Ezekiel 12: We Keep Hearing About Judgment But Don’t See It!

Here we are in 2022 and we born-again Christians are still here! Funny, there were folks who thought that the Rapture, end of the world, etc. would happen on some days past and nothing’s happened. Nevertheless, we’re all still here. No one but God the Father knows when it’s going to happen. Not even Jesus! That’s why we have to be ready. (Mark 13:32-33) Even back in Ezekiel’s day, there were scoffers who said that judgment wasn’t coming. The first exiles in Babylon were taken during the 2nd Babylonian invasion in 597 BC. They didn’t want to believe that God would really destroy the Holy City, Jerusalem. But, He did. Let’s dig in…

Ezekiel 12

Again a message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, you live among rebels who have eyes but refuse to see. They have ears but refuse to hear. For they are a rebellious people.

“So now, son of man, pretend you are being sent into exile. Pack the few items an exile could carry, and leave your home to go somewhere else. Do this right in front of the people so they can see you. For perhaps they will pay attention to this, even though they are such rebels. Bring your baggage outside during the day so they can watch you. Then in the evening, as they are watching, leave your house as captives do when they begin a long march to distant lands. Dig a hole through the wall while they are watching and go out through it. As they watch, lift your pack to your shoulders and walk away into the night. Cover your face so you cannot see the land you are leaving. For I have made you a sign for the people of Israel.”

So I did as I was told. In broad daylight I brought my pack outside, filled with the things I might carry into exile. Then in the evening while the people looked on, I dug through the wall with my hands and went out into the night with my pack on my shoulder.

The next morning this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, these rebels, the people of Israel, have asked you what all this means. 10 Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: These actions contain a message for King Zedekiah in Jerusalem and for all the people of Israel.’ 11 Explain that your actions are a sign to show what will soon happen to them, for they will be driven into exile as captives.

12 “Even Zedekiah will leave Jerusalem at night through a hole in the wall, taking only what he can carry with him. He will cover his face, and his eyes will not see the land he is leaving. 13 Then I will throw my net over him and capture him in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Babylonians, though he will never see it, and he will die there. 14 I will scatter his servants and warriors to the four winds and send the sword after them. 15 And when I scatter them among the nations, they will know that I am the Lord. 16 But I will spare a few of them from death by war, famine, or disease, so they can confess all their detestable sins to their captors. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

17 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 18 “Son of man, tremble as you eat your food. Shake with fear as you drink your water. 19 Tell the people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says concerning those living in Israel and Jerusalem: They will eat their food with trembling and sip their water in despair, for their land will be stripped bare because of their violence. 20 The cities will be destroyed and the farmland made desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

A New Proverb for Israel

21 Again a message came to me from the Lord: 22 “Son of man, you’ve heard that proverb they quote in Israel: ‘Time passes, and prophecies come to nothing.’ 23 Tell the people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will put an end to this proverb, and you will soon stop quoting it.’ Now give them this new proverb to replace the old one: ‘The time has come for every prophecy to be fulfilled!’

24 “There will be no more false visions and flattering predictions in Israel. 25 For I am the Lord! If I say it, it will happen. There will be no more delays, you rebels of Israel. I will fulfill my threat of destruction in your own lifetime. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

26 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 27 “Son of man, the people of Israel are saying, ‘He’s talking about the distant future. His visions won’t come true for a long, long time.’ 28 Therefore, tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No more delay! I will now do everything I have threatened. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!’”

Ezekiel 12 NLT

Key Points to Ponder

  • God has Ezekiel doing some play-acting again. The Israelites who are already in exile in Babylon just can get it through their thick skulls that judgment is coming to Jerusalem. God says that the “rebels” have “eyes but refuse to see. They have ears but refuse to hear. For they are a rebellious people.”
  • That’s exactly our world’s condition today! People hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, yet, they reject it. Today’s culture clouds their minds. Pride gets in the way. That’s why Jesus says over and over again, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”
  • Ezekiel is to demonstrate how King Zedekiah tries to escape through a hole in the wall only to be captured. That’s exactly how it happened!
  • Jeremiah 34:3 tells us that King Zedekiah will see King Nebuchadnezzar face-to-face. Here it says that Zedekiah won’t see Babylon. Well, the kings did meet face-to-face in Riblah, Syria, where Zedekiah’s sons were killed and he was blinded then taken to Babylon.
  • These exiles were spared the agony of the famine and siege of Jerusalem.

A New Proverb

It is said that you can tell if a prophet’s prophecies are real if they come true. Problem is, back in Ezekiel’s day, they were saying, “Time passes, and prophecies come to nothing.”

So, God gave them a new proverb or saying, “The time has come for every prophecy to be fulfilled!”.

Peter warns us of a time in the future…

Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.

15 And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.

2 Peter 3:3-15 NLT

Pastor Sandy Adams comments…

Ezekiel could speak to Jerusalem with certainty that their time was now up. The Lord has not given us such certainty. We see signs, but no one knows the day or the hour of our Lord’s return… Yet we should always be ready! I would rather die expecting the Lord’s return, than to relax, be surprised, and go to heaven caught off-guard. The godly pastor Horatius Bonar would lie down to sleep at night, open his shades, look up to heaven, and say, “Perhaps tonight, Lord.” Then in the morning when he rose to greet a new day, he’d always say, “Perhaps today, Lord.” “Perhaps tonight, perhaps today…” that’s a good way to live. The Lord wants us always vigilant.

Sandy Adams

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Most importantly…

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

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