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Passage: Ezekiel 21-22

On Saturday, September 14, 2013 (Last Updated on 9/14/2019), Yujin wrote,

I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one (Ezekiel 22:30).

God has made a universal indictment of Israel. This indictment extends to her leaders, the priests, princes and prophets, who were God's representative to the people. Yet, they had failed in their calling:

Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

Her princes within her are like wolves tearing the prey, by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain.

Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken (Ezekiel 22:26-28).

As the leaders are wayward, so the people themselves continue in their sin of oppression, robbery, and injustices against the poor and needy:

The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice (Ezekiel 22:29).

It is after this universal failure that God says,

I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one (Ezekiel 22:30).

I think it is part of our fallen human nature to think that we are better than the next person. Though we might not claim it out loud, we would readily associate ourselves with Joshua and Caleb, who made it to the Promised Land, rather than all the other Jewish adults that perished in the desert for their unbelief. We would put ourselves safely in the ark with Noah rather than among the perhaps billions that perished in the flood.

Even my four-year-old daughter demonstrates this. When a failing is pointed out in someone else, she immediately declares that she does not have that failing. When her daddy says that he accidentally spilled his drink, she makes it a point to tell everyone how she did not spill her drink. 

Friends, we tend to think too highly of ourselves. Today's Scripture should be a sobering reminder that none of us were righteous, not even one (cf. Romans 3:10-12). Everyone comes short of God's acceptable standard for heaven (cf. Romans 3:23). 

Therefore, we ought to humble ourselves, acknowledge our frailty and depravity, and lean less on our own achievements and thoughts and rely more heavily and dependently on God's Word. 

Passage: Ezekiel 21-22

On Friday, September 14, 2012 (Last Updated on 9/14/2013), Yujin wrote,

God's is sovereign over the divinations of idolators

Mark out one road for the sword to come against Rabbah of the Ammonites and another against Judah and fortified Jerusalem. For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots with arrows, he will consult his idols, he will examine the liver. Into his right hand will come the lot for Jerusalem, where he is to set up battering rams, to give the command to slaughter, to sound the battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to build a ramp and to erect siege works. A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! The crown will not be restored until he to whom it rightfully belongs shall come; to him I will give it.' (Ezekiel 21:20-22, 27 NIV)

God tells Ezekiel that Nebuchadnezzar would come to a fork in the road, and being confused, he will do three things to get divine direction: (1) cast lots with arrows, consult his idols, and examine the liver. These were the kinds of things pagan idolators did to discern the will of the gods. But the answer would not be from his idols or his false gods but from the LORD, for it is the LORD that was using him as his tool to punish Judah.  So also Solomon wrote, 

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord. (Proverbs 16:33 NIV)

Therefore, let us put no confidence in worldly or other-worldly things but only in the LORD. For He is sovereign over all these things, and there is nothing that can thwart His perfect will. 


Messianic Hope in the midst of the Outpouring of God's Wrath

A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! The crown will not be restored until he to whom it rightfully belongs shall come; to him I will give it.' (Ezekiel 21:27 NIV)

This declaration of ruin in Jerusalem carries a note of hope - "until he to whom it rightfully belongs shall come." This is clearly a reference to the Messiah. Jesus would be declared the King of kings and the Lord of Lords with a myriad of angels declaring His praise:

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" (Revelation 5:11, 12 NIV)

One day all of creation will bow before Jesus and confess Him Lord:

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV)


Total Depravity

"I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV)

Isn't this amazing? Not one righteous person was found that could effectively intercede for Jerusalem, so that God would not have to destroy it. Everyone was found to come short. Even if righteous Job, Noah or Daniel were to rise up, they could only preserve their own lives. Even their righteousness was insufficient to save the city. This too points to Jesus. What man could not do, God would do for them. In fact, all prophecy points to Jesus, whether directly or indirectly. As the Book of Revelation attests:

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10 NKJV)

Therefore, let us praise Him today. Are some of you weary in your Christian walk? Has the Word of God become dry, boring and tedious rather than fresh, exciting and rejuvenating? Remember Jesus as you persevere. As He has suffered and died for us, He also now waits for us in heaven, always interceding for us, so that we might bring forth more perfectly the praise of God's glory in our lives. I pray that God may refresh your spirit and rekindle your passion for Him.

Passage: Ezekiel 21-22

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, Stephen wrote,

God's fiery anger on His people are prophesied against the Jews who violated the covenant with their God. I am so thankful that I am not under the same covenant but the new one which was established by our Lord Jesus who died for my place. Truly the Law was given not to show our righteousness but to show how depraved we are! We are protected under Jesus' wings from God's wrath that we rightfully deserve for who we are. Let us be humble before the Lord for His mercy and love today and strive to obey Him throughout the course of the day!

Passage: Ezekiel 21-22

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, Yujin wrote,

Ezekiel 22:16 - "then you shall know that I am the LORD"

Friends, this phrase is used about eighty times in the book of Ezekiel (see list), which, if evenly distributed, means about four times in every chapter. Therefore, "knowing the LORD" is a signfiicant theme and message in Ezekiel. If you look through the list of uses, you will discover that the context varies from knowing God in judgment, in mercy, in destruction, in restoration, in holiness, in contrast to the false gods of other nations, and in contrast to what is wicked and profane. It points to the uniqueness of Israel's God, who is worthy of a complete and undivided worship. From such a theme comes the first lesson of the Westminster Catechism:

What is the chief end of man?
Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.

It is not as some have suggested: "to glorify God and to enjoy His benefits." The focus is God, not His benefits. The chief emphasis of Scripture is not salvation, the redemption of man. Nor is it God's love for us. The chief emphasis of Scripture is the glory of God. Do you know that God is just as glorified in damning people as in saving people? We often have a too high view of ourselves. We are so enamored by the thought of God's wanting to know us that we overlook the more important part, namely, that we need to know God. We are more offended by anyone who would entertain the notion that God would violate our free will than we are by the many who repeatedly diminish God's sovereignty. We have too high a view of ourselves. Truth be told, people are probably more in love with Socrates than Scripture. Socrates taught the supreme value of "knowing yourself."  Yet, the Scriptures teach the supreme value of knowing God and "denying yourself" (Luke 9:23).

Today, dear friends, if we would reflect on anything, let us reflect on the greatness of our God. Let us rejoice that we were chosen by Him before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 17:8). Let us thank Him for overcoming our depraved free wills, by which we made ourselves "dead in our trespasses" and "by nature, children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:1-3). If we are to boast, let us then boast alone in the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:17). For to Him be all the glory! - soli deo gloria!

Passage: Ezekiel 21-22

On Tuesday, September 14, 2010, John and Marsha wrote,

Ezekiel 22:30 - 31 is a sad state of affairs in Israel -- i can only pray that as the LORD looks for men and women who can "build His wall" and "stand in the gap" today that we (only by the grace of GOD and not of our own accord) can be those people to stand firm! This is my prayer for us all today.

30 "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. 31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD."

-- John