Sunday, June 13, 2021

#1156 Ezekiel 22 Part 1 Bloody City


And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then declare to her all her abominations. 3 You shall say, Thus says the Lord God: A city that sheds blood in her midst, so that her time may come, and that makes idols to defile herself! 4 You have become guilty by the blood that you have shed, and defiled by the idols that you have made, and you have brought your days near, the appointed time of your years has come. Therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all the countries. 5 Those who are near and those who are far from you will mock you; your name is defiled; you are full of tumult.

6 “Behold, the princes of Israel in you, every one according to his power, have been bent on shedding blood. 7 Father and mother are treated with contempt in you; the sojourner suffers extortion in your midst; the fatherless and the widow are wronged in you. 8 You have despised my holy things and profaned my Sabbaths. 9 There are men in you who slander to shed blood, and people in you who eat on the mountains; they commit lewdness in your midst. 10 In you men uncover their fathers' nakedness; in you they violate women who are unclean in their menstrual impurity. 11 One commits abomination with his neighbor's wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; another in you violates his sister, his father's daughter. 12 In you they take bribes to shed blood; you take interest and profit and make gain of your neighbors by extortion; but me you have forgotten, declares the Lord God.

13 “Behold, I strike my hand at the dishonest gain that you have made, and at the blood that has been in your midst. 14 Can your courage endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will consume your uncleanness out of you. 16 And you shall be profaned by your own doing in the sight of the nations, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

17 And the word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are dross of silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As one gathers silver and bronze and iron and lead and tin into a furnace, to blow the fire on it in order to melt it, so I will gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will put you in and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the midst of it. 22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

23 And the word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed or rained upon in the day of indignation. 25 The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. 28 And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. 30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord God.” Ezekiel 22 ESV

Ezekiel 22: 1-12 Shedding of Blood

36Truly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation. 37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were unwilling! 38Look, your house is left to you desolate.… Matthew 23: 36-38

1-12 Will you judge the bloody city - Thou shalt not kill, if we remember, this was one of the list of 10 commandments, a short list, but they dealt soundly with man's relationship to God and also that of his fellow man. The price of shedding innocent blood was clarified as well.

…5And surely I will require the life of any man or beast by whose hand your lifeblood is shed. I will demand an accounting from anyone who takes the life of his fellow man: 6Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man his blood will be shed; for in His own image God has made mankind. 7But as for you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out across the earth and multiply upon it.”… Genesis 9: 5-7

Declare to her all her abominations - Ezekiel was God's judge sent to indict Jerusalem for her crimes. Some of these may have been hidden to others, like the leaders that Ezekiel was shown in prior chapters, engaged in idolatry at the temple of all places. With God nothing is hidden, and knowing this should set our affections and attentions right, based upon God's omniscience rather than an outward religion towards man. People need to be told what God considers sin, not what society considers to be or not to be, for that will change, but God does not. He holds the keys to eternity, and all else are pretenders at importance, for nothing compares to God.

…26Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27For I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole will of God. 28Keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.… Acts 20: 26-28

The appointed time of your years has come - This would be familiar from their reading about the nations in the land before them, the fullness of God's wrath. Now it was Jerusalem's turn, for she was engaged in the same sin as those who were destroyed before her, like Sodom and Philistia. 

…4Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? 5But because of your hard and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God “will repay each one according to his deeds.”… Romans 2: 4-6

…15You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a ripe old age. 16In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” 17When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the halves of the carcasses.… Genesis 15: 15-17

…19For I have chosen him, so that he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, in order that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has promised.” 20Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great. Because their sin is so grievous, 21I will go down to see if their actions fully justify the outcry that has reached Me. If not, I will find out.”… Genesis 18: 19-21

I have made you a reproach to all the nations - They are considered a shame rather than a light, something to mock, but they are also a rebuke not only to themselves buy others, in that God has shown no favoritism in sin. He punishes those even who consider themselves set apart, and the church today is no exception. We should not misinterpret God's patience and grace. We should give no occasion to bring reproach upon the name of Christ that we have used in the word Christian. 

