Ezekiel chapter 11
The vision of the temple continues with the Spirit lifting Ezekiel from the inner court of the temple and taking him to the East Gate. While twenty-five priests worship the sun in the inner court, we now see twenty-five statesmen at the east gate weaving a wicked web of bad advice to the citizens of Jerusalem.
The Spirit of YHVH fell upon me and said, “Human-child”… In his vision at the east gate, the prophet saw, among the twenty-five powerful men of Jerusalem, two that he apparently knew well. He received a message from the Spirit for the twenty-five, a rebuke for their wickedness. “What you have done (murder) I will bring on you.”
- You feared the sword, so I will bring a sword upon you (11:8)
- I will bring you out of Jerusalem (considered a strong-hold) and deliver you to strangers to execute judgement against you (11:9)
- You feared the sword, I will bring a sword upon you (11:10)
- Jerusalem (this city) will not be your strong-hold… I WILL judge you to the border of Israel so that you will know that I AM YHVH.
“Thus you will 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 11:12 nasu
This was the message Ezekiel was to give to the twenty-five, and he faithfully spoke it to them, but as he spoke one of the men he knew well, died.
A crisis of faith. The reality of the Word of YHVH and the end of his patience for those who commit evil happened while Ezekiel spoke. In my mind I imagine the shocked prophet sobbing out his prayer for “the remnant of Israel” Face to the floor, he prayed, “Alas, YHVH! Wilt Thou bring the remnant of Israel to a complete end?” (11:13)
There are times in every prayer warriors life when you realize that what you have, salvation in the Son of God, is not desired by everyone. There is hope that just as the Almighty came into your life and forgave you that you will be able to pray others into the kingdom. Truly prayer is a mighty weapon which we wield. But we pray, “Thy will be done…” Matthew 6:10 And we know that the Almighty does not wish for any to perish, 2 Peter 3:9. We know that YHVH so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that “whosoever believes” in Him should not perish. John 3:16 YHVH loves the world, but only whosoever believes are saved.
It brings tears to my eyes, even now, knowing how unresponsive many that I pray for are, some whom I have fasted for, yet they are closed to the gospel. Often I am hesitate to pray, “come quickly Y’shua,” Revelation 22:20, thinking to my self that if they just have a little more time then they will come to Salvation. It crushes my heart knowing some will not. We cannot trade our faithfulness or our work of fasting for their soul. Jesus loves them, he gave his life for them and that is enough if they will believe. Is there no hope?
YHVH loves us, he loves our heart for others. Even in this horrible judgement he gives comfort to his dear prophet, reminding Ezekiel that He has been a sanctuary for Israel even when they are far-away from the Temple. But instead of turning to Him, they looked with lust at the practices of their captors. The Almighty promised a return to Israel, and that promise would include a remnant (11:16-17), a people who were clean in their relationship with Him, not mixing the seductive elements of foreign religion with their worship of YHVH. No more christmas trees or easter bunnies. (so to speak). And what will the Almighty provide for the remnant who returns to His land?
“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And 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. Ezekiel 11:19-20
For whosoever believes: One heart, a new Spirit, a heart of flesh. Hallelujah! They will be the people of YHVH and He will be their God! Back in verse 11:1, Ezekiel saw two men whom he knew well, but only mentions one of them falling dead as he spoke the message. What happened to the other one? Chapter 11 is silent about that. But in chapter 8 Ezekiel believes that he is the only man standing when judgement came to the city. Is it possible that he could not see the fate of the 2nd man he knew among the statesmen of Jerusalem, but that perhaps there is hope for him? I would be adding to Scripture if I put hope in that thought… but just maybe.
The chapter ends with Ezekiel being returned in the Spirit back to the exiles, telling them all that YHVH had shown them. (11:25)
I am no Ezekiel, sometimes I’m not even a faithful prayer warrior. There are moments of panic, afraid for my beloved who reject my faith in Christ. It is in those moments the Almighty, by His Spirit comforts me. He lets me see that He hears my prayer, my pleading to Him. Little things I have prayed about the circumstances of those I pray for, He allows me to see His powerful intervention in their lives in answer to my prayer. It lifts me from the pit of despair. I have an adversary who amuses himself by whispering in my ear that I am useless, maybe not even saved. But Glory Hallelujah! The Spirit of YHVH never leaves me, he never forsakes me (Deuteronomy 31:6, Matthew 28:20). It is the same for you beloved believer… listen to Him! Shama-uw-z’ot “listen to this–the word of God, the sword of the Spirit. The word of God is for we who believe, conviction of the Word of God is for those who do not believe, to open their heart to their only hope. Hope is alive! The Almighty still opens the ears of the closed minded.
Debs in Everett, Washington
Still camping in Psalm 49
No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him–for the redemption of his soul is costly… Psalm 49:7-8a
Jesus paid it all.