Scripture reading for August 21th: Ezekiel 12-15
God often used illustrated messages with His prophets. Ezekiel was given ten different illustrated messages for the people to help them understand what was going to happen. This time, Ezekiel was to pack up his belongings as if he were going into exile. He was to take everything he owned and put it on his shoulders and go to the wall of the city. There he was to dig through the wall and leave the city at dusk, with his face covered in shame. (Ezekiel 12:1-7) He was to do this in front of all the people of the rebellious house of Israel.
The people had a proverb that was popular in the land during this time of Ezekiel’s and Jeremiah’s prophesy. “The days go by and every vision comes to nothing.” (Ezekiel 12:21) God told Ezekiel to tell the people that that proverb would be eradicated from the land. Every vision and word of true prophetic warning was about to be fulfilled. The vision would not be for the distant future, but would come to pass in their day and time. (Ezekiel 12:26-28)
God sent Ezekiel with these true words from His mouth. He spoke them to the people faithfully, but most just scoffed. They were more interested in the words of the false prophets. (Ezekiel 13:1-12) These false prophets spoke from their own imaginations and yet declared “Hear the word of the Lord.” God called them “foolish” prophets and likened them to “jackals” among the ruins, looking for some dead meat to feed on! They had false visions and lying divinations for the people that soothed them into thinking that God would not judge them. God promised to remove them from Israel and from the record of God’s people!
These false prophets were like a person who whitewashed a flimsy wall to help strengthen it. Another coat of paint made the wall look good, but because it was not on a solid foundation it would surely fall. God sent Ezekiel with a message for these who whitewashed the walls with false prophecy. The wall would fall and destroy the people who listened to them and these false prophets themselves. (Ezekiel 13:13-16)
Have you noticed how God tried so hard to reach His people? Hard words of repentance were and are not popular! Check out your own heart today. Which prophets are you listening to?