1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is intolerable even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been stricken with grief and have removed from your fellowship the man who did this?… 1 Corinthians 5: 1-2

…23“Why are you doing these things?” Eli said to his sons. “I hear about your wicked deeds from all these people. 24No, my sons; it is not a good report I hear circulating among the LORD’s people. 25If a man sins against another man, God can intercede for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to their father, since the LORD intended to put them to death.… 1 Samuel 2: 23-25

The princes of Israel in you - They were all bent on blood, and this in several ways: 
1. They refused to listen to Jeremiah when God sent him to warn against war with Babylon, and then they rebelled again which has cost many needless lives. People look to their leadership for guidance, but these princes sent them forward as fodder, sacrifices to their own egos and rebellion.

2. They, like Ahab's wife, used violence to take what they wanted and ignore the ancient tribal lines. Kings should protect against mob rule, against the mafia, and all other sorts of bullying, but these allowed it to their own means of gain. The rich were not held accountable and their lives were more valued.

3. They caused their children to be passed through the fire, aborting their young as a sacrifice to an idol, but this is no different than us today, for a human life is still taken at the ideal of someone who decides for them.

Father and mother are treated with contempt - Some were waiting along the fence, like vultures, ready to swoop down and take what the parents had worked hard for. The young were allowed to show disrespect to the elderly, and they did not care for them when they were old. The Bible speaks to relations between children and parents, yet here, like all falling societies, the youngest and the eldest are least esteemed.

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother” (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3“that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on the earth.”… Ephesians 6: 1-3

…4“I will make mere lads their leaders, and children will rule over them.” 5The people will oppress one another, man against man, neighbor against neighbor; the young will rise up against the old, and the base against the honorable. Isaiah 3: 4-5

The sojourner suffers extortion - Of all places this should be where a sojourner was safe, that the people held up the moral values given to them by God and were a light to all coming out of the dark. It is causing the name of Jacob to stink once again in the land.

Fatherless and widows are wronged - They would take their property, and many women were made widows indeed by their husband's desire to share in the fickleness of the age. Like their heathen neighbors they wanted divorce to be quick and easy. The Rabbis that taught allowances for this were the most popular.

…26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart and his religion is worthless. 27Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1: 26-27

Profaned my Sabbaths - They caused the sojourner to work on them, and they use the plural here which means they profaned the Sabbath feasts as well as the weekly Sabbath. The Jews of Christ time would keep the Sabbath, but in a legalistic fashion that lost the spirit of it, adding to it their traditions, and not coming with humility before the Lord. The Christian church should take care in her teachings on this as well, for God looks at the heart.

…26For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28Each one must examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.… 1 Corinthians 11: 26-28

They commit lewdness in your midst - They slandered, saying someone had committed a crime worthy of death, and sent this person to an unlawful sentence. They ate upon the mountains, the high places, those of idols and temple prostitutes, the people were given to immoral behavior  from the leadership on down. We should be warning of the wrath to come, but what a mockery when the church is calling itself of God, but living like the world.

…10I was not including the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a verbal abuser, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12What business of mine is it to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?… 1 Corinthians 5: 10-12

…8Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, even against your own brothers! 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.… 1 Corinthians 6: 8-10

Commits abomination with his neighbor's wife - Now at many evangelical churches no one would say a word, and someone who did would be called unloving, the elders, deacons and pastors would be just like these apostate priest, false prophets and wicked princes in Jerusalem. They would say, "we are loving them through it." Paul wouldn't have approved of their method or interpretation.

…4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, along with the power of the Lord Jesus, 5hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the Day of the Lord. 6Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven works through the whole batch of dough?… 1 Corinthians 5: 4-6

You have forgotten Me - 

“But at the heart of all these outward displays of wickedness was the main cause: ‘You have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ When one forgets God and leaves his ways, the path into every kind of abomination opens before him.” (Alexander)

Saturday, June 12, 2021

#1155 Ezekiel 21 Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. 4 Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. 5 And all flesh shall know that I am the Lord. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again.

6 “As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. 7 And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,’” declares the Lord God.

