou?” he was commanded to answer them: “Thus saith the Lord God; This burden concerneth the prince [the king] in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them [the Jewish people still living in Jerusalem]. 11Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity” (Ezekiel 12:10-11).

Ezekiel’s actions served as a symbol of all that soon befell Jerusalem (Ezekiel 12:11). The prince, who was King Zedekiah, fled the city in the night but when he was captured, his sons were killed and his eyes were put out (Ezekiel 12:12; 2 Kings 25:4-7; Jeremiah 39:5-7). The proud king of Judah was humbled, led away as a blind man, and taken in chains to Babylon (Ezekiel 12:11-13; 2 Kings 25:4-7).

Why were these events foretold? They served to arouse the people of the captivity to know that Israel’s God was the LORD. Yet, though the Jews would be scattered in every direction “among the nations,” the LORD would not altogether forsake His people (Ezekiel 12:14-16).


Signs of the Terror of God’s Judgment (Ezekiel 12:17-20)

The LORD came again to Ezekiel and asked him to dramatize in eating and drinking the fear and trembling the children of Israel would face in the future (Ezekiel 12:17-18). He was also commanded to interpret the message and explain how the people in Jerusalem would ration their food (“eat their bread with carefulness,” Ezekiel 12:19a) and water. All this would befall Jerusalem because of the wickedness and violence of the people (Ezekiel 12:19). All the LORD foretold would come to pass, and the cities and land of Judah would be left desolate (Ezekiel 12:20).

The Imminent Threat of God’s Judgment

The Imminent Threat of God’s Judgment (Ezekiel 12:21-28)

Though the LORD sent prophets who foretold His imminent judgment, many scorned and dismissed their prophecies and said in a proverb, “The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth” (Ezekiel 12:22).

Nevertheless, all that Ezekiel prophesied was fulfilled (Ezekiel 12:23-24).  Six years passed before Babylon’s final assault on Jerusalem, and every word of Ezekiel’s prophecies was fulfilled (Ezekiel 12:26-28).

Closing thoughts –

Israel and Judah rejected the LORD’s prophets and believed in false prophets who encouraged the people to dismiss the warnings of imminent judgment. They presumed upon the LORD’s forbearance and longsuffering and abused His prophets. Nevertheless, the day was approaching when the LORD’s righteous anger would be expressed in His judgment, and the proverbs that mocked the prophets would be silenced (Ezekiel 12:22).

In the same way, Peter foretold that in the last days, there would be some scoffing and asking, “Where is the promise of His [Christ’s] coming?” (2 Peter 3:4) The apostle then warned, “9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:9-10).

Are you ready for Christ’s coming?

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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