I. THE WORD OF GOD TO EZEKIEL. IN THE NINTH YEAR, THE TENTH MONTH AND ON THE TENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, THE LORD TOLD HIM TO MARK THAT DAY, FOR THAT WAS THE DAY THE TROOPS OF BABYLON BEGAN THE FINAL SIEGE AGAINST JERUSALEM.
A. It is important to realize that Ezekiel was some four hundred miles from Jerusalem, and that they had no modern means of communication in those days. No satellite relay stations, no radio, crystal or otherwise.
1. It would take weeks to get a message from Jerusalem to Babylon.
2. Yet here is Ezekiel marking the day on the calendar, and notifying the people that the siege had begun.
3. When weeks later the news comes to Babylon of the beginning of the siege, the people will look at Ezekiel's calendar and realize that truly the Lord is speaking to him.
B. The Lord spoke of the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the burning of the city.
II. THE CERTAINTY OF THE WORD OF THE LORD. VS.14
A. "I have spoken it, it shall come to pass."
1. We are living in a day when people have challenged the Word of the Lord.
2. People have become very skeptical about the Bible.
3. Peter prophesied that in the last days, scoffers would arise who would challenge the promises of the coming again of Jesus Christ to the earth.
4. The truth of the matter it did come to pass.
a. Jeremiah who was God's spokesman to the people in Jerusalem at the same time that Ezekiel was God's spokesman to the people in Babylon recorded, "And it came to pass that in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, and the tenth day of the month that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it.
5. God's word was fulfilled, He said it, He did it.
6. When Daniel interpreted the dream for Nebuchadnezzer concerning the kingdoms that would govern the world, ending with the federation of ten nations that once comprised a part of the Roman Empire, and that during the time of the reign of these ten nations, the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed.
7. Daniel declared to Nebuchadnezzer that the great God of heaven had let him know the things that were going to come to pass, and that the dream was certain, and the interpretation was sure.
8. We need to have that same kind of assurance that the Word of God is certain.
a. Peter speaking of Old Testament prophesies said, "That the Word of the Lord must be fulfilled."
B. God said, "I will do it." He will deliver Jerusalem to the army of Babylon to be sacked and burned.
1. History records how that after a siege of two years the walls of Jerusalem were breached, and their was a terrible slaughter of the people, and temple destroyed, and the city burned.
2. What can you say? "He did it."
3. It should be noted that during this time, there were scoffers who were declaring that the city would never fall to Babylon.
4. They were making fun of the prophets of God as they scoffed at the predictions of the scriptures.
5. Today you can walk down a path from the area of the present dung gate to the spring of Gihon, and in the recent excavations directed by the late professor Shiloh, you can see the ruins of the houses occupied by the inhabitants of Jerusalem in those days, and you can see the charcoal from the fire that destroyed the city. God did it, just as He said.
III. GOD DECLARED THAT WHEN HE HAD DONE ALL OF THESE THINGS, THAT THEY WOULD KNOW THAT HE WAS THE LORD GOD.
A. The people seemed to be confused as to the true and living God. In the previous chapter God was speaking against the spiritual whoredoms of Judah and Samaria. Their worship of the gods of the Assyrians, and the Babylonians.
1. They would worship Ashteroth, and Baal, and Molech, and on the same Sabbath day go into the Temple of God to worship.
2. Their hearts were divided. They loved these other gods, yet they did not want to give up the Lord completely.
3. It is like the Christians today who love the world and the things of the world, yet still do not want to forsake their involvement in the church.
4. The scripture tells us to love not the world neither the things that are in the world, for whoever has the love of world in his heart has not the love of the Father.
5. Jesus said that you cannot serve two masters.
6. He said that the greatest commandment was, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind." He must be first in your life. Your desire for Him must exceed all other desires.
B. How important it is to know the true and the living God.
1. We see people today so anxious to find the answers to their confusion.
a. The problem is that they seek almost anything but God for the solutions.
b. The latest fad is to diagnose the problem as lack of self esteem.
c. People need to feel good about themselves.
d. This is the gospel according to many pulpits today who have jumped upon the self esteem band wagon. Salvation is to have a healthy estimate of yourself.
e. Poor Paul, who cried, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of sin?"
f. Those who espouse this gospel would remove from people the feelings of guilt from their sin, the very thing that God uses to drive man to the cross of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin.
2. People today are living for pleasure. They are worshipping Molech, in their attempt to fill the void in their lives.
a. There is a pleasure mania here in the U.S.
b. Billions of dollars are spent every year on the pursuit of thrills and excitement.
c. Pleasure in and of itself is not wrong, God created you with the capacity to enjoy life, and desires that your joy may be full.
d. But the fullness of joy comes from a right relationship with Him.
3. People today are also worshipping Ashtoreth, the goddess of sexual excitement. Many have become addicted to sex, much as a person is addicted to heroine.
a. Our society is being asked to pay a tremendous price to protect them in their addiction.
b. Clinton is promising them special laws that will give them favored status not enjoyed by we who have chosen to live in plain ordinary family situations.
c. And if you are just interested in promiscuous sex he will also enact laws that will allow you the right to murder the unborn child.
d. You can be assured that your right to worship Ashtoreth will be protected by the government.
C. When God's promised judgment would come, they would know that He is the Lord God.
1. God has promised to judge the world for its sin.
2. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." If we sow to the flesh, then of the flesh we will reap corruption.
3. We are already beginning to see the judgment of God upon this nation. God often used natural disasters to stir the consciousness of the people.
4. Our economy is in a horrible mess, our nation is on the fast track down.
5. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
D. What we are seeing today is only a small sampling as to what is coming, as God is going to judge the world in the great tribulation.
1. When the full judgment comes, the people will know that He is God. The only problem is they will be too late in the acknowledgment of that fact.