8 And the word of the Lord came to me: 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say:

“A sword, a sword is sharpened
and also polished,
10 sharpened for slaughter,
polished to flash like lightning!

(Or shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood.) 11 So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. 12 Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. Strike therefore upon your thigh. 13 For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise the rod?” declares the Lord God.

14 “As for you, son of man, prophesy. Clap your hands and let the sword come down twice, yes, three times, the sword for those to be slain. It is the sword for the great slaughter, which surrounds them, 15 that their hearts may melt, and many stumble. At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; it is taken up for slaughter. 16 Cut sharply to the right; set yourself to the left, wherever your face is directed. 17 I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the Lord have spoken.”

18 The word of the Lord came to me again: 19 “As for you, son of man, mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make a signpost; make it at the head of the way to a city. 20 Mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults the teraphim; he looks at the liver. 22 Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build siege towers. 23 But to them it will seem like a false divination. They have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be taken.

24 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand. 25 And you, O profane wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, 26 thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.

28 “And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter. It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning— 29 while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. 30 Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. 31 And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the Lord have spoken.” Ezekiel 21 ESV

Ezekiel 21 ESV The Lord is Against You

…33With many such parables Jesus spoke the word to them, to the extent that they could understand. 34 He did not tell them anything without using a parable. But privately He explained everything to His own disciples. 35When that evening came, He said to His disciples, “Let us cross to the other side.”… Mark 4: 33-35

1-5 Behold, I am against you - They accused him of speaking in parables at the end of the last chapter, but how much more clear can it be than this, "I am against you?"

Draw my sword from its sheath - Now this imagery they will surely understand, even if they don't believe it will happen to them. 

I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked - This is war, and the casualties are without discrimination, both the just and the unjust feel the rain, and it is given to both to die in this life, yet for the righteous it is but a shadow.

…24Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, My servant will be as well. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.… John 12: 24-26

6-7 Groan before their eyes - If God, Who has been offended for thousands of years, takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, then how should the messengers from among them remain callous? Can we not trace on own faces from theirs? This is how certain the destruction will be, that the prophet has the wake now, for not many will be left to mourn, and they will be too drained to bury. It is so much better to cry in their presence now, to plead with them while they are still awake, tears for the departed only relieve the living. 

The prophet must sign, though it was painful to himself and made his breast sore, and though it is probable that the profane among the people would ridicule him for it and call him a whining canting preacher. But, if we be beside ourselves it is to God; and, if this be to be vile, we will be yet more so. Note, Ministers, if they would affect others with the things they speak of, must show that they are themselves in the greatest sincerity affected with them, and must submit to that which may create uneasiness to themselves, so that it will promote the ends of their ministry. - Matthew Henry

12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a wicked heart of unbelief that turns away from the living God. 13But exhort one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly to the end the assurance we had at first.… Hebrews 3: 12-14

All knees will be weak as water - You cannot yet see what is coming, though I have drawn a picture with words, you mock that it is a parable because you want to believe that the sun rises and the sun sets, and tomorrow will be like today and so on. You talk a good game now, but for thousands of years God has warned, men have rebelled, grown complacent in their day to day, until that day. The writing is on the wall, and now the courage of man fails, for he is but dust. The mind floods with anxiety, the body is no longer guided by self control, an informed and healthy brain. You would stand but you can't stop trembling, and then water flows down legs that don't feel like they are there. You have rejected the truth, but that has no power to change what is true, and when you see it you will lose your bladder, your balance and your will.

5At that moment the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. As the king watched the hand that was writing, 6 his face grew pale and his thoughts so alarmed him that his hips gave way and his knees knocked together. 7The king called out for the enchanters, astrologers, and diviners to be brought in, and he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this inscription and tells me its interpretation will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”… Daniel 5: 5-7

8-17 You have despised the rod, my son - A difficult part in the Hebrew for all the commentators I read. I think it should be noted that the rod was despised and then the sword was given to be polished. The rod is often that of chastening, and we should never despise that correction which is actually driving us away from the sword. Israel has despised God's whisperings, mocked the tears of His prophets, and arrogantly lifted the neck at His correcting hand. Israel's leaders have spared the needed and necessary rod, spoiling the nation, and making room for God's wrath. The switch of temporary pain has been traded for the blade of certain death.

