Talks for Growing Christians
God’s Sword of Judgment
Lesson Number 22
- The sign of the sword meant God’s judgment of Judah would be sure, sudden and unsparing.
- The sign of the sword meant that God’s judgment was not limited to Judah.
- Don’t rejoice when you should weep!
- In the last section of chapter 20, Ezekiel gave the parable of the forest fire, prophesying that the Babylonian forces would invade Judah and Jerusalem for a third time, affecting everyone. At that time, many of the people who had not been taken into captivity had not been greatly affected. Had these people heeded the message of the parable of the forest fire? Had they changed their ways in view of the prophesized judgment? Would the strong message of chapter 21 have been God’s response to the actions of the Jewish people?
- Ezekiel gave three messages of the sword, perhaps acting out the messages dramatically. What were these three messages? See verses 3-7, 8-17 and 18-24.
- In verses 25-27, Ezekiel’s message looks forward into the future. Not only is the wicked king Zedekiah referred to as the wicked prince of Israel, but the ________________ is also included in this prophesy, assuming the role of both priest and king (v 26).
- When the turban and crown (role of priest and king) is taken from with wicked ones, who does God give them to (v 27), and at what time in the future will He give them?
- In the fourth message of the sword in this chapter, the foreign nation of Ammon is included in God’s judgment. Ammon’s doom would be worse than Judah’s. In what way would Ammon’s doom be worse?
- The prophetic message of the parable of the forest fire in chapter 20, representing the Babylonian armies sweeping into Jerusalem and showing no mercy to anyone, righteous or wicked, was not heeded by the people remaining in Judah and Jerusalem. They had continued in their apathetic and wicked ways. Ezekiel’s messages of the sword here in chapter 21 were God’s strong and dramatic message of the certainty of His coming judgment.
- The three messages were that God had drawn His sword and both the righteous and wicked would be cut off (vs 3-7), that God’s sword was sharpened to include everyone in the sudden and severe judgment, including the leaders (vs 8-17), and that it would against Judah, not Rabbah that God would send the invading armies of Nebuchadnezzar (vs 18-24).
- As Ezekiel’s message looks forward into the future (vs 25-27), the Antichrist of the last days, the one who will assume the role of both priest and king, is pictured here.
- When the turban and crown, representing the role of priest and king, is taken by God from the Antichrist, He will give them to the rightful King and Priest, Christ Himself at His second coming.
- Ammon’s doom would be worse than Judah’s because as history has shown, Ammon would not be remembered (v 32), but Israel would be restored.
- Discuss the strange situation recorded here in verses 18-24 when Nebuchadnezzar would use divination to decide whom he would attack and conquer, and yet be under God’s sovereign control in his reasoning and decision making.
- Do the sinful ways of the people Israel and the often sinful ways of our nation today, bring you to tears? Will you be one who calls the church to tearful repentance in light of God’s sure and coming discipline?
- “Remove the turban, and take off the crown; nothing shall remain the same. Exalt the lowly and abase the exalted. Overthrown, overthrown, I will make it overthrown! It shall be no longer, until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.” Ezekiel 21:26-27