Ezekiel 11

Ezekiel 11 has our prophet at the east gate of the temple and God gives Him a vision of what lies ahead.  This aligns with the earlier vision he wrote about, but this time with more detail.  “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the Lord’s house….there were twenty-five men at the entrance….leaders of the people….these are the men who devise iniquity and give evil advice in this city”.  God shows Ezekiel a vision of a group of twenty-five of the city’s political leaders. The wrong advice of these men was one reason why Jerusalem was heading for certain ruin.

Jeremiah had been telling the people that to fight against Babylon was fatal, for God had sent the Babylonians to punish Jerusalem. The city should therefore surrender and allow God’s plan to come to fruition. These leaders, on the other hand, were stirring up the people to resist Babylon. They recommended that building programs in the city be stopped so that more men would be available to fight. They were confident that they were safe in Jerusalem. The city walls would protect the inhabitants from the Babylonians, just as a cooking pot protects the flesh inside it from the fire.  They were very wrong, and as leaders, were now being held accountable.  Scripture tells us over and over that leaders are held to a higher standard.

You will fall by the sword. I will judge you to the border of Israel; so you shall know that I am the Lord….for you have not walked in My statutes nor have you executed My ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you”.  Ezekiel saw one of Jerusalem’s leaders drop dead as he was speaking. The prophet was again filled with fear as he saw the determination of God to punish his rebellious people. All the leaders of the city would have the same fate because they lost their way and followed things that were contrary to God and His ways.

God reminds Ezekiel that He will scatter those who are left as a remnant of His people, and someday will gather them back to Himself.  Ezekiel points out that the exiles are God’s favored people, the remnant whom He has preserved. When they repent of their idolatry and rebellion, He will bring them back and restore them to a new covenant relationship with Himself.  “I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them….I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God”.  This ends the series of visions that Ezekiel has and he returns to his normal life.

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