It is a victorious sword, nothing shall stand before it (v. 10): It contemneth the rod of my son as every tree. Israel, said God once, is my son, my first-born. The government of that people was called a rod, a strong rod; we read (ch. 19:11) of the strong rods they had for sceptres. But when the sword of God's justice is drawn it contemns this rod, makes nothing of it; though it be a strong rod, and the rod of his son, it is no more than any other tree. When God's professing people have revolted from him, and are in rebellion against him, his sword despises them. What are they to him more than another people? - Matthew Henry

1Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. 2The good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a man who devises evil.… Proverbs 12: 1-2

18-23 Mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon - They are left with no uncertainty, this sword that God pulls from His sheath is Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar is a great king in the eyes of men, but he is merely a tool in the hands of God. There are two ways, like heads we go to Jerusalem or tales we go to Ammon. 

He shakes the arrows - He is using divination, and it is possible that something is written on the arrows, like Jerusalem or Rabbah on others, and the shaking is like the shuffling of cards, then we pick one to see which way we go. Or possibly they are shaken and thrown down like bones and we read something of the way they lay or most are pointing towards this direction.

He consults the teraphim - A multitude of counsellors, maybe the first was not discernible, but probably more to be certain, a best two out of three at least, especially when you are going to war. 

“The next way of divining was by asking counsel of his idol, or image, which being made artificially by the skill of their juggling priests and conjurers, with little help they could give answers, and the image spake aloud what the sorcerer spake more softly, somewhat like the artificial whispering places which convey the voice, from unseen persons.” (Poole)

He looks at the liver - One more method to be completely sure, and I was taught from a young age to always check the liver for spots, and if there were any then don't eat the rabbit, it is sick. This is a bit different, while what my great grandmother taught me was to see a future belly ache, this was to predict the outcome of a siege. Hard to say what they actually looked for in this, maybe color or patterns, I don't know. 

But to them it will seem like a false divination - Jerusalem will not believe it, though it does not contradict what the prophets have already told them. They probably think it can't come to pass because it is knowledge gathered by superstitious means, things that God has forbidden them to practice. But this is arrogance to say the least because they have idols which God forbade, go to mediums and temple prostitutes, so they are in no position to look down on these heathens. Israel is actually in a worse way, for they have received much light. It was like the Philistines handling of the Ark of the Covenant, but they were not struck down while placing it on the cart, yet Uzzah was killed for trying to steady it. "But He brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be taken."

24-27 Remove the turban and take off the crown - The turban was what the priest wore, and the crown was of course on the king.

That Zedekiah shall be deposed. He has forfeited his crown, and he shall no longer wear it; he has by his profaneness profaned his crown, and it shall be cast to the ground (v. 26): Remove the diadem. Crowns and diadems are losable things; it is only in the other world that there is a crown of glory that fades not away, a kingdom that cannot be moved. The Chaldee paraphrase expounds it thus: Take away the diadem from Seraiah the chief priest, and I will take away the crown from Zedekiah the king; neither this nor that shall abide in his place, but shall be removed. This shall not be the same, not the same that he has been; this not this (so the word is); profane and wicked perhaps he is as he has been. Note, Men lose their dignity by their iniquity. Their profaneness and wickedness remove their diadem, and take off their crown, and make them the reverse of what they were. - Matthew Henry 

A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it - It is an amplification of certainty and completeness. Babylon came once, then a second time and now the final time to bring Zedekiah's rebellion to an end. This will bring low that which was exalted and turn over the kingdom to the lowly.

Until He comes, the One to Whom judgment belongs - This is a reference to Messiah. This is the end of the Davidic line till Christ comes to rule and judge the nations.

…9Judah is a young lion—my son, you return from the prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to rouse him? 10The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and the allegiance of the nations is his. 11He ties his donkey to the vine, his colt to the choicest branch. He washes his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.… Genesis 49: 9-11

…44In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will shatter all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself stand forever. 45And just as you saw a stone being cut out of the mountain without human hands, and it shattered the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold, so the great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.” Daniel 2: 44-45

…31Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, 33and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!”… Luke 1: 31-33

28-32 Concerning the Ammonites - God directed His sword toward Jerusalem first, but He will not forget the Ammonites, those who have listened to their sorcerers and turned their nose at the fate of other sinners. God will judge sin wherever it be on His creation. As Jobs friends thought themselves righteous for not being Job, the sufferer, so do the Ammonites and so many that have not been graciously brought low.

Friday, June 11, 2021

#1154 Ezekiel 20 Part 2 Bring Back Repentance


33 “As I live, declares the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord God. 37 I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38 I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

39 “As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord God: Go serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.

40 “For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord God, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings. 41 As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers. 43 And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”

45  And the word of the Lord came to me: 46 “Son of man, set your face toward the southland; preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb. 47 Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. 48 All flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.” 49 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! They are saying of me, ‘Is he not a maker of parables?’” Ezekiel 20: 33-49 ESV

Ezekiel 20: 33-49 The Lord Will Restore Israel

So repentance has fallen on hard times. Those who theologically put it aside, those who sort of politically put it aside; both finding it an incorrect emphasis have literally stripped the gospel of its essence. Repentance is critical in salvation. And when we talk about repentance, what we're talking about in terms of what the Scripture says about it is a repudiation of sin essentially. It is a repudiation of one's old life. It is a coming to a point where you reevaluate yourself, where you say, "I look at myself and I see sin and I don't like what I see, I resent the sin, I don't like the guilt, the shame, the fear, the anxiety that comes as a result of it. I live in fear of the consequence of sin which is eternal judgment in hell. I...I say to myself that I am wretched. I look at my own life and I see my sin and I want to be delivered from it." That is a repentant attitude. It is looking at your life and instead of loving darkness and hating light you have begun to hate darkness. You have begun to repudiate your old life. You desire to be delivered from the dominance of sin and its consequence. That is a penitent attitude.

True repentance never exists except in partnership with true faith. True repentance never exists except in partnership with true faith. And wherever there is true faith, true saving faith, there is true repentance. They go together. They're the two sides of the very same coin. You cannot have true faith in Jesus Christ apart from true repentance from sin. You cannot have true repentance from sin apart from true faith in Jesus Christ. Why? Because it is one work of the Holy Spirit; it is the Holy Spirit who convicts the sinner of sin and then moves the sinner toward Christ. Repentance then is a radical redefinition of one's person. It is a definitive mid-course correction. It is a point in which you look at your life and instead of saying, "I cherish my sin, I want my sin, I cling to my sin, I will not abandon my sin, in fact it's not even sin, it's just who I am and that's the way it is and these are the things I like to do." It is turning from those kinds of attitudes to saying, "I am bankrupt spiritually, I hate my sin, I resent what I am. I want to be delivered from its power and its penalty." That is an attitude of repentance. It is a definitive redefinition of who I am and a turning to God alone to remedy that. - J Mac from GTY Study on Luke 3

33-38 I will be king over you - We left them earlier in this chapter, thinking they may just assimilate into the cultures where they were being exiled to, but that is not God's plan. He has said what He will do, which may be difficult for men to appreciate, but, oh, and no one likes to hear this, yet this is the plain truth, it is not about you. You heard me, its not about you, it is about God's promise to His son, before the beginning of time. I know, the god you believe in would never do anything you didn't sanction or like, but the God of scripture will do it for His name's sake, because He has put His word up with His name. Christ will lose none that the Father has given Him.

1When Jesus had spoken these things, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You. 2For You granted Him authority over all people, so that He may give eternal life to all those You have given Him. 3Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.… John 17: 1-3

6I have revealed Your name to those You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You. 8For I have given them the words You gave Me, and they have received them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me.…
…9I ask on their behalf. I do not ask on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those You have given Me; for they are Yours. 10 All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine; and in them I have been glorified. 11I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by Your name, the name You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one.…

The wilderness of the peoples - Instead of the Sinai desert, it will be a sea of people this time, foreign lands, Babylon, Assyria and further still. We think that they should be utterly lost and consumed this way, assimilated to the cultures where they go, yet God has kept an eye to them always, even reviving the Hebrew language. 

