Ezekiel Chapter 20 records the continuing rebellion of Israel. In verse 1 we read of a gathering of certain elders of Israel and their desire to inquire of the Lord. This gathering took place 5 years to the day before Jerusalem was put to the torch. In verses 2-8a, the Lord, through Ezekiel, expresses His displeasure at the continued rebellion and idol worship being performed by His chosen people – the same as the abominations of their fathers. God was not willing to be inquired of by these so called ‘leaders’ – they were not – they ‘led’ the people away from God.
Three times in verses 8b-32, The Lord reminded the elders “Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them….” as He speaks a synopsis of what He gave His chosen people in Egypt and the wilderness verses what the Israelites chose over Him. He talks of how He repeatedly withheld His wrath. Verses 30-32 are very sobering and sum up the rebelliousness: 30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? 31 When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire,[c] you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.32 “What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, ‘Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.’”
What happens in the remaining verses 32-44 is shocking! The Lord promises to restore Israel AGAIN! His Love for His creation is beyond wonder. He vows in verse 34: ‘I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out’. In verse 38-44, He says He will purge out the rebels and transgressors but the faithful remnant would again worship at His holy mountain.
Pause and Reflect on this: The glory of the grace of God is that He deals with us in mercy and not as our sins deserve.
Ezekiel ends this chapter with a short prophecy (vs 45-48) against the south which is explained in chapter 21:1-5. (Tune in tomorrow for that.) Babylon will come for Judah……
In summary, I am again struck with God’s tenacious and stalwart love for a sinful, rebellious people. His love for sinners and His desire to draw us into right relationship with Him is beyond comprehension. Jesus – The beloved Son – died for us on the cross and opened the only way for us to be right before the Father. By His blood we are saved. — Mary Mauderer