TODAYíS READING: EZEKIEL 24-27
Godís purging of Jerusalem (chapter twenty-four); Godís judgment against Gentile nations (chapter twenty-five); Godís judgment against Tyre (chapter twenty-six through chapter twenty-seven).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
Chapter Twenty-four contains an image of Jerusalem as a bloody city. This accusation is mentioned numerous times in the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel is instructed to tell a parable about a bloody stew that represents Jerusalem. Numerous times in the Word of God the shedding of ďinnocent bloodĒ is mentioned as a cause for Godís vengeance (Deut. 19:10; I Sam. 19:5; I Kings 2:31). The shedding of blood in the Old Testament looked forward to THE innocent blood that would be shed one day at Calvary (Matthew 27:4). It is true that the innocent blood of our Lord Jesus Christ redeemed us from sin, but it is also true that those who do not accept Godís gift of grace will be held accountable for the death of Godís only beloved Son and will suffer the wrath of Godís vengeance. God hates the shedding of innocent blood. How God must love us to have allowed His Son to shed His innocent blood!
Ezekiel is also instructed not to mourn when his wife dies (24:15-18). In this, Ezekiel is picturing the fact that there will be no time to mourn when Godís judgment comes on Jerusalem. This foreshadows the coming Day of the Lord when judgment will be swift and extensive. However, even in judgment there is mercy. Ezekiel speaks specifically to certain Jews who will escape the judgment of Jerusalem and come to Babylon (24:25-27). This is fulfilled in Ezekiel 33:21. This foreshadows those who will be saved out of the tribulation.
Chapter twenty-five contains Ezekielís prophecies against Gentile nations. These nations are judged because they rejoiced when Israel was chastened by God (25:3, 6, 8) and have taken vengeance on Israel when she was weak (25:12, 15). The doctrinal principle is clear. Donít rejoice when Israel is chastened! Much of this world rejoices when bad news about Israel is broadcast. There are many who look forward to the day Israel will suffer during the tribulation. Those nations who bring judgment against Israel are a pawn in the hand of God to execute His sovereign plan. However, after God has used them He will judge them! On a more devotional note, the lesson is clear. We should never rejoice when we see Godís chastening on others.
Chapters twenty-six and twenty-seven begin a three-chapter judgment against Tyre. The eleventh year in verse one refers to the eleventh year of Jehoiachinís reign. In 586 BC, the 11th year of Jehoiachinís captivity, on the tenth day of the month, Jerusalem was captured.
It is Nebuchadrezzar that God will use to bring judgment on Tyre. It is interesting that Nebuchadrezzar is called ďa king of kingsĒ (26:7), making him a type of the anti-Christ. Just as Nebuchadrezzar ruled the kings of the world, the coming anti-Christ will also stand in authority until the true King of kings arrives!
Tyre, an ancient city of the Phoenicians, appears for the first time in the Bible in the Old Testament in Joshua 19:29. In Old Testament times, Tyre was a great commercial city. During the reign of David and Solomon, Tyre exercised great influence on the commercial, political, and even religious life of Israel. Hiram, king of Tyre, was a devoted friend of David (II Samuel 5:11) who helped both David and Solomon in their building operations (I Kings 5:1-12; I Chron. 14:1; II Chron. 2:3, 11). Though Tyre and Israel were friendly in the days of David and Solomon, they later drifted apart. The Tyrians then later sold Jews as slaves to the Greeks and to the Edomites (Joel 3:4-8; Amos 1:9-10). This entire chapter is a lamentation describing Tyre as a very glorious and great trade ship destroyed by the high seas.
The prophecies set forth in chapters twenty-six through twenty-eight were fulfilled literally with unmistakable clarity (Isaiah 23; Jer. 47:4). Oftentimes we can forget that many of these prophecies have been fulfilled historically. This only confirms the accuracy of Godís Word.
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the One who shall ďset glory in the land of the livingĒ during the Millennium (Ezekiel 26:20).