Pass under the rod - He will bring them out, and then He will sort them out, the sheep to His right and the goats to His left.

But they shall not enter the land of Israel - Just like those rebels in times past, even the meekest among men, Moses, did not enter the promised land, for those who saw much of God's work and favor, were held to much accountability. 

39-44 My holy name you shall no more profane - They were a stumbling block to the rest of humanity; their hypocrisy made a mockery of God. They called themselves Jews, sons of Abraham, and were proud of their knowledge of the true God, yet they followed idols at every chance to fit in, chaining themselves as slaves to the ideals of the cultures around them. I have a painful memory of someone asking me not to call myself a Christian anymore, and it still stings, more than 20 years later. I hold that thought even closer now, but there is still another, when someone told me that they wished more Christians were like me, and I asked, "how so?" "You know,' they said, 'your cool about it. You are the same as us, I don't feel judged around you because you don't bring up sin, and you just have fun." I have never known the feeling that followed, it had never occurred to me that I might be a traitor. I wondered, did I even love this person, or was it impossible because I wanted them to like me more than I was willing to love them? Israel has made the name of God to stink in the land, because they are either hypocrites who shout about laws they don't keep, disdaining the heathen, or they are hypocrites who try to walk on both sides of the fence, playing the harlot with idols, and partaking in the sins of the land. 

…6Jesus answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. 7 They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’ 8You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.”… Mark 7: 6-8

You shall remember your ways - This is repentance, and yes it is part of the gospel, a work of the Spirit, a gift of God. 

…8For not only did the message of the Lord ring out from you to Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone out to every place, so that we have no need to say anything more. 9For they themselves report what kind of welcome you gave us, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and TRUE God 10and to await His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus our deliverer from the coming wrath.… 1 Thessalonians 1: 8-10

And all your deeds - You see God's holiness, and you take an honest look at yourself and it is crushing. This isn't a foreign concept to the prophets. I am not a cool Christian, and I don't want to be, but God please help me to see my sin and no longer pretend it isn't there. Let me see it and come to hate it like You do. Let me have love which is patient and kind towards my fellow sinner, but let me be a light shining in the dark until You take me home. It is rot, pure filth, that's all I have to bring; I cannot save myself, I cannot even quit sinning by myself, I am completely dependent upon You.  

…7So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees. “Go away from me, Lord,” he said, “for I am a sinful man.” 9For he and his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,… Luke 5: 7-9

…4At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook, and the temple was filled with smoke. 5Then I said: “Woe is me, for I am ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips dwelling among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.” 6Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.… Isaiah 6: 4-6

You shall loathe yourselves - I am forever grateful for the cross, but it brings a light upon my often shallow confession, that I have defended my sin, the very thing which He died to save me from. Let me have patience for my fellow then, knowing that it was not of my nature to repent, but a gift from God.

…23But I see another law at work in my body, warring against the law of my mind and holding me captive to the law of sin that dwells within me. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I serve the law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.… Romans 7: 23-25

…30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging Him on a tree. 31 God exalted Him to His right hand as Prince and Savior, in order to grant repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”… Acts 5: 30-32

…17So if God gave them the same gift He gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to hinder the work of God?” 18When they heard this, their objections were put to rest, and they glorified God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” 19Meanwhile those scattered by the persecution that began with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the message only to Jews.… Acts 11: 17-19

Not according to your evil ways - Right now they don't think they want God, and that is the problem with falleness; it stops wanting God, it hides from God like Adam and Eve in the garden. Grace is magnificent in that it also gives the desire, causing the sinner to see himself, yet also to believe that there is hope, otherwise he would hang himself like Judas, and not know a forgiveness that seemed impossible when looking at one's self, like Peter. Blessed are you Simon, son of Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you. If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, then you will be saved, not by your works of righteousness, for they will never be enough, and to think so is anything but righteous. It is to believe in another, to put all your hope and trust in the righteousness that comes through faith, faith in the person and work of Christ.

