The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Ezekiel 14

Eze 14:1

Eze 14: "Idolatry in the heart is a common problem with mankind. It is imbedded in our sin nature, and is reflected in self-adulation and self-aggrandizement. There is therefore an urgent need for the Word of Truth which opens the heart and reveals the true state thereof (Heb 4:12). The Israelites sought the prophets they desired, and who were prepared to speak 'smooth things' (cp Isa 30:10), just as an ecclesia normally receives the ministry it secretly wants. No greater insult can Yahweh be offered than for a man who offers Him no allegiance, or at best a divided one, which He will not accept, to then come to His prophet and ask to know His will -- which such a man will only do if and when it suits him (cp Eze 14:7-8). It is evident that Ezekiel was of some standing in the sight of the people (v 1), and they listened, but unfortunately they did not heed his words because they had already created their own gods 'of the heart' (v 3). Many who had no idols in the sanctuary, have idols in their hearts, which is no less an usurpation of Yahweh's throne. When gods of money, fleshly pleasure, or personal prestige amongst their fellows, dominate the minds of men, a message of peace will not be received from Yahweh. So the message is declared: [1] The Idolater and the Prophet: vv 1-11. [2] The absolute justice of Jerusalem's doom: vv 12-23. There is an appeal to Repent whilst there is time (vv 6-8), and the reminder that the Righteous only will save themselves (vv 12-14). The prophet shows that only a Righteous Remnant will be preserved through all the troubles of the times (vv 22,23). This same warning is appropriate for the brotherhood today" (GEM).

Attendance at the meetings is no guarantee that our hearts are right with God. A mere outward show, which might deceive our brethren and sisters, does not deceive our Father.

Eze 14:3

The folly of closed minds: "Idolatry is an attitude of the mind, not a posture of the body. It [ie idolatry of the heart] is the easiest, most subtle form of idol worship; its danger lies in the fact that it is not seen by others" (LR).

Eze 14:4

I THE LORD WILL ANSWER HIM MYSELF IN KEEPING WITH HIS GREAT IDOLATRY: God's answer to this man is that his multitude of idols will in some way lead to his downfall (cp v 9).

Eze 14:7

A WICKED STUMBLINGBLOCK BEFORE HIS FACE: The elders had not come to Ezekiel with open minds to receive a reply.

Eze 14:9

AND IF THE PROPHET IS ENTICED TO UTTER A PROPHECY, I THE LORD HAVE ENTICED THAT PROPHET: A special deception from God (cp 2Th 2:8,11; Rom 1:28), particularly applicable if the person had preconceived ideas. "False prophets only exist where there exists a demand for them." A lesson to us: 2Ti 4:3,4.

Eze 14:14

Cp Jeremiah's mention of Moses and Samuel: Jer 15:1-4.

NOAH, DANIEL AND JOB: These 3 were eminent examples of personal righteousness, yet they delivered only a very few (Noah 7, Daniel 2) or none (ie Job) along with themselves.

THEY COULD SAVE ONLY THEMSELVES BY THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS: Salvation is based upon one's personal righteousness; one cannot be "righteous" on behalf of others!

On a more positive note, "We have to remember that even if things get so bad that no one else will listen to the message of salvation from God, it is possible for the faithful (like Noah, Daniel and Job here) still to be saved. Nothing can take away from us the promise that God has given of eternal life. It is with us for ever, whatever our circumstances, unless we choose to relinquish our part in it. God will never forsake us" (PC).

Eze 14:21

SWORD: Lev 26:25; Rev 6:8.

FAMINE: Lev 26:26.

WILD BEASTS: Lev 26:22.

PLAGUE: Lev 26:25; Rev 6:8.

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