-The word comes again to Ezekiel to speak to the sons of his people to speak of the importance of warning and accountability. Those who heed the warning are the wise ones, and those who refuse to listen are without excuse. However, there is a duty for the watchman. If he does his job he will deliver his life, but if he is negligent or fearful he will be taken away in his iniquity and the blood of his people will be his responsibility (Ezekiel 33:1-6). The LORD tells Ezekiel that he has been appointed a watchman for the house of Israel to reveal the message of Him to speak the truth that will hold the people accountable for their actions (Ezekiel 33:7-10). As the LORD lives He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but instead that they turn from their evil way and turn in repentance to the Father for forgiveness and restoration. The phrase, “Turn back, turn back,” is reiterated for emphasis begging the question, “Why then will you die, O house of Israel (Ezekiel 33:11)?” Ezekiel is commanded by God to relate to Israel that their sins can be eliminated, but transgression is certainly going to keep them from the LORD if they continue in it. If there is a turning to God in justice and righteousness, that person shall surely live. God’s way is right, the people’s own way is totally wrong and will lead to death. So, when a man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he will die in it. When a man turns from his wickedness back to God, he will live. God will be the judge and jury for each according to their ways (Ezekiel 33:12-20). In other words, He always has the final say on matters of redemption. He looks at the heart and knows the inner man. *Application* It is not what a man thinks or says that determine his direction. It is what he does that truly reveals what he believes. You can’t fake out God. He knows your end from the beginning, and He demands steadfast love and devotion to Him. This particular word was given in a dispensation before the new covenant and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the One who can seal us and secure us for Heaven. Look to Him and Christ’s justification at the cross for eternal salvation and no one else. Without Him you are toast.
-The second part of this chapter reveals the word of the LORD to Ezekiel in the twelfth year of exile (585 B.C.) on the fifth day of the tenth month. It is at this time that the refugees came from Jerusalem to deliver the news that the city had been taken by the Babylonians. Even before the refugees came, the Hand of the LORD had been upon Ezekiel in the evening. Now at the time that they came his mouth was opened and he spoke from God telling them basically that they are ridiculous if they think they deserve any portion of the desolated land after the abominations they had continually committed against their God. God reveals that the pride of her (Israel’s) power will cease. Then they will KNOW that He is the LORD when He makes a desolation and a waste of the land with no one passing through. The people are charged with hearing the word of the LORD but not doing it. Instead, they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouths and their hearts go after their own gain. The message is summed up in this analogy, “Behold, you (Ezekiel) are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them. So when it comes to pass—as surely it will—then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst (Ezekiel 33:21-33).
-*Application* Be effectual doers of the Word, not just forgetful hearers (James 1:22-25).
Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 33:5, 11