-Ezekiel’s prophetic message moves to the realm of God’s punishment being absolutely swift and certain as words from the LORD come to him on different occasions. The central theme God is trying to get across for His actions is this, “So they will know that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 12:15,16,20).” God begins by telling the prophet that he is to live in the midst of the rebellious house of Israel while in exile in Babylon. These are the people who have eyes to see and ears to hear but do neither when it comes to receiving God’s revelation and obeying it (Ezekiel 12:1-3). Ezekiel was told to bring out his baggage by day and night in their sight as representing exile. He was commanded to dig a hole through the wall in the people’s sight and go out through it. Further, he was instructed to cover his face so that he could not see the land as a sign for the house of Israel. Ezekiel obeyed his King (Ezekiel 12:4-7). Then, when the Jewish exiles asked him what he was doing, the LORD told him how to answer. God said to tell them that the burden (oracle, prophecy) concerned the prince of Jerusalem as well as all those who were still in that city. Ezekiel was giving a sign to them that these left behind would soon be like the exiles whom Ezekiel was speaking to in Babylon. They will go into captivity. The prince will load his baggage on his own shoulder in the dark of night and go out. They will dig a hole in the wall for his escape. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land with his eyes. God will spread His net out over him though and catch him in His snare. The LORD will bring the prince (Zedekiah, 2 Kings 25:3-7, Jeremiah 52:1-11) to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans blind, and he will eventually die there by the word of the LORD. Those who had been gathered around him will be scattered to every wind and the sword will pursue them. “So they will know that I am the LORD when I scatter them among the nations and spread them among the countries (Ezekiel 12:8-15).”
-God will spare a remnant few from the sword, the famine, and the pestilence. This is again for the purpose of making His famous Name known in all the earth as the great and living God and King (Ezekiel 12:16). There were more words from the LORD now to His prophet Ezekiel. He was told to eat his bread with trembling and drink his water with quivering and anxiety. He was to do this in front of the exiles and tell them that the inhabitants of Jerusalem will do the same (eat with anxiety and drink with horror) in their time of chastisement as their land will be stripped of it fullness on account of the “violence of all who live in it (Ezekiel 12:17-19).” The waste and desolation in the land will again serve to remind that only God is the LORD and all should “know” it (Ezekiel 12:20).
-The last section of this particular chapter of prophecy concerns the LORD’s word that the coming destruction is going to happen very quickly. It is not a vision for a distant future as some of the exiles and those left in the house of Israel would like to think. God says, “The days draw near as well as the fulfillment of every vision. For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I the LORD will speak, and whatever word I speak will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, for in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it (Ezekiel 12:21-25).” This exact word comes over again to Ezekiel and he is faithful to tell the people what the LORD declares as a reiteration (Ezekiel 12:26-28).
-*Application* God goodness always gives us a warning and a chance to repent and get things straight with Him. He does nothing without a prophetic word, but then He will deliver at the appropriate time. His movements are decisive and articulate when the time is right. Take heed then immediately to the Word of the LORD when it is given.
Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 12:15