Chapter 33: 7,8, 13
33:7-8,13; "So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel;
therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.When I say unto the
wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his
way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. When I
shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and
commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath
committed, he shall die for it.
This text focuses on God's instruction Ezekiel as his duties as a prophet are further explained.
Israel was in Exile in Babylon. The people were scattered throughout the region and hope was
lost. God used Ezekiel as an instrument to inform the nation that its exile was not permanent.
The prophet was compared to a "Watchman" or guard on the wall. His job was to give advance
notice of approaching enemies and to warn the people. In this text Ezekiel is told that he is God's
watchman to the people. He is to warn the people of impending danger and should they choose
tho ignore the warning their fate would be of their own choosing. However if they were not told
their fate would be in the hands of Ezekiel.
The Watchman's responsibility was to accurately tell the people what he was told by God. The
message might not be what the people wanted to hear, but he is charged to deliver the message
anyway. The premium for the watchman is that he delivered the Word of God such that the
people who know the will of God for their particular circumstance.
was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city
from that day shall be, The LORD is there.
Ezekiel gazed into
the future and saw what did not exist through the power of God's
imagery. Many saw the
city that Ezekiel envisioned and named it
, but he never called it
. They believed it would be in
, but he never said where it would be located. The vision was
Messianic in that it projects a vision for another day and time when
Christ would come.
a vision of what would be, based upon what was.
Ezekiel's vision of the city of
envisioned a city that lay four square and had three gates on each
of its four sides. There would be twelve gates to the city, each of
them named after one of the twelve tribes of
Significant here is the name that Ezekiel
uses to describe the city, "Jehovah-Shammah" or God is
John saw a similar vision of a city. John called
it the New Jerusalem. It too will have walls and gates; 12 in all
with the names of the tribes of
written upon them. The name John gave "the New Jerusalem"
was an equivalent to that Ezekiel gave which was, “The Lord is
there." "God is there" implied that there would
always be tokens of God's presence among them. They would see his
handiworks, good deeds and mighty works. There would never be a time
when they would wonder "is God with us?" The signs of his
presence would be all around them.
The church, likewise would also serve as the
. Each individual will serve as a living
in their bodies and collectively the church would become the
. The idea that the Lord is there
for the faithful is that he will be as good as his word,
“Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world.” The
Lord is there in his church, to rule and govern it, to protect and
defend it, and graciously to accept and own his sincere worshippers,
and to be nigh unto them in all that they call upon him for. This
should engage us to keep close to the communion of saints, for the
Lord is there. In making the presence of God the principal matter of
its bliss, they both agree. There the happiness of the glorified
saints is made to be that God himself shall be with them (Rev.
21:3), that he who sits on the throne shall dwell among them, (Rev.
7:15). It crowns the bliss of this holy city that the Lord is there.
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