EZEKIEL 9
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In Ezekiel's day the cry was heard‭-

‭"‬The Lord hath forsaken the earth,‭ ‬and the Lord seeth not‭" (ix. 9)‬.


‭ ‬How this sound dings in our ears to-day‭! ‬Some will say we are mistaken,‭ ‬and point,‭ ‬perhaps,‭ ‬to the universal weekly confession,‭ "‬I believe in God,‭ ‬the Father Almighty,‭ ‬maker of heaven and earth.‭" ‬But actions speak louder than words.‭ ‬The habitual conduct of those who make this confession betrays their scepticism.‭ ‬Believe in God,‭ ‬and worship Mammon‭? ‬Believe in God,‭ ‬and delight in the world's amusements‭? ‬Believe in God,‭ ‬and make no effort to curb the sinful impulses of pride,‭ ‬vanity,‭ ‬and temper‭? ‬Believe in God,‭ ‬and embrace no opportunity to converse upon His Word‭? ‬Impossible‭!

Those who are guilty in these matters are like Israel of old-they draw nigh with their mouth,‭ ‬and honour with their lips,‭ ‬whilst their hearts are far away.‭ ‬Let us not be seduced by the unbelief of the age.‭ ‬It is productive of every evil.‭ ‬Because of it the land,‭ ‬as in the prophet's time,‭ ‬is filled with iniquity and perverseness.

‭ "‬Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord,‭ ‬and their works are in the dark,‭ ‬and they say,‭ '‬Who seeth us‭? ‬and,‭ ‬who knoweth us‭?'"

Ezekiel lived on the eve of dire calamity and trouble.‭ ‬To announce this was a part of the prophet's mission.‭ ‬How the announcement was received is shown in the scoffing proverbs of the time:

‭ "‬The days are prolonged,‭ ‬and every vision faileth.‭" "‬The vision that he seeth is for many days to come,‭ ‬and he prophesieth of the times that are afar off.‭"

How discouraging must this have been to Ezekiel‭! ‬But how useful and comforting is his experience to us‭! ‬Trouble and calamity,‭ ‬far exceeding that to which the prophet stood related,‭ ‬is immediately ahead.‭ ‬This is no speculation‭; ‬God has most positively revealed it.‭ ‬His servants to-day know it,‭ ‬and are earnestly proclaiming it.‭ ‬But how few,‭ ‬very few,‭ ‬receive their testimony‭! ‬The disposition of Ezekiel's time everywhere prevails.‭ ‬The false cry of‭ "‬peace‭" ‬is to be heard‭-"‬sudden destruction‭" ‬will speedily follow.‭ ‬Because of these things the prophet's experience strikes home.

‭ "‬Take,‭ ‬my brethren,‭ ‬the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord,‭ ‬for an example of suffering affliction,‭ ‬and of patience.‭"

Let us follow Ezekiel.‭ ‬Let us ignore the opinion of the multitude,‭ ‬and with confidence wait the fulfilment of the word that God has spoken.‭ ‬At any moment may the declarations again be realised:‭

‭"‬The days are at hand,‭ ‬and the effect of every vision.‭ ‬There shall none of my words be prolonged any more,‭ ‬but the word which I have spoken shall be done.‭" A.T.J

‭The Christadelphian, Jan 1887.