In Ezek 22:13-31, Ezekiel prophesies of the Lord’s indignation upon Israel. In this lesson, we will study the three main reasons the Lord pours out his indignation upon Israel. And under each reason, we will see what he does when he deals with them.
The Lord’s Indignation Upon Israel
The First Reason: Dishonest Gain and Bloodshed
Ezek 22:13. Their dishonest gain is detailed in Ezek 22:12, which we discussed in the prior lesson. The blood in the midst of them is the innocent blood that they shed in Ezek 22:3-6, which we also discussed previously. See the lesson on the Bloody City.
The Lord’s Response
Ezek 22:14-16. In v. 13 the Lord said, “I have smitten my hand” which is like a preacher striking his hand on the pulpit. The Lord scatters and disperses Israel among the heathen. He does this to consume the filthiness out of them. See Deut 4:25-31. They take their inheritance with them when they leave. Their land is their inheritance, Deut 4:37-38. So, they leave with very little by contrast. This is the way they left Egypt when they went into the wilderness. That’s the Lord’s intention. He will strip them of everything so they will return to him.
The Second Reason: Israel Became Dross
Ezek 22:17-18. Israel became like the dross of silver to the Lord. These other metals are like the impurities in the nation. He’s going to purge them and purify them, Is 1:21-26. He wants them to be pure.
The Lord’s Response
Ezek 22:19-22. His desire will be to refine them Mal 3:2-3 into pure silver and remove the dross of brass, tin, iron, and lead. He will blow upon them in the fire of his wrath. They will be melted as in the midst of a furnace when he pours out his fury upon them. See Zeph 1, for how the Lord is going to do this in the Tribulation, particularly v.18.
The Third Reason: The Conspiracy of Prophets, Priests, Princes, and People
Ezek 22:23-30. The prophets are like a roaring lion. They devour souls, take treasure, and make many widows. They see vanity, and divine lies. These are prophets like Ahab and Zedekiah, Jer 29:21-23, and Hananiah, Jer 28:12-17. They made many widows because the men were convinced to stay and fight when they should have gone into captivity.
The priests violate the law. They profane the holy things and don’t separate between the holy and profane, or the clean and the unclean. And they hide their eyes from the sabbath. Look what Jeremiah prophesied about keeping the sabbath in Jer 17:20-27.
The princes are like ravening wolves. They shed blood, destroy souls, and get dishonest gain.
The people use oppression, exercise robbery, vex the poor and needy, and oppress the stranger. All of these things were covered in the prior lesson on the Bloody City. Sadly, the people of Jerusalem loved having these disobedient prophets, priests, and princes, Jer 5:30-31. Jeremiah prophesied against these four groups in his prophecies, as well. See Jer 32:30-35, for example.
When the Lord sought for a man to make up the hedge and stand in the gap, that he should not destroy the land, he found none. See Jer 5:1. No one was willing to stand for Israel against the judgment of God. Contrast this with two men who have stood in the gap for Israel: Moses in Num 14:11-20 and Paul in Rom 9:2-5. As one author said, thank God for Jesus Christ who stood in the gap for us.
The Lord’s Response: Indignation
Ezek 22:24, 31. Therefore the Lord pours out his indignation, consumes them with the fire of his wrath, and recompenses their own way upon their heads.