All of my hope
Is in the name
The name of Jesus
Breakthrough will come
Come in the name
The name of Jesus

I’m praying, God come
And turn this thing around
Oh, yes
God, turn it around
God, turn it around
God, turn it around

The word “sword” is used nineteen times in this chapter to represent the invasion and attack of the Babylonian army. God had His eye on three targets: the land of Judah, the city of Jerusalem, and the holy place of the temple. Unfortunately, some of the righteous would suffer along with the wicked, but that often happens in times of war.

God commanded Ezekiel to perform another action sermon by sighing like someone experiencing great pain and grief. When the people asked him why he was sighing so, he would tell them, “Because of the terrifying news…”  The people will not like the discipline God wills as His way of cleansing the land of all the sins His people committed against God and against each other. 

The grief of sin.  We understand the grieving and sighing that emits from our souls when sins of disobedience stand in the way from having a loving and real relationship with God.  As believers, our hearts grieve when brothers and sisters, children, grandchildren, friends, leaders, servants go their own way and sin against God in blatant disobedience.  As sin affects everyone, so will God’s discipline be seen and felt by everyone.

Ezekiel 21, The Message

A Sword! A Sword!

1-5 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, now face Jerusalem and let the Message roll out against the Sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel. Say, ‘God’s Message: I’m against you. I’m pulling my sword from its sheath and killing both the wicked and the righteous. Because I’m treating everyone the same, good and bad, everyone from south to north is going to feel my sword! Everyone will know that I mean business.’

“So, son of man, groan! Double up in pain. Make a scene!

“When they ask you, ‘Why all this groaning, this carrying on?’ say, ‘Because of the news that’s coming. It’ll knock the breath out of everyone. Hearts will stop cold, knees turn to rubber. Yes, it’s coming. No stopping it. Decree of God, the Master.’”

* * *

8-10 God’s Message to me: “Son of man, prophesy. Tell them, ‘The Master says:

“‘A sword! A sword!
    razor-sharp and polished,
Sharpened to kill,
    polished to flash like lightning!

“‘My child, you’ve despised the scepter of Judah
    by worshiping every tree-idol.

11 “‘The sword is made to glisten,
    to be held and brandished.
It’s sharpened and polished,
    ready to be brandished by the killer.’

12 “Yell out and wail, son of man.
    The sword is against my people!
The princes of Israel
    and my people—abandoned to the sword!

Wring your hands!
    Tear out your hair!

13 “‘Testing comes.
    Why have you despised discipline?

You can’t get around it.
    Decree of God, the Master.’

14-17 “So, prophesy, son of man!
    Clap your hands. Get their attention.
Tell them that the sword’s coming down
    once, twice, three times.
It’s a sword to kill,
    a sword for a massacre,
A sword relentless,
    a sword inescapable—
People collapsing right and left,
    going down like dominoes.
I’ve stationed a murderous sword
    at every gate in the city,
Flashing like lightning,
    brandished murderously.
Cut to the right, thrust to the left,
    murderous, sharp-edged sword!
Then I’ll clap my hands,
    a signal that my anger is spent.
        I, God, have spoken.”

* * *

18-22 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, lay out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to take. Start them from the same place. Place a signpost at the beginning of each road. Post one sign to mark the road of the sword to Rabbah of the Ammonites. Post the other to mark the road to Judah and Fort Jerusalem. The king of Babylon stands at the fork in the road and he decides by divination which of the two roads to take. He draws straws, he throws god-dice, he examines a goat liver. He opens his right hand: The omen says, ‘Head for Jerusalem!’ So he’s on his way with battering rams, roused to kill, sounding the battle cry, pounding down city gates, building siege works.

23 “To the Judah leaders, who themselves have sworn oaths, it will seem like a false divination, but he will remind them of their guilt, and so they’ll be captured.

24 So this is what God, the Master, says: ‘Because your sin is now out in the open so everyone can see what you’ve been doing, you’ll be taken captive.

25-27 “‘O Zedekiah, blasphemous and evil prince of Israel: Time’s up. It’s “punishment payday.” God says, Take your royal crown off your head. No more “business as usual.” The underdog will be promoted and the top dog will be demoted. Ruins, ruins, ruins! I’ll turn the whole place into ruins. And ruins it will remain until the one comes who has a right to it. Then I’ll give it to him.’

28-32 “But, son of man, your job is to prophesy. Tell them, ‘This is the Message from God, the Master, against the Ammonites and against their cruel taunts:

“‘A sword! A sword!
    Bared to kill,
Sharp as a razor,
    flashing like lightning.
Despite false sword propaganda
    circulated in Ammon,
The sword will sever Ammonite necks,
    for whom it’s punishment payday.
Return the sword to the sheath! I’ll judge you in your home country,
    in the land where you grew up.
I’ll empty out my wrath on you,
    breathe hot anger down your neck.
I’ll give you to vicious men
    skilled in torture.
You’ll end up as stove-wood.
    Corpses will litter your land.
Not so much as a memory will be left of you.
    I, God, have said so.’”


God used soothsayers to accomplish His purposes.  This is another example that God was, is and always will be in control of the circumstances.  God prepared the Babylonian army to be effective and efficient in carrying out His plans. God directs the army. God had willed that the army attack Jerusalem, so He overruled the soothsayers and diviners and made sure that their signs pointed to Jerusalem. This doesn’t mean that their system of divining was accurate or even proper, but that God the “things of this world” to accomplish His purposes.  If God says it, He will indeed do it!

Rebellion against God was the reason for His discipline.  Instead of becoming a holy nation to the glory of God, she became like all the other nations and failed to be God’s light to the Gentiles.  We read and rely on the verses in God’s Word that gives us confidence such as “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  (Romans 8:31) but if we are not for God, not trusting and obeying, then we are working for ourselves.  We are trying to do life from our own strength and devices!  God is a gentleman who does not step into the life of one who thinks they do not need Him.  God allows us to suffer the consequences of our own actions as a way of discipline today.  Our actions affect all those around us in a domino like fall. 

Does being for God, believing in Jesus, trusting, and obeying Him mean that life will always be fair and rosy for us?  No, but I would rather be obeying the One who is in control and knows what tomorrow brings than relying on my own wisdom to counter the disobedience of others that will affect me.  We are His light in a dark world.  Others will look to us when they are in trouble and need help.  Others will also look upon how we handle our own troubles.  Be the Light!  The truth of who we are inside will always be reflected in our behavior when up against troubles.

Hope comes in the morning.  Woven throughout this series of messages, (and throughout God’s Word) is the theme of Israel’s hope and our hope.  God will regather His people and send a Savior to all mankind.  That Savior is Jesus Christ just as He promised.  What God says, He will do!


Thank you for teaching us beyond Ezekiel’s prophecies to hearts today who seek you.  Your promise still stands, “those who seek you will find you.”  Thank you for finding me, saving my soul and making me whole.  Teach me, for I am your servant.

In Jesus Name, Amen

In the mixture of deliberate disaster and undeserved hope we recall the truth,

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance” Psalm 33:12

I’m calling on the name
That changes everything
Oh, yeah yeah
God, turn it around
God, turn it around
God, turn it around

‘Cause all of my hope
Is in the name
The name of Jesus
Breakthrough will come
Come in the name
The name of Jesus
God, turn it around
God, turn it around
God, turn it around

(Song by Church of the City)

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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