God has called Abraham’s descendants to be a distinct people with whom He can dwell, and He has given them a well-developed land filled with houses and plowed fields. They have chosen, however, to blend in with the people and nations around them and to defile the land with idolatry and sexual sin, “We will be like the Gentiles, like the families of other countries, serving wood and stone” (Ez. 20:32). Israel openly rebels against the LORD, and their capital becomes “infamous, full of tumult” where:
The Lord compares Judah’s impurity to the dross that is worthless and cast out. He declares the land and her people as ruined, “Overthrown, overthrown, I will make it overthrown!” (21:27). Even in the midst of his pronouncement of judgment, He includes a messianic allusion: “It shall be no longer until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to him” (21:27, emphasis added). Whose right it is. The blessing conferred upon Judah’s head by his father Jacob uses the same words, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people” (Gen. 49:10, emphasis added). The Hebrew word Shiloh may be rendered, “that which belongs to him” or “the one to whom it belongs.”
Shiloh is not the offspring of a famous actor and actress. Shiloh is Jesus, who was born in a land ruined by sin and sinners. He lived, healed people, and died there as the substitute for man’s ruined condition. From there He was raised from the dead. He ascended to the Father in heaven from that ruined land. Now man has hope and redemption. Ruined no more!
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Ez. 20:1-22:16):
God calls Ezekiel to an unusual and difficult ministry. How does the LORD instruct Ezekiel to respond to the inquiry of Israel’s elders? What does His answer to their inquiry reveal about God?
What’s the identity of the sword that God intends to use to judge His people? What does this reveal about God and the tools that He uses?
List the sins for which Israel is judged in chapter 22. How do these sins compare with those of 21st century America?
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