…7in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not by works, so that no one can boast.… Ephesians 2: 7-9

Is he not a maker of parables - Oh, how sad, they did not like what he said, and so they would discredit the messenger, hoping to make light of the message.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

#1153 Ezekiel 20 Part 1 I Will Not Be Inquired Of By You


In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and sat before me. 2 And the word of the Lord came to me: 3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God, Is it to inquire of me that you come? As I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you. 4 Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Let them know the abominations of their fathers, 5 and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. 6 On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. 7 And I said to them, ‘Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.’ 8 But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.

“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. 12 Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned.

“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them. 14 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands, 16 because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless, my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make a full end of them in the wilderness.

18 “And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, 20 and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ 21 But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths.

“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. 25 Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, 26 and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the Lord.

27 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. 28 For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 (I said to them, ‘What is the high place to which you go?’ So its name is called Bamah to this day.)

30 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? 31 When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.

32 “What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, ‘Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.’ Ezekiel 20: 1-32 ESV

Ezekiel 20

1-8 Came to inquire of the Lord - These elders know Ezekiel to be a prophet, so when they want to hear from God they come to His man. Probably the same group of elders from chapter 14

I will not be inquired of by you - Apparently God knows who they are as well, and this is not to their favor. Many times people will say, "if only I had a word from the Lord, what would God say on this matter?" The problem is that those same people have the word of the Lord before them, to read, to meditate upon, but His word, which doesn't change, is not what they want to hear. Many come hoping for a different word, a watered down message, praying that God has changed His mind. As long as they are prosperous in this world then they will not check to see if their lives match up to what God is saying. They will find teachers who tickle their ears, false prophets will be very popular, but now they are in captivity, and things are not going the way the false prophets described. 

“Nay, but you act a deep hypocrisy, being already resolved on your own course, and yet now pretend you would know my counsel. It is a sharp reproof of their wickedness, and God utterly refuseth to be inquired of by such.” (Poole)

…7You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you: 8‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. 9They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’ ”… Matthew 15: 7-9

Let them know the abominations of their fathers - He is going to give them a history of what He said, what their fathers did, and that way which they still arrogantly walk in. 

I swore to them - God had made a covenant with Abraham, and He identified Himself to Moses and the people in Egypt, as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That they grew and survived in Egypt was His doing, and their release from there was also by His power because of His word. He was keeping His promise for His names sake. 

1Then the LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, your kindred, and your father’s household, and go to the land I will show you. 2I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you; and all the families of the earth will be blessed through you.”… Genesis 12: 1-3

…7I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8And I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD!’” 9Moses relayed this message to the Israelites, but on account of their broken spirit and cruel bondage, they did not listen to him.… Exodus 6: 7-9

Cast away the detestable things - He had kept His word to them, but He must only be their God, which He proved in that the gods and idols of Egypt were no match for Him, not the Pharaoh nor his sorcerers either. There was no place where He was outside of His jurisdiction, ultimately He is the creator and there are no other gods, but those made with hands and fallen hearts. They sinned in this right away, so that when Moses was on the mount, Aaron made for them a calf, which was from the gods of Egypt, who could not save Egypt. 

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” Exodus 32: 1-4

9-13. I acted for the sake of my name - According to the promise, not according to their actions. It was a unilateral covenant with Abraham, and thank God, for all have fallen short of the law which shows the need of someone who can keep it. It all rests upon the power of God to save, to save wholly, meaning righteously, not against His holy and just nature. 

…15For He says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16So then, it does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”… Romans 9: 15-17

By which if a person does them, he shall live - It seemed simple enough, He is God, the self existing One, you are not, the idols were made and He is above all that was made. He is the alpha and the omega, this is His world, so He is the moral high bar, the ultimate decider of right and wrong. Without Him there is no right or wrong, and nothing calls itself into being, so apart from Him there is nothing. 

