Life-Study of Ezekiel

Life-Study of Ezekielby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0489-4
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 15 of 27 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF EZEKIEL

MESSAGE FIFTEEN

GOD’S JUDGMENT UPON THE NATIONS

Scripture Reading: Ezek. 25:2-3, 7-8, 12-16; 26:2, 4; 28:21-22, 24, 26; 29:3, 6-7, 16; 30:6, 10; 31:16, 18

In this message we come to the matter of God’s judgment upon the nations. This is covered in chapters twenty-five through thirty-two.

ISRAEL BEING THE CENTER OF GOD’S ECONOMY AMONG THE HUMAN RACE ON EARTH

According to Genesis 11 rebellious mankind sought to do something to build the tower and city of Babel in order to concentrate themselves and make a name for themselves. However, the Lord came down to exercise His judgment over these rebellious people. Under the Lord’s judgment, Babel became a center not for gathering but for scattering, and the human race was scattered from Babel as the center.

Deuteronomy 32:8 says, “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, / when he separated the sons of Adam, / he set the bounds of the people / according to the number of the children of Israel.” Here we see that God set up the boundaries of all the nations according to the number of the people of Israel. This indicates that in His economy on earth among the human race, God made Israel the center. Israel is the center of the earth’s population. To be sure, God did this with a purpose.

If we look at a map, we will see that Palestine, the good land where God put Israel, is the real center of the inhabited earth. Palestine is situated at the center of the three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa, the continents where the human race began. Later, the human population spread to America and also to Australia. The central location of the land of Israel provided a good opportunity for the spreading of the gospel. We know from history that the preaching of the gospel began in Jerusalem and then spread to Europe, Egypt, and Asia. Eventually, the preaching of the gospel spread to America and Australia. This was God’s purpose in putting His people at the center of the human population. Furthermore, according to the prophecy concerning the coming age, the millennium, the people of Israel will be the priests on this earth teaching all the nations to worship God (Isa. 61:6; 2:3). These prophecies also show us that Palestine is the center of the earth.

However, at the time of Ezekiel, the people of Israel became degraded and unsuitable for God’s purpose. Their degraded situation forced God to exercise His judgment upon them and temporarily to give up Palestine as His center. God turned to Babel again and raised up King Nebuchadnezzar, who built the great empire of Babylon. The Babylonian empire then became God’s center for executing His judgment. Through the empire of Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar, God executed His judgment not only upon His people Israel but also over the nations.

SEVEN REPRESENTATIVE NATIONS

Chapters twenty-five through thirty-two of Ezekiel speak of seven nations that surrounded the nation of Israel. Actually, there were more nations around Israel, but the record mentions only seven. This is similar to the mentioning of the seven churches in Asia in Revelation 1—3. When the Lord spoke of the churches in Asia, He selected seven (1:11). This does not mean that there were only seven churches in Asia but that the Lord selected seven representative churches. The principle is the same in the book of Ezekiel. There were more than seven nations surrounding Israel, but the Lord selected seven nations as representatives of all the nations. These seven nations were Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyrus, Zidon, and Egypt.

Divided into Three Groups

These seven nations are divided into three groups. The first four nations—Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia—form the first group; Tyrus and Zidon make up the second group; and Egypt stands alone. We know that these nations are divided into these three groups because Ezekiel saw three separate visions at three different times concerning these groups. His first vision covers the first four nations; his second vision, Tyrus and Zidon; and his third vision, Egypt. Moreover, the first two, Ammon and Moab, fit together as a pair; the third and fourth, Edom and Philistia, stand as a pair; and the fifth and sixth, Tyrus and Zidon, are a pair. Only Egypt is alone.

Applicable to Today’s Situation

The Old Testament is not only a record of history but a record that can be applied to the church today. We need to keep this in mind as we read the book of Ezekiel and be impressed with the fact that Ezekiel was not written merely for the sake of history. Rather, the record in this book is applicable to today’s situation. Therefore, we need to know the spiritual application of all these seven representative nations. Previously we pointed out that the spiritual application of the noisome beasts is that some evil people could be in the church as wolves (Ezek. 14:21; Acts 20:29). Here we have the spiritual application of Ezekiel’s word concerning the beasts. Now we need to see the spiritual application of the seven nations. Otherwise, we may read these chapters merely as prophecies which have been fulfilled in history.


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