The fear of the Lord often takes second place to what we fear might be said or done by other people like us. Perhaps Ezekiel is shown these mysterious heavenly things so as to reduce his fear toward other men. This along with the Lord's own words not to be afraid of them.
The choice is not only to do whatever we will do but is whether to pollute the name of our Lord in the midst of the godless or not. Israel never really chose not to pollute, from the start there was always momentum. It was only by the merciful longsuffering of God that they were not given completely over. Notice how easy it was to pass down the rebellion of the fathers from generation to generation and how much near impossible to pass down the righteousness. The lure and pressures and ease were far too enticing.
Many read or else hear about these passages in the Bible and come to the determination that the God of Israel is mean spirited. For these years of judgment they fail to say the ions of longsuffering and mercy. Others would point to the ineffectiveness of God's plan not being able to turn the hearts of even such a small nation as Israel avoiding to consider that His plan is yet hundreds of years from being fulfilled. People under estimate the power the sin nature has over us and just how patient and steady God has had to remain over it to gain our redemption from it. If there is any mean spiritedness to observe, it is in the people who claim that God is over reacting, over sensitive, over bearing.
We know by reading how God feels about Israel. We know how Israel feels about God. There is a broad gulf between them. How do the people of the heathen nations feel? What have they observed? Are they not as disgusted with Israel as God is? When the dispersed of Israel in numbers take refuge amongst them recounting the terrible blood and carnage in Jerusalem do they not take notice and see it as a warning?
God had His prophets at this time. He had also we find out searched for a leader to make up a hedge but found none. Later He would find Ezra and Nehemiah but, this may illustrate to us a important difference in temperance or skill set or anointing between a prophet and a leader, that it is rare for one man to be both. Moses and David both prophesied (mostly Messianic) though not in the sense of a Elijah or Issiah, Ezekiel or Jeremiah. I can not think of a prophet that was made to rule.
The Holy Spirit by these writings has gone to great lengths to have us understand what exactly is going on here. There should be no uncertainty as to what God wants us to know about this judgment. Multiple accounts, multiple graphical pictures, all similar in detail. The two sisters here are Israel (Samaria) and Judah (Jerusalem). Their adultery is religious and then political/economic and likely physical as well. They are depicted as doting upon their lovers. God is depicted turning their lovers against them, it will be the same foreigners they've doted on that will brutishly destroy them. Judah is especially coppable having watched Israel go through this beforehand and having had extended opportunity to repent. The question is why is it God is having Ezekiel go over and over again on these details, is it for our behalf?
Their eyes/desires are upon one thing. And when that one thing is taken away suddenly it's stare then shifted upon their sons and daughters and their own iniquity certain. Why must it come to this? I am asked why a person must fall to such depths before they see way to the Lord? It is implied that there is something wrong with a Lord that is only the Lord of the fallen. Rather, there is something wrong with the heart of a man that can not see the Lord while in his strength and youthful prowess/splendor, that his sinful and proud and arrogant nature must be ground down and disrupted, laid bare upon a table of self desperation before seeing light. The Lord of the fallen indeed if to be Lord of such souls at all.
"They will know that I am the Lord". Ammon, Philistia, Edom..... Would the Lord have declared this if it were not going to be overwhelmingly true? If He was over stating it, perhaps less they were to become vaguely aware or momentarily recognize or have suspicion that this is the Lord's work, it would not be the same as 'thou will know'. By the tone of these pronouncements I think we can deduce that the Lord has long been in contact with these people and has produce tangible works within them, warning them at least in how best to view Jerusalem's captivity. They remain caught up in a 'old hatred' knowing how the Lord felt yet continuing, bringing upon themselves a judgment more final than even Judah's.
With the judgments on these other nations, the Lord is producing a ripple effect even to the Isles to whom these nations had commerce. On the one hand I am thinking what if these nations hadn't acted out of the 'old hatred' would God's word have rang out? On the other hand I know that the Lord knew full well which heart they were going to react out of and was secure in His plans. The fact is however, that the word moves outward and forward in ways that no brilliant king nor strategist can consider, nor can we; effect upon effect, twist after human twist, sympathy or rebellion or not. His word does not return to Him void but accomplishes what He purposes.
In the normal course of history many merchant hubs have risen and faded. A new and better port is built, an in defensible harbor is replaced by a defensible one, trade routes eventually move to more direct routes and highways, their cities slowly bypassed. That is just it, there is identifiable economic/strategic process and time. This was not the case with Tyrus. There is definite reason that the kings and merchants of the world are awe shocked and terrored. If the mighty hub of Tyrus can be so easily be destroyed in one sudden swoop, being thus prophesied and as a result re-fortified by them united, then they themselves stand no chance.
If one gets a running start at this amazing chapter we get the sense that the king of Tyrus may have been the Devil himself. If we start here direct we get the sense that the king is being used to illustrate how the situation of his fall is similar in details to the situation surrounding the fall of the covering cherub Lucifer. Whether the two are the same or separate the details given of Lucifer are bountiful perhaps like no other passage in the Bible.
The questions raised by this description of Lucifer are numerous. Of primary importance would be when did this fall happen and where, especially if the where was here on earth. If on earth, that would most likely place the when between kjv@Genesis:1:1 and kjv@Genesis:1:2 suggesting a gap between creation, a world that then was, and later a complete 6 day restoration following a major judgment perhaps like the world has since never known (not even the flood). This would explain why the Spirit hovered over a earth that was void and without form.
There is the suggestion as well that this has nothing to do with Lucifer but, everything to do with the king of Tyrus. Poetic imagery is being used to describe a brilliant yet self worshiping man. The reader must decide.
The warning to Ziddon seems to get lost here with the curiosity of the earlier passage. Its importance should not be overlooked. My sense is that like with the other nations the Lord has been working long and hard with them but, Israel itself is far too despised. It is right for the Lord to judge because they know Israel is His but they can not get over their vile hatred. We should look at this as a warning to ourselves and our nation as well. The second sense is that after being judged that many of these nations are wiped completely even out of the history books. For a long time the existence of these nations and cities mentioned were disputed. Of late however, archaeological evidences are mounting to re-confirm their one time existence and stature. Surely, God was not kidding when He said they'd be remembered no more.
Egypt was not spared from judgment in fact they were given over as wages to Nebuchadrezzar for the siege on Tyrus earlier. They would be dispersed forty years then regathered as a much less imposing nation. This lasting humility was purposeful so as to rebuke Israel as well for relying upon Egypt for it's protection instead of God.
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