Monday, September 24, 2012

Ezekiel 11 - Vision of God's Glory Departing: Part II

LINK: Ezekiel 11

BACKGROUND

As God's glory hovered before its final departure, Ezekiel is transported to the eastern gate facing the Kidron Valley and Mount of Olives where 25 elders are meeting. The gate of a city was the place where important social and political decisions were made. It was the city's "courthouse." Some commentators believe that "Jaazaniah son of Azzur" was the son of the man named in Jeremiah 28:1, a false prophet and opposer of Jeremiah.

As Jerusalem's leaders, they were planning evil and wickedness and leading the people away from the Lord. They claimed they were the "meat" safe in the "cooking pot" of the city. Nothing could be further from the truth! So, God turned that word picture on its head by stating that the slain people would be the "meat"! They were dead meat and cooked!

God's judgment by the sword (11:10-11) was fulfilled when the captives of Jerusalem were deported to Riblah in Syria and killed (2 Kings 25:18-21; Jeremiah 52:8-11, 24-27).

For the second time, Ezekiel pleaded for the Sovereign LORD's mercy (9:8; 11:13), and God showed him that a remnant would not be destroyed and his "brothers in exile" (better translation than "your blood relatives" in 11:14) would be saved for a future time when they would return to the land. On the return, idolatry would be purged, and God would replace their hearts of stone and give them a "heart of flesh/undivided heart and new spirit." Many commentators believe that this "new spirit" would be the Holy Spirit who now indwells all believers. With these new hearts, they would be His people, and He would be their God (14:11; 36:28; 37:23, 27; Hosea 2:23).

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption

But for now, God would have to judge them for their devotion to "vile images and detestable idols" (11:21). Sadly, the glory of the LORD departed and, taking one last stop over the Mount of Olives, would look to a future time when the glory of God would return via this same Mount of Olives (43:1-3) where Christ will ascend to heaven (Acts 1:9-12) and promise to return to the same place (Acts 1:11; Zechariah 14:4). 

REFLECTION and APPLICATION

God wants an undivided heart. How our hearts get divided all over the map these days with TV, internet, movies, texting (or SMS for you international readers), etc. at our beck and call! I am convinced that technology has made us too busy to really see and hear God!

We need to stop the insanity and return to our first love.

Leave your cell phone at home and take a walk out in God's wonderful creation and worship HIM! Ask Him to show you His glory (remember Moses in Exodus 33:18). Make this a regular habit.

PRAYER

God, forgive us for our divided hearts! Show us Your glory and make our hearts one with You. Amen.
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