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10th July

Ezekiel 25-27; Psalm 36

Bible in a Year
5 minutes
In this article
10th July

Ezekiel 25-27; Psalm 36

Bible in a Year
5 minutes


So far in Ezekiel, we’ve read through Ezekiel’s commissioning, his prophetic acts, and finished the accusations against Judah. The book started five years after the first group of Israelites had been exiled to Babylon. Jerusalem was still standing, and many Israelites still lived there. Ezekiel received a vision of God on his chariot throne over Babylon. He was not limited to Israel. His authority is over all the earth.

God charged Ezekiel with speaking to the Israelites still in Jerusalem to repent and change their ways before it was too late. But God also warned Ezekiel that the people would likely not listen to him. After taking a week to process all he had seen and heard, Ezekiel started acting out prophetic declarations. These included making a miniature model of Jerusalem and acting out sieges against it, laying on his side while eating unclean food, and shaving his head and beard.

After more time passed, God gave Ezekiel a vision of what the people were doing to his temple back in Jerusalem. From the outer gates to right inside the inner temple, the people were worshipping false gods and idols. They had desecrated the space that had been reserved for God.

Ezekiel had a vision of the presence of God leaving the temple and entering his throne chariot carried by the four living beings. So God declared judgement over the people, their leaders, and the prophets. God used many metaphors to depict Israel. An unfaithful bride, a proud lion now caged, a great vine that was dug up an left in the wilderness.

God again laid out all of Israel's sins and then we got the most graphic of images used so far. Israel was likened to an unfaithful woman and God invites her other lovers to have their way with her and disfigure her. The language was highly graphic and was intended to be shocking. It was a passage that needs wrestling with before we import it into our modern day thinking.

Then, finally, the siege of Jerusalem started. God's wrath was starting to pour out. And Ezekiel's mouth was freed so he could now move from declaring judgement on Israel to judgement on the foreign nations.

Ezekiel 25-27

We now move into the section on the judgements against the foreign nations. The focus of this section is to point out that 1) God has authority to judge all nations, not just Israel, and 2) God will not overlook the wickedness and idolatry in these foreign nations that he has punished Israel for.

First up is Ammon, a nation descended from Abraham's nephew, Lot. The Ammonites had raided and warred against Israel throughout their history. Because of their rebellion against Israel, God will take them into captivity, destroy their capital city, cause foreign nations to raid their land, and make sure they never exist as a nation again.

Next up is Moab, the other nation descended from Lot. Their crime was mocking Judah, saying they were just like all the other nations. This contradicted God's claim that they were God's chosen people. In return, God would now open up their borders to let their enemies in to claim their land.

Then comes Edom. Edom were descendants of Esau, Jacob's brother. The relationship between Edom and Israel and always been tense, and the Edomites often sided with Israel's enemies whenever they were at war. God will punish them by attacking them with the sword and leaving their land a desolate wasteland. And then there is Philistia, home of the Philistines, who has consistently been enemies with Israel since the time of the judges. God's punishment for this nation is simply destruction.

Ezekiel fits these four nations into one chapter, but then takes three chapters to prophesy over this next nation, Tyre. Tyre was an ancient city that occupied both an island and nearby land on the coast of the mainland. It was a prominent and well fought after city. The Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians fought to gain control of this city at one point or another.

After the destruction of Jerusalem, Tyre saw this as an opportunity to prosper themselves, showing the competitive relationship between these two nations. Because of this, God will send great waves to destroy the island city and send armies to kill the inhabitants of the coastal city.

God then goes into more detail about how he is going to destroy the coastal city, specifically sending the Babylonians, with swords, horsemen, and siege weapons. Their destruction will be so bad that all the other coast cities will be shaken deeply by it. Their kings and leaders will sit and weep at how easily such a great city was brought to its knees. Surely God will destroy this city and send all of its people to the realm of the dead.

God then tells Ezekiel to lament the destruction of Tyre. Ezekiel takes a moment to appreciate the great wealth and prosperity of the city. Its docks were great, with impressive looking ships built of all kinds of wood. Their sails were rich and extravagant. Their sailors and rowers were men known for their strength. Their helmsman, captains, and shipwrights were all highly skilled people. The city was defended by an army of the best men from all the neighbouring areas. Their trade routes were rich, filled with wealth and luxury. Over twenty nations are mentioned as doing trade with them. Their ships were always filled and heavy with trade.

But then it turns. Their rowers will take them out to see where an east wind will destroy them. All the things they were proud of, their wealth, trade, great ships, and skilled men will all sink into the sea. There will be great mourning over all that is lost and destroyed. The sea was their source of trade and wealth, but now it will be a source of destruction to them. Where in the past they were celebrated and admired by other nations, now they will be shunned and hissed at.

Psalm 36

This psalm is attributed to king David and is often placed in the category of lament, but this is loose and tentative. It is based on Psalm 36:11, where the psalmist finally makes a request for protection. This would suggest that they are going through struggles, but that’s the extent that this psalm reflects a lament psalm.

As we’ll see, this psalm is a wisdom psalm blended with a prayer psalm. It speaks of the wisdom of God’s order and then invites that order down to earth.

a) Psalm 36:1-4 - The folly of the wicked

b) Psalm 36:5-9 - The steadfast love of God

b) Psalm 36:10 - Let your steadfast love continue

a) Psalm 36:11-12 - Let the wicked fall 

The first section looks like a wisdom psalm, teaching on the foolishness of the wicked. They fear God and have no integrity. They flatter, but speak deceitfully. They have stopped choosing wisdom and instead have set themselves down a path where they no longer reject evil.

Typically, a wisdom psalm would contrast this first section with a section on those who are righteous. But instead of focusing on humans who are righteous, the psalmist compares the wicked with God’s righteousness and steadfast love.

God’s faithfulness and love are never ending. They are precious, protecting God’s people from wicked and sustaining them. God is the source of all life..

It’s at this point the psalm switches into a prayer psalm. Motivate by the wisdom of God’s love, the psalmist asks for more of God’s love. May it continue.

Then, motivated by the folly of the wicked, the psalmist asks that God deal with them. May their wickedness fail, and they lay fallen, defeated by God.

In this psalm, we see that the foolishness of the wicked comes from their rejection of God’s faithfulness and love. God’s love is sustaining. We also see how wisdom (in our case, theology) isn’t meant to be just head knowledge, but it to lead us to prayer.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

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