October 11



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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

“Lord Jesus, no matter how bad things get, you still have plans.  You have good plans for us. So we want to cooperate with your plans.  Thank you for calling us to yourself.  We are yours.  Amen.”
Just a little review: remember Ezekiel is in Babylon and whereas Daniel is in the palace having his influence there, Ezekiel is in the countryside and prophesying about Jerusalem and the destruction that is looming because they have wholly given themselves over to behavior that is reprehensible; downright demonic.  Ezekiel spends the first 24 chapters in this theme. We are in 16 and 17 this week so we’re just over 2/3’s through the diatribe against Jerusalem and their rebellion.

16 – Ezekiel is giving Israel (Jerusalem/Judah) a scolding for their absolutely inexcusable behavior.  God has cared for them since their conception, given them the best of protection, provision, adornment and love.  They are like a wife now succumbed to unfaithfulness. Not just the unfaithfulness of a wandering heart that strayed by default… Jerusalem was aggressively unruly, sinful. They had a practical glee about their dark fetishes that had completely overtaken them culturally.  The God of Abraham was desperately grieved and the Hebrews in Jerusalem were way worse than smug about it.  God had cared for them from the start and cared for them tenderly.  Come Ezekiel’s day they were reknown for their whoring behavior.  The “bride” had fallen so far! They prostituted themselves to any customers; any and all who would pass by. The idolatry was endless, the dark and sickening practices wereworse than the people of foreign nations that God had told them not to act like, associate with, not resemble in any way. They were now having an ungodliness contest with themselves since they had long outdone their pagan neighbors. They were a sick people who needed a serious “country whoopin’ ”  And they were about to get it!  The Egyptians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Philistines were all in the shadow of Israel and yet Israel was darker than all of them.  Weird development if there ever was one. God was on the verge of taking the severest of measures to get them to cease the prostitution.  It’s unreal what they had reduced Jerusalem to being – a pit of darkness. They may as well have been borne to pagans. Sodom would have blushed at the behavior of those living in Jerusalem.  God’s punishment was imminent, and the purpose of the punishment was to chasten Jerusalem so that God could dwell with them again, bring them back and bless them again.  God’s love was never to fail.  It hadn’t in the past and it wouldn’t now.  Amazing, amazing love!

17 – This riddle is about what is going to happen to the Hebrews in Judea.  The king of Babylon is represented by the first eagle.  The “top shoot” of the cedar plucked and transplanted is The Judean King Jehoiachin taken to Babylon to flourish.  That happened six years prior to this prophecy.  The one who is playing both sides and caught between was Zedekiah, the last king of Jerusalem who suffered his horrid fate.  Egypt is the symbolic second eagle mentioned.  Zedekiah would be punished for his double-mindedness – make that triple mindedness.  actually he was quite worse.  He dealt with Babylonians, schemed in secret with Egyptians, feigned to worship God, was a king that allowed the worst of bad behavior to go unchecked in his city of Jerusalem.  He was essentially worthless to all because he was “committed” to anything/everyone.  That’s a sure way to end up in great trouble.  Ezekiel spoke of Zedekiah’s coming fate earlier in Ez.12:10-16.  He’s kind of like the religiously confused that go to seven different kinds of “churches”, joins a mosque to learn non-tolerance, attends Buddhist meditation classes, gets mentored by a witch, visits India so he can practice some Hinduism [just trying to cover all bases here for a god in his mind (who doesn’t exist!)].  I.e. Jerusalem was an utter mess. Storm clouds of war were gathering. Zedekiah would be hauled off as prophesied in a mere five years and Jerusalem would be unrecognizable from the siege.         And as the chapter ends, here is God planning to take a twig from this same tree and transplant it so that it grows tall and prominent and bears fruit as promised to the royal line of David.  This fulfillment would come in a child … born in the city of David ….

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