God will do what He says He will do. It doesn’t matter who we are and what we do really; what matters is who is God, are we with God, following in His ways, hearing and believing, seeing and praising Him as the One and Only God. Are we rebels or realists when it comes to God. God is real. The question is: Do we rebel against Him or really believe what God says to be really real? Pack up your thoughts and camp on these thoughts. Our behaviors will reflect what we really believe to be true.
Ezekiel 12, The Message
Put the Bundle on Your Shoulder and Walk into the Night
1-6 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, you’re living with a bunch of rebellious people. They have eyes but don’t see a thing, they have ears but don’t hear a thing. They’re rebels all. So, son of man, pack up your exile duffel bags. Leave in broad daylight with everyone watching and go off, as if into exile. Maybe then they’ll understand what’s going on, rebels though they are. You’ll take up your baggage while they watch, a bundle of the bare necessities of someone going into exile, and toward evening leave, just like a person going off into exile. As they watch, dig through the wall of the house and carry your bundle through it. In full sight of the people, put the bundle on your shoulder and walk out into the night. Cover your face so you won’t have to look at what you’ll never see again. I’m using you as a sign for the family of Israel.”
7 I did exactly as he commanded me. I got my stuff together and brought it out in the street where everyone could see me, bundled it up the way someone being taken off into exile would, and then, as the sun went down, made a hole in the wall of the house with my hands. As it grew dark and as they watched, I left, throwing my bundle across my shoulders.
8-10 The next morning God spoke to me: “Son of man, when anyone in Israel, that bunch of rebels, asks you, ‘What are you doing?’ Tell them, ‘God, the Master, says that this Message especially concerns the prince in Jerusalem—Zedekiah—but includes all the people of Israel.’
11 “Also tell them, ‘I am drawing a picture for you. As I am now doing, it will be done to all the people of Israel. They will go into exile as captives.’
12-15 “The prince will put his bundle on his shoulders in the dark and leave. He’ll dig through the wall of the house, covering his face so he won’t have to look at the land he’ll never see again. But I’ll make sure he gets caught and is taken to Babylon. Blinded, he’ll never see that land in which he’ll die. I’ll scatter to the four winds those who helped him escape, along with his troops, and many will die in battle. They’ll realize that I am God when I scatter them among foreign countries.
16 “I’ll permit a few of them to escape the killing, starvation, and deadly sickness so that they can confess among the foreign countries all the disgusting obscenities they’ve been involved in. They will realize that I am God.”
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17-20 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, eat your meals shaking in your boots, drink your water trembling with fear. Tell the people of this land, everyone living in Jerusalem and Israel, God’s Message: ‘You’ll eat your meals shaking in your boots and drink your water in terror because your land is going to be stripped bare as punishment for the brutality rampant in it. All the cities and villages will be emptied out and the fields destroyed. Then you’ll realize that I am God.’”
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21-22 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, what’s this proverb making the rounds in the land of Israel that says, ‘Everything goes on the same as ever; all the prophetic warnings are false alarms’?
23-25 “Tell them, ‘God, the Master, says, This proverb’s going to have a short life!’
“Tell them, ‘Time’s about up. Every warning is about to come true. False alarms and easygoing preaching are a thing of the past in the life of Israel. I, God, am doing the speaking. What I say happens. None of what I say is on hold. What I say, I’ll do—and soon, you rebels!’ Decree of God the Master.”
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26-28 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, do you hear what Israel is saying: that the alarm the prophet raises is for a long time off, that he’s preaching about the far-off future? Well, tell them, ‘God, the Master, says, “Nothing of what I say is on hold. What I say happens.”’ Decree of God, the Master.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
When the Lord called Ezekiel, He warned him that he would be ministering to a rebellious people who were spiritually blind and deaf. In fact, Isaiah knew the same. Prophets knew going in that they would be God’s mouthpiece to those who did not want to hear what God had to say. In order to understand God’s truth, we must be obedient to God’s will, but Israel was far from being obedient. This is rebellion. Disobedience.
Another object lesson—
- God told Ezekiel to play the part of a fugitive escaping from a war-torn city. Part of Ezekiel’s act occurred in the daytime and part at twilight. The curious onlookers were curious but perplexed Jewish exiles watched his strange actions.
- Packing the knapsack and leaving it at a distance from his house conveyed the message that the leaders in Jerusalem were planning to flee for their lives.
- Digging through the wall from outside the house pictured the Babylonian army’s assault on the walls of Jerusalem.
- That evening, when Ezekiel climbed out of the house through the hole and with the knapsack on his back, he depicted the Jewish leaders secretly trying to flee from the city to save their lives.
- In the “final act”, Ezekiel ate his meal outside and continued the fugitive image. He ate his bread and drank his water—a frugal meal—while shaking and trembling as if in fear. He was illustrating the tragic condition of the people in Jerusalem during the Babylonian siege.
What God says, He will certainly do—
The people were quoting a proverb that may have been devised by the false prophets to humiliate Ezekiel: “Everything goes on the same as ever; all the prophetic warnings are false alarms”. But they soon learned that what God says, He will do. With God’s timing, appearances can certainly be misleading. We must obey and wait.
Because Ezekiel’s prophecies had not been fulfilled immediately, the people were paying more attention to the false prophets than to the true Word of God. The visions of the false prophets were false and misleading, and they delivered only the soothing and encouraging words that the people wanted to hear (See Jeremiah for the same rendition of the same song). God made clear that His word would be fulfilled with no more delays.
God made it clear that Ezekiel’s words would be fulfilled very soon when He stated, “Nothing of what I say is on hold. What I say happens.” Six years later, the Babylonian army breached the walls of Jerusalem, and Ezekiel’s predictions came true.
How tragic when people deliberately ignore or reject the dependable Word of God and put their faith in the empty but soothing words of false religious leaders!
Believe on the Name of Jesus and be saved. Jesus IS coming back, you know. That is our message for today. Listen for the voice of the Lord over all other voices and obey. Trust and obey for there’s no other way….
Thank you for more and more words of wisdom from Ezekiel and the other prophets carried down through the generations until Jesus came, died, rose again to pay what we owe for living rebellious lives in sin. Thank you for saving my soul and making me whole. Thank you for teaching us how to live by your example of how to love, showing mercy and grace. That you for helping us steer away from all that is not you in this world. We do not deserve what you have done for us. I believe. I trust you, dear Jesus. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. Therefore, I am confident because of you in me. Come, Lord Jesus, come.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen