Ezekiel: God's Response to Evil

God’s Response to Evil

Text: Ezekiel 10:1-11:25


I.         Scattering coals over the city - Ezekiel 10:1-7

            A.        Ezekiel’s attention is now returned to the throne of God

                        1.         The description is similar to that found in chapter 1

                        2.         Ezekiel later states it is the same - Ezekiel 10:15

                        3.         The description is to portray the glory of God - Ezekiel 1:28

            B.        The angel in the appearance of a scribe is ordered to gather coal from between the cherubim

                        1.         The scattering of coals signifies the burning of Jerusalem - Isaiah 33:12-14

                        2.         Similar to Revelation 8:5

            C.        The cherubim were on the south side of the Temple (literally on the right-hand – directions in Hebrew taken from facing east).

                        1.         This is the side furthest from the idol of Jealousy

                        2.         A cloud – God’s presence – fills the inner court - Exodus 40:34-35; I Kings 8:10-12; Revelation 15:8

                                    a.         Psalm 97:2

                                    b.         Romans 11:33 - The depth of God’s wisdom makes His way unfathomable

                        3.         The glory of God rises and leaves the temple. As it does so, the courts are filled with light.- Habakkuk 3:4; Psalm 80:1

                        4.         The pause on the threshold shows His reluctance to leave - Matthew 23:37-39

                        5.         Sound fills the temple to the outer court - Psalm 29:3-9; Job 37:2-5

            D.        The angel in the form of the scribe immediately follows the command of God.

                        1.         Such a contrast to the disobedience of the Israelites.

                        2.         Echos of the final judgment - Matthew 13:41-42

II.        Another description of the cherubim supporting God’s throne - Ezekiel 10:8-17

            A.        The emphasis on the wheels is to show that God is not fixed in one place and that He can withdraw His presence.

                        1.         God’s throne is above all - Psalm 103:19

                        2.         Why the wheel is addressed as “wheel” is a point of confusion

                                    a.         Adam Clarke argues it should be chariot

                                    b.         Jamieson-Fausset-Brown argues for “whirling” indicating their speed.

                                    c.         Note: The wheels (‘owphan) ... wheel (galgal)

            B.        Again the mention of eyes all around indicating all-seeing

            C.        Note faces slightly different in this description. Compare Ezekiel 10:14 to Ezekiel 1:10.

            D.        The cherubim act in concert

III.       God departs - Ezekiel 10:18-22

            A.        Foretold - Deuteronomy 31:17

            B.        Happened in the days of Eli - I Samuel 4:21

            C.        Happened to Saul personally - I Samuel 28:15-16

            D.        Hosea 9:12 - Woe to Israel when it happens - Jeremiah 6:8

            E.        The cherubim move straight forward.

                        1.         They move purposefully and without deviation.

IV.      The Spirit now brings Ezekiel over to the east gate where the sun worshipers were - Ezekiel 11:1-4

            A.        Two are named: Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah

                        1.         II Chron 36:14 - The leading priest were guilty of leading the people astray

                        2.         This Jaazaniah is different from the one mentioned in Ezekiel 8:11

            B.        The east gate was where court cases were heard - Jeremiah 26:10-11

                        1.         The men are charged with corrupt judgment and council - Isaiah 30:1

                        2.         They advised opposite of the prophets

            C.        The reference to the boiling pot is Jeremiah’s vision - Jeremiah 1:13-16

                        1.         They claim that Jeremiah’s prophecy will not soon be fulfilled- Ezekiel 12:27

                        2.         Jeremiah had advised the Jews to settle in (Jeremiah 29:5). These people are against that advise.

                        3.         If Jerusalem is the cauldron, then they believe that they – as the meat – would remain until “done”. They did not believe they would be removed prematurely into captivity. (See Ezekiel 11:7-11)

            D.        The repeated command to prophesy is showing emphasis.

V.        God’s prophecy - Ezekiel 11:5-13

            A.        God knows what they do not outwardly express - Psalm 139:1-4

            B.        Their injustice is what is causing Jerusalem to boil and the meat are the innocent - Micah 3:1-3; 7:2; Zephaniah 3:3 Lamentations 4:13

            C.        They would not be allowed to remain and will die by the sword - Jeremiah 52:24-27

                        1.         God uses what they dread as punishment - Isaiah 66:4; Proverbs 10:24

            D.        Judgment at the border of Israel - II Kings 25:6, 19-21

            E.        Their guilt

                        1.         They had not followed God’s laws

                        2.         They did not apply God’s wisdom to bring about justice

                        3.         They followed the practices of heathen nations - Leviticus 18:3,24

            F.        Evidence is given of God’s anger, Pelatiah dies at the completion of the prophecy.

                        1.         The death causes Ezekiel to fear that no one would survive God’s wrath.

                        2.         This is further evidence.

                                    a.         Ezekiel is physically in Babylon, but in the spirit in Jerusalem.

                                    b.         While the prophecy is made, he sees someone die at a great distance. And it was a leading man in Israel.

                                    c.         Thus the truth can be verified.

VI.      A message for those in exile - Ezekiel 11:14-21

            A.        Those not taken into captivity were convinced that they were favored by God.

                        1.         Those taken were obviously deserving of punishment.

                        2.         Their view was actually backwards - Jeremiah 24:1-10

            B.        God is protecting those captive by scattering them among the Gentiles - Psalm 31:20

                        1.         God doesn’t need a temple to be present - Isaiah 57:15

                        2.         The temple is not truly His home - Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:48-49

            C.        God promises to gather them back and restore the land to them.

                        1.         They would be punished, but not destroyed - Jeremiah 30:10-11; 31:8-10

                        2.         Both Judah and Israel - Jeremiah 3:18

            D.        The change in the people

                        1.         In their return, they will remove idolatry

                        2.         A unity in purpose - Jeremiah 32:38-39

                        3.         They will forego their stubborn ways - Psalm 51:10; Jeremiah 31:33

                        4.         They will follow God - Jeremiah 24:7

                        5.         Ultimately fulfilled in the New Testament - II Corinthians 5:17; John 17:21-23

            E.        It is the wicked who will be punished

VII.     God’s glory departs from Jerusalem - Ezekiel 11:22-23

            A.        It moves across to the mountain to the east of the city

                        1.         It is the mount of Olives -Zechariah 14:4

                        2.         He is removed, but within distance to be called upon.

VIII.    Ezekiel is returned to Babylon - Ezekiel 11:24-25

            A.        He then tells those with him what he had seen and heard.