EZEKIEL 7:25-27: “When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there shall be none. Disaster comes upon disaster; rumor follows rumor. They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders. The king mourns, the prince is wrapped in despair, and the hands of the people of the land are paralyzed by terror. According to their way I will do to them, and according to their judgments I will judge them, and they shall know that I am the Lord.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Am I learning from the past? As I read through the prophets and hear the countless judgments proclaimed against Israel and Judah, is there anything positive I can glean from these hard words of judgment?
Someone has wisely said – “If we do not learn from the past, we will repeat it in our present, and the past will become our future.” As Ezekiel proclaims the Word of the Lord against Judah, and as he recounts the coming judgment and Judah’s response, it almost seems like he pulled these verses from the headlines of a recent newspaper or newscast.
Every day we hear about nation rising against nation. At the same time we hear about great efforts being expended to establish peace. Yet, peace never comes. All we see is the increase of disaster, and the continued rumors of the disaster that is coming. In the midst of all of this we clamor to find someone who will give us “good news”. The Nation of Judah, facing the advancing army of Babylon, looked for a vision of “good news” from a prophet. Prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel were ignored. They told the truth, not what Judah wanted to hear. And then we read this amazing revelation – as they sought out feigned “good news” from false prophets, the law perished from the priest, and counsel dried up from the elders.
They were seeking everything, but, the Word of God! They had forsaken the commandment. They had ceased following God’s laws. Their worship was corrupted and directed to idols. Injustice filled the land. They were sowing seeds of destruction and wanted someone to tell them that the harvest that was coming would be filled with good things. Ignoring the law of sowing and reaping, they doubled down on their wickedness and idolatry. As they did their despair and terror only grew. Does any of this sound familiar?
As we continue to try and whitewash our actions with a thin coat of religion, our culture, and many in the church, continue racing toward the cliff. We sow to the wind and seek those who will give us empty words of hope that all is good, that better days are ahead. This is like continually driving in the wrong direction and assuring our passengers that our destination is just around the corner. The blind lead the blind. The proud, puffed up with their own wisdom become fools. The Word of God becomes buried under a thick layer of dust as the world continues to seek everything and anything – except the Truth.
Is there hope? Can someone who is lost get back on the right road? The words of the prophet Joel come to mind.
- “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?” (Joel 2:12-14 ESV)
And the prophet Micah joins in the call.
- “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 ESV)
Lord, open my spiritual eyes and heart. Help me to turn fully to You and away from everything that cries out false hope and leads me away from Your Truth. In the midst of all the “bad news”, let me be a herald of “good news” – the “Good News” of life, hope, and peace through faith in Jesus Christ! He is our only hope! Your Truth is our only guide! Turn my heart, and the heart of Your people, back to You in sincere repentance!
In Jesus Name!