From Ezekiel 13-15
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
13 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?” (Eze 13:1–7)
The false prophets prophesy from their own hearts and spirits. They say what they want. They say what feels good to them.
The LORD calls them jackals. Scavengers who prey on weak animals.
The upcoming judgment looms closer and closer every day. False prophets preach lies and the people see no need to prepare for whats coming.
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. (Eze 13:8–9)
The LORD will judge the false prophets. They have deceived the LORD’s people.
The LORD will strike them from leadership and his people. He will remove them from the community of the saved. Those who will inherit the LORD’s promises.
Salvation and receiving the covenant promises is a membership issue.
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. (Eze 13:10–16)
They preach peace, when there is no peace.
No peace with God or with the nations around them. They are about to be smashed.
They have built up a wall and it is in a deplorable state. They try and make it look good by whitewashing it. But underneath is is crumbling. The LORD is about to knock the wall down in his wrath.
One of Ezekiel’s problems was people’s alternative reaction that prophecy would never be fulfilled in their day (12:26–28). Indeed, it has commonly been assumed that prophecy refers to far-off events, and clearly there are many prophecies relating to the “last days” which were not implemented in the prophet’s time. There are also many concrete prophecies in Ezekiel which have been taken to refer to specific datable events in recent Middle Eastern history, or to events which will soon happen in the Middle East. Ezekiel’s contemporaries also believed that his prophecies would not be implemented for years. He himself assumes that they relate to the imminent future. Prophecy is not designed to convey information about the distant future, of no direct application to those to whom it is given. It is designed to move people to action on the basis of its direct concern with those to whom it is given. (Goldingay, J.A., 2003. Ezekiel. In J. D. G. Dunn & J. W. Rogerson, eds. Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, p. 634.)
Jesus helps us see the difference between a true and a false prophet.
14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. (Jn 7:14–18)
False prophets seek their own glory. True prophets seek to glorify the LORD.
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