The Days Are at Hand

September 8, 2011 at 11:35 am | Posted in Ezekiel | 7 Comments
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God had the prophet Ezekiel act out some of his prophecies. In one of them he portrayed a man sneaking out of a city under siege. II Kings 25 tells us that this prophecy came to pass when King Zedekiah tried to escape Jerusalem from the invading Babylonians, but was captured.

My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there.

Ezekiel 12:13

This must have been a difficult prophecy for Ezekiel’s audience to credit. How would the King go to Babylon to die, yet not see it? The prophecy was fulfilled when King Zedekiah’s captors first killed his sons in front of his own eyes, then put his eyes out before they led him away in captivity.

The next morning Ezekiel performed another “action sermon,” when he ate his meal and drank his water while shaking and trembling. This portrayed the way the people in Jerusalem would feel while the city was under siege.

Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?

Ezekiel 12:22

God let Ezekiel know that the people had a proverb or a common expression about the prophecies. The fall of Jerusalem came about six years after this prophecy. Their saying was a little like our saying, “Tomorrow never comes.” God gave them a new proverb:

Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.

Ezekiel 12:23 (emphasis added)

In response to the people saying, “We’ve heard that one before,” God said, “The future is now.”

Ezekiel Chapter 13 goes into more detail about the false prophets. They substituted the concrete promises of God for the untempered mortar of empty lies.

Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.

Ezekiel 13:10-11

“Untempered morter” reminds us of the New Testament reference to “whitewashed walls.” Jesus likened the Pharisees to “whited sepulchres.” The false prophets really come out of the woodwork when there’s a chance to make money. They are more interested in making “profits,” than in being true “prophets.” As an aside, do you know who the first capitalist in the Bible was? It was Miriam, Moses’s sister – she went down to the “bank” and “drew out” a “little prophet.” (Sorry, that’s joke #5 in the Official Preacher’s Joke Book, but I couldn’t resist.)

The sign of the false prophecies really getting bad was when even women prophets began to come to prominence.

Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?

Ezekiel 13:17-19

There are very few female prophets in Scripture, and there are restrictions on the roles of women in church (see I Timothy 2:8-15). The proliferation of women calling themselves prophets when they are really practicing cons or scams at best, and sorcery at worst, is one of the features of the so-called “prosperity gospel” or “word of faith movement.” There are ministries today which base their beliefs and practices on charlatans and false prophets like Aimee Semple MacPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman and Mary Baker Eddy and Ellen G. White.

Some of the Jewish leaders among the exiles came to visit Ezekiel in his home in Chapter 14. Ezekiel was not supposed to leave his home unless God told him to do so. When the leaders came to his house, God told him that these were some of the ones He had shown him in his earlier visions worshiping idols. God told him to confront them with the truth – even if it sounded like a word of condemnation.

Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

Ezekiel 14:4

However, Ezekiel didn’t just tell them, “You’re busted. God knows what’s in your hearts. Now get out.” No, he tried to get them to repent.

That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

Ezekiel 14:5

In Chapter 15 Ezekiel continued preaching to the Jewish leaders in his home. He had been “manhandled” by God in one his visions, so he had a healthy fear and reverence for God. The leaders came to be entertained, but Ezekiel compared them to an unfit vine – a non-fruit-bearing vine – fit to be burned.


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