Ezekiel 9-12: The Power of the Word
November 3, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
This section begins with a wonderful, evocative description of the prophet’s experience of hearing God’s word. God “cried in my ears with a loud voice” (9:1). Unmissable, unmistakable, indubitably important: God’s Word came to him loud and clear. Those who have the “mark on their forehead” (9:4), who have groaned over the sin of God’s people, shall be safe; the others shall die.
All this is extraordinary, and yet God’s judgment over and over again is depicted as revealing “the glory of the LORD” (10:4), and so that “you shall know that I am the LORD” (11:12). We do not think of God’s judgment as honoring to God, but so it is: God’s justice is revealed either in judgment, or in mercy at the cross where his judgment for our sins is taken for us. Justice is necessary; there is evil, and it cannot be left to stand if God is to remain the moral ruler of the universe. His “solution” is the cross: where “love and justice mingle, truth and mercy meet; though my sins condemn me, Jesus died instead; there is full forgiveness in the blood he shed.”
In the midst of this judgment, then, there is hope, as yet not fully revealed but fully prophesied. “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (11:19-20). This also reveals “the glory of the LORD” (11:22-23).
But still, chapter 12, this is a rebellious people, who do not see or hear or understand his prophesying (12:2), and cannot grasp his dramatization of the exile. Either way, whether for salvation, if God’s Word is believed, or for judgment, if God’s Word is not believed, God’s Word is powerful: “the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord God” (12:28).
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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