Ezekiel Part 3 (chs.14-24)

Parts 2 and 1 (chs. 1-13) below
ch.14:1–12

Idols in their hearts they’ve chosen,
stumbling-blocks that cloud their vision;
God will not accept pretending
prayer, but will remove infecting
influence, expose, recapture
wandering hearts, each idol-notion
rooted out, with real contrition.
No more cause of pain, nor straying:
they will be his people, praying.

Those who refuse, or lead astray,
will bear their guilt, be cast away.

14:12–23
Jerusalem would be forsaken,
it was now abomination.
God would always safely clasp
those who loved him, knew his grasp,
but the lives of such a few,
could not others save who do
things obnoxious, he will turn
his hand of blessing which they spurn,
to sending judgements that they earn.

When their city was destroyed,
some came to Babylon, who’d survived,
to join those whom Ezekiel taught:
but when their ways were seen, they brought
increased appreciation
of why he’d caused such great destruction:
behaviour causing shock, revulsion.

ch.15
A vine is useless but for fruit,
and if they fail, it’s gathered, thrown
as fuel on fire, – Jerusalem
bears no good fruit, and it must burn.
And we will know he is the LORD,
who always keeps his holy Word.

ch.16
God’s city called, and saved and blest,
where there had been a heathen past;
beloved, and taught, espoused and tended, –
enticed to seek out new experiences;
impoverished, and betrayed, abandoned
by those she chose to chase:
the judgement of the LORD.

But God remembers his covenant,
and a remnant remember their ways,
ashamed, convicted, their sins atoned,
repentant gentiles blessed once more.

Christian don’t be lured by lies
which bleed, degrade, and age,
wither, and waste, embitter,
faded, jaded… .

No hope of compassion, or pity, or love;
– but God, in his kindness and mercy, said, ‘Live!’
He formed, and he washed, and gifted his child;
God’s beautiful jewel, his well-adorned Bride
.

But watch! sin insinuates snares in success,
neglecting the Giver who’s saved from distress;
absorbed with the gifts, those who live as they please
are playing with danger which tempts and deceives.

Each one who is truly God’s child, he’ll chastise,
to rescue from folly, soul-sickness and lies.
But those who won’t listen, nor turn back, will taste
his judgement, disgrace, withered hopes, empty waste.

17:1–21
Zedekiah promised he would
serve the eagle (Babylon’s king),
a vine in Israel, rooted, watered;
but he rebelled and tried to bring
help from Egypt (different eagle).
God expects we keep our word
and accept the circumstances
brought by him, the Sovereign Lord.

17:22–24
One day a Shoot from Israel will
become a splendid sheltering tree
admired upon the mountain heights
by all the other trees that see
the hand of God had ruled in judgement,
but also brings forth life abundant,
bringing low and raising high, –
King to seek and not defy,
welcoming refuge he’ll supply.

ch.18
What is righteousness? A true
love and honour for the LORD
that affects the things you do,
living by his holy Word;
caring, generous and kind,
perseveres through daily grind.

Righteousness consistent, true,
whatever others, parents, do,
and not resting on the past;
– heart transformed, – the change will last.
Repent and live, new heart and treasure.
Turn from sins, God takes no pleasure
when the wicked die in judgement.

ch.19
Lamentation for disruption,
destruction,
fierce and foolish rulers captured,
lamentation for great loss:
lions hooked, and chained,
caged.
By tyranny or mere neglect
they had destroyed, did not protect.

So the vine of Israel’s branches,
once had many strong for rule,
now uprooted, dried and withered,
burnt by fire: no further fool
as king whose reign a failure.
No branch now strong for ruler’s sceptre,
until the Lord comes
to raise One fitter.

Israel’s history 20:1– 32
Many times the LORD had punished,
when their conduct was perverse,
and he’d shown his saving mercy –
that the nations of the earth
see the honour of his name
– and might fear, and even hope in
One so mighty, feel their shame.

Exiles – if you want to pray
think about your life and way, –
are they bringing honour now
to the Lord you claim to know.

[Even Babylonians needed
knowledge of the heart of God;
knowledge of their own heart also,
need of mercy from the LORD.]

ch.20:33–44
He will purge, and he will shepherd
many into covenant bond,
turning ears to hear, respond
to his Word, and from rebellious
idol service with real shame,
bringing honour to his name,
in his promised land regathered.

They will know his power and holiness.
He, the LORD, and they his fragrance.

20:45 – 49 & ch.21
Sword against sceptre.
Jerusalem vanquished:
the whole nation on fire,
destroyed or else banished.
(Groaning and grief from Ezekiel burst.)

The LORD is against them, and those
who aren’t slain, are captured, dispersed.

The monarchy ruined, removed, not restored,
until it is rightfully claimed by the LORD,
the coming Messiah to whom it belongs.

Then judgement on Ammon for all of their wrongs
unkind and malicious, with insults unrighteous.


ch.22

City of bloodshed, and idols, extortion,
defiled by detestable deeds, and oppression:
the LORD who had taught them,
the LORD who had fed them
forgotten.

Leaders who harm,
and make many poor,
prophets and priests
deceiving, distorting
God’s law,
– whitewashing sins.
Wrath of the LORD,
must gather the dross,
to melt in the furnace,
hot city-furnace:
brought on themselves, what a tragic loss.

And no-one will urge them, or lead
back to him, pray for them, plead.

ch.23
Oholah, Samaria:
Israel fickle, flirting there,
on her LORD no more relying,
exclusive covenant denying.

Oholibah, Judah’s name:
flirting, faithless just the same –
heedless that such foolish lust,
brings destruction and disgust.

Both sought friendships with the world,
alliances; – they’re ‘used’ and spoiled:
vulgar passions, very potent,
consequences deep, important.

Children sacrificed – or led
far from God, their spirts dead,
ignorant of saving truth –
what misuse of training youth!
– (abuse).

Putting God behind their backs:
there’s no quick and easy fix, –
not a ray of hope to feel,
unless they find contrition real.

ch.24
Suffering, sieged Jerusalem:
charred in the cooking pot,
the pot burnt out;
so comes the end as the LORD had warned them.
Scorning his pleas, the rot
must be destroyed,
no denial or doubt.

Their heart’s desire, delight of their eyes
– the city and temple – removed at a stroke,
as likewise his wife had been suddenly taken,
delight of his eyes, – but it did not evoke
the usual symbols of grieving and mourning –
God wanted abstention, as all would soon groan,
unable to publicly mourn, but still grieving
and wasting – God’s Word now accepted, truth known.

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