Reading the prophecy of Ezekiel can lead a person to only one good conclusion, and that is that GOD wants people to know Him. Some of the reading sounds harsh, deadly, and judgmental; however we are speaking of our Creator; and who are we to question how He works. Can the clay say to the potter, “You don’t know what you are doing”. Not at all. The God of creation has one thing in mind, and that is the glory of His name; and He will accomplish what He has started to do – that the people of the earth know Him.
My reading this morning was Ezekiel 24 – 37. I have mentioned it in passing, but today I will spend some time with the phrase, “…Know that I am the LORD”. In looking at this phrase and its use in Ezekiel we find it at least 24 times in today’s reading. I will only give you a few of those references.
First in today’s reading I read these words being spoken to Israel of Ezekiel’s service,
“Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 24:24 (KJV)
Ezekiel’s wife had died. He was not to weep or mourn publicly because of her death. By this Ezekiel was a sign for Israel and their captivity; no time for grief and mourning over the dead. The second time in my reading this morning is in verse 27,
“In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.” 24:27
Previously, Ezekiel had been unable to speak, but now the LORD was going to open his mouth, and he would speak, and by this the people would know that Jehovah/YHWH is the LORD. Remember the LORD is proper and just, Righteous, and holy and can do how He pleases to bring people to the one conclusion the human race needs to know; and that is that He is the LORD.
“And I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I am the LORD.” 25:11
The LORD of hosts speaks these words through Ezekiel and to other people; not just to Israel. He desires the nations to know Him. He desires Moab to know that He is the LORD. One day at the final day of judgment the world will know that He is the LORD. That however does not mean, that all will be with Him in His glory.
To the land of Tyre [Tyrus] God says,
“And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.” 26:4-6
Many an arrogant nation have exalted themselves over what GOD had for them. Many of these nations will be removed from the earth, their lands left desolate; and never restored. It is to the king of Tyrus that we find him to be filled with the evil of Satan himself (28:12-15).
The Nile River is a very important river in Egypt. However the nation’s leader had exalted himself to the point of being Egypt’s god, claiming to have made the river himself and it being his river. To this arrogance the Lord says, through the prophet,
“And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it.” 29:9
God is especially grieved when His people; the one’s He has chosen to be His light, and the glory of His name; when we turn our backs on Him to other gods [idols made by the minds and hands of men in their own images]. This was the guilt of Judah and Israel. God says to Israel again,
“For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.” 33:28-29
God will not leave His people without judgment. In fact He will judge His people first and foremost. The arrogance of Israel was so bad, so gross they had been secure in the temple, also made by the hands of men; in thinking and saying, “God will never destroy this nation, or this temple. It is the Temple of the LORD”. They found out differently. God is more involved and careful that we might know Him, than He is in our security, survival or success.
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; ‘I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.” 36:37-38
God will not leave His people without hope. In their captivity He continually reminds them of their return to the land. It will of course be after the land has been restored its sabbaths lost by the years of neglect of sabbaths by her people. A final promise I want to leave with you is that,
“And David My servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and My servant David shall be their prince for ever.” 37:24-25
“David My servant” is none other than the King of kings, born in Bethlehem, died on a cross in Jerusalem, buried, and bodily raised from the dead; justifying all who will believe in Him. The world will know that Jesus Chirst is LORD. Bow now; or bow later. It is your choice.
-Tim A. Blankenship