Zedekiah’s Captivity

Text: Ezekiel 12-13


I.         Prepare for exile - Ezekiel 12:1-7

            A.        Israel was a rebellious people.

                        1.         They have the ability to understand, but they do not. - Isaiah 42:18-22; Deuteronomy 32:28-29

                        2.         Thus the need for a visual aid to get through to the people.

            B.        Ezekiel is to pack baggage for exile

                        1.         He is to pack up during the day when people can see.

                        2.         That evening he will go to a place that others can see - Jeremiah 39:4

            C.        Ezekiel is to exit via a hole in his wall, representing the secret way the king would flee

            D.        He is to cover his face

                        1.         Stealth so that no one would recognize him.

                        2.         Yet it is also blindness to what is happening in the land

                        3.         And ultimately, Zedekiah lost his sight - Jeremiah 39:6-7

            E.        All of this would be a visual aid for the people and Ezekiel did as he was told

II.        Ezekiel’s antics created a stir and people asked him what he was doing. God tells him how to respond - Ezekiel 12:8-16

            A.        The sign is for Zedekiah and the leaders of Israel. It represents what will be done to them

                        1.         He will prepare to leave and attempt to sneak out in the dark through a hole in the city wall. He will cover his face.

                        2.         But God would catch him - Jeremiah 39:5

                        3.         He will be taken to Babylon and will die in exile - Jeremiah 52:11

                        4.         Zedekiah’s troops would be scattered - II Kings 25:4-5

            B.        When the people are scattered in exile, they will understand the power of God

                        1.         There would be survivors for the purpose of being able to tell the Gentile what happened - Isaiah 10:22; Deuteronomy 29:24-28

III.       Further, Ezekiel is to eat and drink with trembling and anxiety - Ezekiel 12:16-20

            A.        It represents the fear and anxiety of the people

            B.        The land would be emptied of people, triggering a shortage - Isaiah 6:9-13; Zechariah 7:14

            C.        The cause is the wickedness of the people - Psalm 107:34; Micah 3:10-12

IV.      Thinking it won’t happen - Ezekiel 12:21-28

            A.        “As time passes, prophecies will fade away”

                        1.         The longer it doesn’t happen, the more likely it will never happen

                        2.         Amos 6:3

                        3.         Isaiah 28:22 - The more the scoff, the worse it will be

                        4.         The same happens for the return of Christ - II Peter 3:4

                                    a.         Romans 2:4-5

                                    b.         James 5:8-9

            B.        The false prophets have not helped the people - Lamentations 2:14; Jeremiah 14:13-16; 23:14-29

                        1.         False teachers today - Romans 16:18; II Peter 2:2-3

            C.        God promises fulfillment in their generation - Ezekiel 12:25

                        1.         God’s word is not empty - Isaiah 55:11

                        2.         It was done - Daniel 9:12

V.        False prophets - foxes in the desert - Ezekiel 13:1-7

            A.        The problem of false prophets - Jeremiah 14:13-15; 23:11-22

            B.        The source of their inspiration is from their own hearts - Ezekiel 13:2-3

                        1.         Jeremiah 23:16 - Of their own imagination

                        2.         Jeremiah 23:25-26 - Self deceived

            C.        Given the source, what they say is foolish

                        1.         Lamentations 2:13-14

                        2.         II Timothy 3:9 - Same as today’s false teachers

            D.        Like foxes they are cunning, swift to strike, and swift to disappear

                        1.         They do damage while avoiding the consequences

            E.        They did not repair problems, they did not protect or build back up

                        1.         Moses stood in the breach for the people - Psalm 106:23

                        2.         Phinehas interceded for God - Psalm 106:30

                        3.         Aaron running between the dead and the living - Numbers 16:47-48

                        4.         This is what God desired - Ezekiel 22:30

                        5.         The proper action - Jeremiah 23:22

            F.        They claimed to have words from God

                        1.         Hoping that it will work out as they predicted

                        2.         The idea is that they believe their own lies - II Thessalonians 2:11

                        3.         All of it is falsehoods - Zechariah 10:2

VI.      God’s response Ezekiel 13:8-16

            A.        God’s anger against the false prophets - Jeremiah 23:28-32

                        1.         They will have no place - Jeremiah 29:8-9, 30-32

                        2.         God is against evil doers - I Peter 3:12

            B.        “Divination”

                        1.         “Attempting to gain knowledge, such as of the future, using means other than God. Such means ranged from casting lots to consulting the dead.”

            C.        They will be completely cut off

                        1.         Psalm 69:28 - Removed from the book

                        2.         Desire to be in the books - Psalm 87:6; Isaiah 4:3

                        3.         Those found in the book are protected - Daniel 12:1

                        4.         We want to be registered citizens - Luke 10:20; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 3:5

            D.        They give the people what they want to hear - Ezekiel 13:10-11

                        1.         Warning when men speak well of you - Luke 6:26

                        2.         Seduced by false prophets - I Timothy 4:1

                                    a.         People prefer sin over truth - John 3:19; Micah 2:11

                                    b.         People love false prophecy - Jeremiah 5:31; Isaiah 30:10

                        3.         The false prophecy were an unstable wall plastered over to look good - Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11

                        4.         They preach a peace that will not come - Jeremiah 14:13; 23:17; Isaiah 57:21

            E.        God will expose their lies when times of distress comes - Isaiah 28:15-18

                        1.         Such is promised for us as well - I Corinthians 3:11-15

                        2.         Not only will God destroy their walls of lies, he will also destroy the builders.

                        3.         Recall the house built - Matthew 7:24-27

                                    a.         When do you know the foundation is good?

VII.     False Prophetess - Ezekiel 13:17-19

            A.        They too are making prophecies from their own hearts

                        1.         Ezekiel’s face is to be set against them - Isaiah 50:7

            B.        They make “magic” charms and veils

                        1.         Some think these are pillows to lean comfortably upon, those the continued idea of selling artificial peace.

                        2.         The veils to give mystic to their doings.

                        3.         The purpose of which is to entice men - Proverbs 6:26; II Peter 2:14

                        4.         They were used by all people – young, old, rich and poor

            C.        In a rhetorical question, God is pointing out that they cannot destroy the lives of God’s people without also affecting their own lives. In other words, they won’t escape. - See Ezekiel 13:22

            D.        These false prophetess are willing to profane God for monetary gain - Proverbs 28:21; Micah 3:5. 11

                        1.         The people willingly listen to lies - John 3:19

                        2.         Today - Romans 16:18; II Peter 2:2-3

VIII.    God’s response - Ezekiel 13:20-23

            A.        God is against them

            B.        He will free those captive in their schemes - Psalm 91:3; Proverbs 6:5

            C.        He will tear off the veils. He will reveal them for what they truly are.

            D.        This is because they suppressed the righteous and encouraged the wicked - Jeremiah 6:14; 14:13-17; 23:14

                        1.         Today - II Peter 2:18-19

            E.        Their prophecies will go dark - Micah 3:6

                        1.         In the last days - Zechariah 13:1-3