Ezekiel 11 & Psalm 50

Ezekiel 11

    The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the house of the LORD, which faces east. And behold, at the entrance of the gateway there were twenty-five men. And I saw among them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. And he said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city; who say, ‘The time is not near to build houses. This city is the cauldron, and we are the meat.’ Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, O son of man.”

    And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind. You have multiplied your slain in this city and have filled its streets with the slain. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the meat, and this city is the cauldron, but you shall be brought out of the midst of it. You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you, declares the Lord GOD. And I will bring you out of the midst of it, and give you into the hands of foreigners, and execute judgments upon you. You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am the LORD. This city shall not be your cauldron, nor shall you be the meat in the midst of it. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am the LORD. For you have not walked in my statutes, nor obeyed my rules, but have acted according to the rules of the nations that are around you.”

    And it came to pass, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell down on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?”

    And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far from the LORD; to us this land is given for a possession.’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord GOD.”

    Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city. And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in the vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up from me. And I told the exiles all the things that the LORD had shown me.

(Ezekiel 11 ESV)


Psalm 50

A Psalm of Asaph.

    The Mighty One, God the LORD,
        speaks and summons the earth
        from the rising of the sun to its setting.
    Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
        God shines forth.
    
    
    Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
        before him is a devouring fire,
        around him a mighty tempest.
    He calls to the heavens above
        and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
    “Gather to me my faithful ones,
        who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
    The heavens declare his righteousness,
        for God himself is judge! Selah
    
    
    “Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
        O Israel, I will testify against you.
        I am God, your God.
    Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
        your burnt offerings are continually before me.
    I will not accept a bull from your house
        or goats from your folds.
    For every beast of the forest is mine,
        the cattle on a thousand hills.
    I know all the birds of the hills,
        and all that moves in the field is mine.
    
    
    “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
        for the world and its fullness are mine.
    Do I eat the flesh of bulls
        or drink the blood of goats?
    Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
        and perform your vows to the Most High,
    and call upon me in the day of trouble;
        I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
    
    
    But to the wicked God says:
        “What right have you to recite my statutes
        or take my covenant on your lips?
    For you hate discipline,
        and you cast my words behind you.
    If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
        and you keep company with adulterers.
    
    
    “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
        and your tongue frames deceit.
    You sit and speak against your brother;
        you slander your own mother's son.
    These things you have done, and I have been silent;
        you thought that I was one like yourself.
    But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
    
    
    “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
        lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
    The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
        to one who orders his way rightly
        I will show the salvation of God!”

(Psalm 50 ESV)

The following is taken from D.A. Carson's For the Love of God series...

 

THERE ARE TWO HIGHLY SYMBOLIC actions in Ezekiel 11, one of them beginning in Ezekiel 10, the other entirely within the chapter at hand:

(1) Although it is difficult to trace exactly the movement of the glory of the Lord, it is reasonably clear that this glory, once associated with the temple—espe- cially with the Most Holy Place and the ark of the covenant over which the cheru- bim stretched their wings—abandons the temple and hovers over the mobile throne. The same mobile throne Ezekiel had seen in Babylon is now parked by the south entrance to the temple. The four living creatures, now identified as cherubim, transport the glory of the Lord to the east gate (10:18-19), and then to the mountain east of the city (11:23). Thus the presence of God judicially aban- dons the temple and the city. Nothing stands in the way of their destruction.

(2) The picture of the cooking pot (11:3-12) conjures up the false sense of security that a strong, walled city could engender among its inhabitants. The Jerusalemites thought of themselves as the good meat within the “pot” of the walled city, nicely surrounded and protected. But God himself will drive them out (11:7). This city will not be a “pot” for them at all (11:11). The truth of the mat- ter is that the Jerusalemites, whom the exiles were inclined to lionize because they were still there in Jerusalem, were extraordinarily arrogant. While the exiles pinned their hopes on them, the Jerusalemites themselves saw the exiles as so much rubbish, people rejected by God and transported far away from the land and the temple (11:14-15). Indeed, God says there is going to be a mighty reversal. True, God did scatter the exiles among the nations. But while they have been away, God himself has been their sanctuary (11:16)—which shows that the temple is not strictly needed for God to be present among his people, to be a “sanctuary” for them. Thus while the Jerusalemites will be destroyed (even as they dismiss the exiles as of no account), God will gather together a remnant from among them (11:17). Ultimately he will put into place a new covenant that will transform them (11:18-20). These themes are taken up in more detail later in the book (e.g., chap. 36).

The vision of chapters 8—11 ends with Ezekiel transported back to Babylon, telling the people everything he has seen and heard. The first strands of hope in this book have been laid out, but not in the categories expected. Jerusalem will be destroyed, and God’s purposes for the future center on the exiles themselves. How often in Scripture does God effect his rescue, his salvation, through the weak and the despised!