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Offering peace, when there is no peace

Ezekiel has to speak against those who are giving false prophesies to the Lord's people. Often the hardest work is refocussing people who have held to unbiblical theology. Be blessed as you read and pray.

Ezekiel 12: Judah's Captivity Symbolized

1 The word of the LORD came to me:

2 "Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.

3 As for you, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight. You shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house.

4 You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile, and you shall go out yourself at evening in their sight, as those do who must go into exile.

5 In their sight dig through the wall, and bring your baggage out through it.

6 In their sight you shall lift the baggage upon your shoulder and carry it out at dusk. You shall cover your face that you may not see the land, for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel."

7 And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands. I brought out my baggage at dusk, carrying it on my shoulder in their sight.

8 In the morning the word of the LORD came to me:

9 "Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, 'What are you doing?'

10 Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.'

11 Say, 'I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them. They shall go into exile, into captivity.'

12 And the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage upon his shoulder at dusk, and shall go out. They shall dig through the wall to bring him out through it. He shall cover his face, that he may not see the land with his eyes.

13 And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. And I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, yet he shall not see it, and he shall die there.

14 And I will scatter toward every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops, and I will unsheathe the sword after them.

15 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries.

16 But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the LORD."

17 And the word of the LORD came to me:

18 "Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink water with trembling and with anxiety.

19 And say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink water in dismay. In this way her land will be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it.

20 And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the LORD."

21 And the word of the LORD came to me:

22 "Son of man, what is this proverb that you have about the land of Israel, saying, 'The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing'?

23 Tell them therefore, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.' But say to them, The days are near, and the fulfilment of every vision.

24 For there shall be no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel.

25 For I am the LORD; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord GOD."

26 And the word of the LORD came to me:

27 "Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, 'The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.'

28 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord GOD."

Ezekiel 13:False Prophets Condemned

1 The word of the LORD came to me:

2 "Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: 'Hear the word of the LORD!'

3 Thus says the Lord GOD, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

4 Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel.

5 You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the LORD.

6 They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, 'Declares the LORD,' when the LORD has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word.

7 Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, 'Declares the LORD,' although I have not spoken?"

8 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord GOD.

9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

10 Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, 'Peace,' when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash,

11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out.

12 And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, 'Where is the coating with which you smeared it?'

13 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end.

14 And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the LORD.

15 Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it,

16 the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord GOD.

17 "And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own minds. Prophesy against them

18 and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive?

19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.

20 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds.

21 Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the LORD.

22 Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life,

23 therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the LORD."

Things to think about…

  1. Ezekiel is told the same thing that Isaiah was told over 100 years earlier. That he dwelt amongst a rebellious people, Ezek 12:2. This is true for us living in Australian. Our calling in many ways reflects the calls that Isaiah and Ezekiel received. Even though a nation may be hard, the Word of God needs to be lifted up.
  2. In Ezek 12:3-28 Ezekiel gives the current exiles in Babylon a vision for those still living in Jerusalem that they will also become exiles. Those still living in Jerusalem had thought that the Lord would deliver them and not allow them to be destroyed. 587BC was quickly approaching. Ezekiel had to make a hole in the wall and take his belongings as if he were going into exile. King Zedekiah made an escape through the wall in attempting to get away from the Babylonians at the siege. He was of course caught. When God decrees something, it happens.
  3. The inhabitants of Jerusalem thought that even if there was a destruction to come it would be many days off. The last 2 verses in chapter 12 say the days were imminent. One day we will appear before the Lord. In the grand scheme of things, that day is also imminent and closer now than it has ever been. In what ways are you preparing to meet your Lord and Saviour? Will it be a day a blessing, relief and joy for you? How can you be sure?
  4. Notice in Ezek 12&13, Ezekiel is described as the "son of man" a number of times. In fact he is referred to as 'son of man' 93 times in Ezekiel. This is a Messianic title that was applied to Christ. In Ezekiel's case it literally means 'son of Adam". Ezekiel was a messenger sent from God but to men. We are also sent to the sons and daughters of men with God's message.
  5. As a pastor I find Ezekiel 13 very confronting. The judgement that the Lord places on false prophets is a fearful thing. The prophets in Ezekiel's day were saying "peace, when there was no peace" Ezek 13:10. Jeremiah was saying the same message in Jerusalem at the same time Ezekiel was giving his message in Babylon. The Lord raises up faithful messengers to speak His word. This is not always tolerated as you may appreciate. Please continue to pray for me and other preachers of the Word that we be faithful with the message. We are of course under more strict judgement. Hence James says "Let not many among you be teachers".
  6. Notice the two things that happen when a false word is given, Ezek 13:22, 23. The righteous are discouraged, but the wicked are encouraged. Therefore the Lord puts an end to the season of faithless preaching, false prophets and false visions. God delivers His people out of their hands. May the Lord deliver us from the same, that we all may know that He is the Lord. Pray for the truth of Christ to rest over our country especially as we wrestle with a number of moral issues nationally.

Vision Point

CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.

Sunday morning's message on "That's not the God I serve" from John 6:52-71.

1.Jesus tells people that they need to eat His body and drink His blood. People grumble about it. Why were they grumbling?

2.Jesus tells them not to grumble as only those who are called by the Father will understand. How do you interpret what Jesus means here?

3.It says many didn't follow Jesus from that point on. Jesus lost His thousands of followers. How should this passage by applied to today's churches.

4.The Apostle Paul talks about those who would fall away in the latter days 1Tim 4:1 and 2Tim 4:3,4. Pray for the church and the Pastor to teach and preach the truth privately and from the pulpit. Pray for each other to have ears to hear.

Prayer Points

1.NSW parliament as they discuss abortion decriminalization laws.

2.More Sunday school teachers

3.Those who are not well – Flu and other conditions. 3 needing heart health prayer – Murray, Andre, Darrel.

4.CBC's ministries for this term

5.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.

6.Next Sunday's messages. Ezek 10"God has left the building" in the morning, "Tell me about yourself"– Axiom 6pm.

7.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop.

8.Recharge – Pray for someone to take over Recharge.

9.Church finances – Pray all expenses are met and that we can again support Digital Harvest and One for Israel.

10.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.


Praise Points.

1.New folk at church on Sunday

2.Our Lord's tangible presence at Sunday night's prayer service

3.New ministries being considered – Outreach opportunities and Church services

4.Unity, love and peace


Announcements

1.Willey group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.

2.Members Meeting – 18th August after the morning service.

3.Playpatch – Back this week. Carly Backwell leads this ministry.

4.Recharge– back this week. Pete Alback leads high schoolers from 7-9pm Friday nights at church.

5.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children.

6.Mapleton Women's retreat – Fri August 23rd- Sun Aug 25th. Cost $175. More details here https://www.anewconference.org.au/conferences/mapleton


This month's catechism question...

Q. 3. What has Christ given us to teach us how to pray?
A. The Lord's Prayer.

Bible Reference – Matt.6:5-15; Luke11:1-13.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3

Pastor Jay

Israel - the unproductive vine
Jerusalem and Israel will be restored