Saturday, April 16, 2016

Chronicles of Ezekiel, chapter 9

While this chapter has the horrific sub title 'Vision of Slaughter', it describes a vision of the spiritual warfare that accompanies or foreshadows the actual warfare that occurred in 586 BC. The final destruction of Jerusalem and the first Temple by the Babylonians is one of those monumental events that justifies the memorizing of the date: 9th of AV, 586 BC. Chapter 9 also has two sub-stories, one of which I’ve already covered: the departure of the Shechinah (1 of 3 stages). The judgment begins after the Shechinah leaves.

The other sub story is about the marking on the forehead of those who will not be struck down in the predicted slaughter. I have no idea how this was accomplished, but it is very interesting, not only in its similarity to what will be described later in Revelation, but in the lesson it has for those "who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in [their] midst," It says that God remembers them and keeps them from the slaughter.

It's easy to just go along with the changing morals of our culture and not cause a fuss. But when you read Romans chapter 1, you are confronted with a different standard. To be sure, our response should still be with love, respect, and wisdom. However, as this sub story in Ezekiel is saying, we need to continue to live righteously and stand against evil. There is a verse in Isaiah 5:20 that fits here: "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil."

The order to destroy the others is a very hard passage to accept. The invading army of Nebuchadnezzar had already carried off the best of the Royal populace (Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, and Ezekiel, among others). Now it was time to finish the job and few were spared. The rest of chapter 9 tells of it; I am not going to discuss it here.

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