Ezekiel Chapter 20 Continued
20:27 Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.
Ezekiel had been relating to the elders about the
sins of the children of
Even in the captivity in
20:28 [For] when I had brought them into the land, [for] the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings.
In the beautiful Promised Land that God had given them, they did not rejoice in the beauty of the hills and the trees as being gifts from God. They began their false worship all over again. They worshipped false gods in the high places, and under the thick trees. It seemed everything they saw, caused them to seek the worship of false gods. The sweet savor and the drink offerings were to be for God alone. To burn incense to a false god, is blasphemy in the sight of God.
Then I said unto them, What [is] the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.
"Bamah" means in ancient
The high places, during the time of the temple, were places where they met and worshipped false gods. The worship in the high places was a very sensuous type of worship. Many times, it included physical adultery, as well as spiritual adultery.
Wherefore say unto the house of
This is saying that they have never changed. They are still involved in this very same type of sensual worship their fathers were involved in. It seems all of the chastisements God has sent upon them, has not caused them to stop worshipping false gods.
when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye
pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be
enquired of by you, O house of
It seemed, the worship of Molech was prominent on God's mind. He not only removed Himself from the temple and destroyed it, but He has removed Himself from the presence of these idolatrous people, as well. God will not listen to them. He has turned His back to them.
And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.
They had decided, since they were in exile, and since
the temple in
[As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
God wanted to rule them with His love as a husband to them. They were not faithful, so He will rule them with a rod of iron, in His fury. The "stretched out arm" shows God's judgment.
And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
Paul alludes to this in 2 Cor. 6:17. "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you," "And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
God will someday rule over
And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
Other lands where the scattered people of
This is analogous to God’s bringing His people from
Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the
The wilderness wanderings had been a series of problems. Every time they turned from God to false gods, the problems began. They would repent, and God would start them again. It was a series of lessons to be learned. This will be no different. The hardships will be great enough, to cause some to repent and seek God.
And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
God used a shepherd figure here, apt since He was their Great Shepherd. As a shepherd, God brings His sheep home to their fold, has them file in, separating sheep from goats, passing under His shepherd’s rod to be noted and checked for injury.
He will bring them into the bond of the New Covenant
by giving them His Spirit with life. This is
20:38 And I
will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I
will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not
enter into the
The "purging" is a separation of the chaff from the wheat, or a separating of the sheep from the goats. God's remnant will be made up of those who do not bow their knees to a false god. Only this pure remnant will go back into the Promised Land. God is the one who separates them. He judges by what is in their hearts.
God will see that no rebel, no one without the
renewing by His Spirit in salvation, will come back to
As for you, O house of
God is saying, decide who you will serve, this day. If you are determined to worship idols and false gods, then go on and serve them. Do not come back to me. Do not pretend to worship me, if you are still worshipping false gods. God will only accept the worship of those who worship Him alone. He will not be one of many gods. He is the Almighty God. There is no other.
Verses 40-42: “all…in the land”.
The promised regathering in Messiah’s earthly kingdom is to the very same
They will “all” be there, repentant and saved, serving the Lord wholeheartedly, a united nation engaged in purified worship.
20:40 For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.
The sweet savor, in that day, will not be of obligation, but because of their love for God. Their hearts will be in their sweet savor offerings. In fact, they will love so much, it will be difficult to separate them from their offerings. God will bring them home to their promised land from all the places they have been scattered. There will be a sign to the heathen everywhere, that they worship the One True God.
And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall bring you into the
This is a promise of the restoration of the Promised Land to them. Even more than that, it is a promise of God restoring covenant relationship with them. He will be their God, and they will be His people.
Those who believe that the church has replaced
And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
This speaks of a deeply repentant people for the sorrow they had caused, by their worship of false gods. When they remember their sins, they will hate themselves for the sins.
20:44 And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
Notice the culmination of this in the fact, that they will now know that He is the LORD. This restoration is for the sake of God, as well as man. This restoration is not because they are worthy, but because He is worthy. God has forgiven them, and restored them to fellowship with Him. Every promise that God made to Abraham, will be because of God's faith. God is Truth. He said it, He will do it.
20:45-46 “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,” “Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop [thy word] toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field;”
This is a momentary break in the previous sermon of Ezekiel.
Verses 46-48 … Preach against the South. The South is
The invader, Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., will
overwhelm the land as a sweeping fire devouring trees indiscriminately, green or
And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
“I will kindle a fire”. This parable of the forest
that is consumed by fire metaphorically speaks of fires of judgment, sweeping
through the land in the form of the Babylonian invaders, like a mighty forest
fire which cannot be quenched. (Compare the fiery future devastation yet to
And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.
There will be no doubt from anyone that the destruction that comes, is from a judgment of God. No one, except God, can stop fire that He starts.
Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?
Certainly, all prophecy is some what of a parable. Each Scripture in the Bible is a parable, in the sense that there is a deeper message than the one we see with our physical eye. It does not mean that the message that we see with our physical eye is not true. It just means that, if we pray and ask God to reveal to us the meaning of the parable, He will reveal to us the spiritual meaning of the Scripture, as well as the literal.
Ezekiel spoke Truth that God put into His mouth.
This verse clearly demonstrates the elders’ refusal to comprehend Ezekiel’s clear message. To the unwilling heart, there was no understanding.
Ezekiel Chapter 20 Continued Questions
1. Who is the prophecy, beginning here, speaking to?
2. What is it as if God is saying?
3. Instead of seeing God's blessings when they looked at the Promised Land, what did they see?
4. The sweet savour and the drink offerings were for _______ alone.
5. What does "Bamah" mean?
6. What were the high places, at the time of the temple?
7. What kind of sin was going on in the high places?
8. What false god required the walking of the children through fire?
9. What had God done, besides remove Himself from the temple?
10. The families of the countries served _______ and ________.
11. When the temple in
12. To belong to God is a _____________, not a religion.
13. How had God preferred to rule them?
14. When they were unfaithful, how did He rule them?
15. What does His "stretched out arm" show?
16. What kind of wilderness is this speaking of?
17. The hardships will be just great enough to cause them to _________ and ________ God.
18. What is the "rod" of verse 37?
19. What is the "purging" of verse 38.
20. What does God tell them to go ahead and do, in verse 39?
21. What is different about the restored
22. Where will He gather them from?
23. He will be their ______, and they will be His ________.
24. He restored them not because they were worthy, but why?
25. When they look back at their sins, what will they think of themselves?
26. What is the meaning of the three mentions of south in verse 46?
27. Who is the "forest" in verse 47?
28. What does the author think about the Bible and parables?
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