Parts 3, 2, 1 (chapters 24-1) below
Those who chose to gloat or sneer,
nations voicing malice clear –
hostile, callous – who were glad
to wreak vengeance when they could:
they will know He is the LORD
when He keeps his judgement word.
chapters 26 –28:20 A Prophecy against Tyre
Tyre had flourished, wealthy strong,
thinks she’ll grow when Israel’s gone –
is their God not now around?
Materialism built on watery ground, –
shipwrecked Tyre laid bare and drowned,
lifetime’s labours all invested
in wrong objects, – lavished, wasted:
lamentation, slaughter, plunder,
Tyre destroyed and torn asunder.
Pride will poison through success:
glittering wealth to deep distress,
horrible end of godlessness.
A Prophecy against Sidon;
but the regathering of Israel.
Malicious neighbours, painful thorns:
gone when Israel soon returns.
Godly people must be users
of his principles and Word.
Watch! for ‘friends’ may tempt (seducers),
or frighten servants of the LORD
if they can!
Pharoah, Egypt, proud and boasting
strong their kingdom (as if their making),
like the Nile, but God is now
against them, and will bring them low.
Monster crocodile hooked out, laid
floundering, helpless, in great need.
Why had Israel sought for help, aid,
leaning on that splintering reed?
Egypt: devestation, desolation,
dispersal, plundered, – they’ll return
– lowly, weak, – the nations view
its threat no more, and Israel rue
their sin in seeking foolishly
her help before.
But Israel’s horn and strength, will grow
by power divine, and they will know
(the prophet’s mouth he’ll open wide)
he is the LORD, and has not lied.
chapters 30 – 32
See, the Day of sorrowing, ending
Pharoah’s rule and Egypt’s power.
God, the Babylonians strengthening,
weakening Pharoah in that hour:
broken arms, defence, resistance
limp, for now his toppling’s come,
– Egypt’s might cut down when darkness
shows that justice has been done.
Assyria tree was also felled.
Many graves with tyrants filled.
Appointed watchman given information,
– responsible to warn;
hearers then have heard the exhortation,
– they must turn,
turn from evil, finding grace,
no returning to that place
foolish playing with the fire,
The way of the LORD is just:
he takes no pleasure
in the death of the wicked
– if they feel their guilt, and turn, and trust,
“The city has fallen”, – the message came,
as prophesied, predicted.
If Abraham’s land they want to claim,
his faith, obedience they should share,
not live without a care
for the sovereign LORD’s commands.
You exiles too must his demands
heed, not just give respectful
praise, attention to Ezekiel.
When all the prophecy comes true,
you’ll know God’s prophet spoke with you.
Shepherds who neglect and scatter;
Shepherd who will feed and gather.
Sheep who shove and grab, despise
weaker ones, but God has eyes
that judge and save; he has appointed
Christ as Shepherd-Prince anointed:
covenant of grace and peace
for his sheep, and problems cease
fully, in the time to come; –
now the Shepherd leads them on,
now the Shepherd leads us home.
chapter 35 A prophecy against Edom
God sees men take advantage when
– think they can
take what they like,
but soon they’ll know
God heard them boast and plan,
and speak contemptibly, delight
to harm and ‘twist the knife’.
The Sovereign LORD they scorn, without
restraint, a bitter life.
For they who will not bloodshed hate,
find bloodshed will pursue.
God has an end in view,
and Israel has a future blest,
when evil-doers in the world,
like Edom will be judged and gone
for all the hate they hurled.
God’s promises are not deserved:
for his own sake he would
bring back his people to his land,
and fill its hills with good.
Their lives, their sin, had spread about
dishonour to his name.
He’d bring them back, but make them feel
their sinfulness and shame.
He’ll change their hearts and make them new,
and cleanse, and move their will
to follow his decrees and laws,
and then with blessings fill.
The nations will know that he is the LORD,
holy in judgement, and rescue, rebuilding,
faithful in rule and in Word.
By now the exiled Israel felt
past hope, cut off in death.
God shows he can restore, revive
those now bereft of spiritual breath.
Regenerated saints restored,
cleansed, love the precepts of their LORD,
his covenant of peace, his Word:
united people, – nations see
that he, the LORD, has made them holy
and dwells with them eternally.
O LORD, you only know
what you alone can do.
And when you act (fulfil your Word),
they’ll know you truly are the LORD.
chapters 38 & 39
Again there will be enemies,
vast hordes rush in, attacking
– God’s people will be unprepared,
defenceless, vulnerable, – needing
that God defeat the evil schemes,
and deal with those who plot – all
crushed, – no longer sent to chasten –
their plotting brings their downfall full,
and future fullness nearer for
God’s people, who will then be free
of evil danger evermore.