…4You are to practice My judgments and keep My statutes by walking in them. I am the LORD your God. 5Keep My statutes and My judgments, for the man who does these things will live by them. I am the LORD. Leviticus 18: 4-5

…16For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things He may have preeminence.… Colossians 1: 16-18

I gave them My Sabbaths - He gave them rest, but also a sign in all that He gave them, that they were set apart from all of humanity in following His statutes. When the stranger came there he would know of the Sabbath, that they could not work on that day, nor could they ask him to work either. They were set up in such a fashion to evangelize the world, to be a blessing to all the families of the earth. 

By which - Do this and you shall live, but not only live but do so abundantly, and this they rejected, which is to die. They wanted a god that would comply with them, which would make them god, and yet they did not make themselves.

14-26 Nevertheless, My eye spared them - He did not make a full end of them in the wilderness, which is to the credit of His great patience, and the sad reality of their ungratefulness. This has been a long time in coming, yet He has and continues to keep a remnant. 

…17So now I pray, may the power of my Lord be magnified, just as You have declared: 18‘The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in loving devotion, forgiving iniquity and transgression. Yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished; He will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generation.’ 19Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people, in keeping with the greatness of Your loving devotion, just as You have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.”… Numbers 14: 17-19

…3So when you, O man, pass judgment on others, yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance? 5But because of your hard and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.… Romans 2: 3-5

But the children rebelled against me - Before they had made the argument that their parents had eaten sour grapes which were now putting their teeth on edge, but men have not changed, the children rebel as did their fathers. One thing that they all agree on is that it's someone else's fault. They are all just poor victims.

I would scatter them - He gave them His word that this would happen, and Babylon was only a part of that, but God was not only true to His word, but see again, what patience.

…26I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live long upon it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27Then the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you. 28And there you will serve man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.… Deuteronomy 4: 26-28

…63Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and multiply, so also it will please Him to annihilate you and destroy you. And you will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess. 64Then the LORD will scatter you among all the nations, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65Among those nations you will find no repose, not even a resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a despairing soul.… Deuteronomy 28: 63-65

I gave them statutes that were not good - They did not follow His original statutes that led to life, so He gave them over to themselves, the law of the jungle, to reap what they sew.

“Ezekiel was declaring that in retribution the Lord allowed them to go after their own ways in order to punish them according to their deeds. The passage is speaking in the sense of a judicial sentence…. Disobedience leads to greater sin. Sin becomes its own punishment.” (Feinberg)

…27Likewise, the men abandoned natural relations with women and burned with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28Furthermore, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, He gave them up to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips,… Romans 1: 27-29

27-32 Bamah -  "high place"

Bamah: “A high place; a name good enough in itself, but, as used by them, as odious to all good hearts as a brothel house is to a chaste matron. She is the worse to pass by it, and spitteth at it. So should we in like case.” (Trapp)

I will not be inquired of by you - They have a lot of nerve, and would not put up with even a percentage of such abuse themselves, but what good is it for Him to give His time or word anyway? Are we supposed to believe that they have now come to not only hear, but do?

“It is as though he expressed surprise that those who had continued in sin and emulated the disobedience of their forefathers should still expect to receive fresh revelations from God.” (Feinberg)

ii. “Are you fit to come and ask counsel of me, whom you have so shamelessly, so obstinately forsaken and reproached? Can you expect I should answer you?” (Poole)

…21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and every expression of evil, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save your souls. 22 Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. 23For anyone who hears the word but does not carry it out is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror,… James 1: 21-23

What is in your mind shall never happen - "Just let us go', they thought, 'let us be like our neighbors. They eat, marry and give in marriage, the sun goes up and down, the rain falls on them just like it does on us, let us be without the knowledge of the Holy One." 

No, but He will save a remnant for His name's sake. What He has spoken will be accomplished. Men love the idea of being left alone by God, the solace of thinking there is no after life, no God and therefore right or wrong, no lasting regrets. It is all material to them, but where does matter come from? Some love the idea so much that innate matter has become their god.

1For the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt; their acts are vile. There is no one who does good. 2The LORD looks down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if any understand, if any seek God. 3All have turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.… Psalm 14: 1-3