Ezekiel 13-15: Stick to God’s Word
November 4, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Ezekiel is told to prophesy against the prophets of Israel (13:2). The reason for this is because they are prophesying “from their own hearts” (13:2) and they “follow their own spirit” (13:3). In other words, these prophets who claim to be speaking God’s word are actually speaking their own words. They are not truly prophesying God’s word at all, and therefore the true prophet of God’s word, Ezekiel, is commanded to prophesy against the (false) prophets of Israel.
As is typical with false prophecy, they are tending to make things seem better than they really are—if your north pole of preaching is what people want to hear (rather than what God is saying), then you will end up preaching things that people want to hear. And what people want to hear is “peace” (13:10). But “there is no peace” (13:10). They are a whitewashed wall, and it shall fall (13:11). They are making the crumbling wall look better than it really is by whitewashing it to hold its cracks—but the wall will fall.
The result of this powerful preaching is that the elders of Israel come to sit before Ezekiel to learn and hear from him (14:1). But this apparent attitude of submission to God’s word actually hides ongoing idolatry in their own hearts (14:3). And therefore the message they receive is to “repent and turn away from your idols” (14:6). All this, all that God is doing, is to show them that he is truly God: “and you shall know that I am the LORD” (14:8).
Not even Jerusalem will be spared. For when a land sins by acting faithlessly against God (14:13), God will bring judgment on that land—even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they would only save themselves. What is more, the prevalent image of God’s people as a vine—the flag symbol of their special status before God as his beloved vine—that hides rottenness, a fruitless vine, is burnt. The wood is not good for anything else. And God’s people, fruitless and faithless, cannot expect a better result (chapter 15).
Again, not much immediately to make us feel positive or uplifted. But much to warn us: let us be people of God’s Word. Stick to God’s Word. Obey God’s Word. Preach God’s Word.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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