Archive for November 14th, 2013

Ezekiel 4

Ezekiel 4 has twin prophecies of God’s punishment for Israel and Judah.  The prophecy focuses on Jerusalem–the city where God chose to place His name. The temple of worship belonged to Jerusalem. Yet this chapter predicts woeful events that would destroy it. The first several verses portray the siege that would come upon the city. Then verses four through six predict the times of fulfillment based on two distinguishing events:

  1. the iniquity of Israel
  2. the iniquity of Judah

The prophecy says that God was going to punish Israel for 390 years.  Three hundred and ninety days, “each day for a year”, are appointed for the iniquity of Israel. God asked Ezekiel to demonstrate to the people for 390 days, lying on his left side, to represent the years of their iniquity and the besiegement and destruction of Jerusalem to follow.  This punishment is coming because of the evil and disobedience of the kings – with Jeroboam being one that really led the people astray.

Then comes the second part of the prophecy, that Judah would be punished for 40 years.  For Israel’s sin Ezekiel is commanded to lie on his left side, whereas for Judah’s sin he is to lie on his right side.  Not only does Judah’s sin come after that of Israel; it comes much after…a thousand years.  But both will receive their punishment based on how they lived.  God would not be mocked – as they lived – so they reaped.

The parallels between the two parts of this prophecy give the evidence that the interpretation holds true. Israel and Judah both rejected God. The sins are much the same. The fulfillment of the prophecy is the same. In both cases the temple, along with the city of Jerusalem, is destroyed.  The principle for us is that how we choose to live life matters.  If we do our own thing our own way and walk in complete ignorance of God’s commandments and requirements, we’re going to deal with the outcome which won’t bode well.  Ezekiel paints a clear picture that sin causes pain.  God will deal with it!

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