Ezekiel 11:8: “You have feared a sword; so I will bring a sword upon you,” the Lord GOD declares.
Observation: Ezekiel was speaking the judgments of God upon rebellious Jerusalem. In a vision, God had taken Ezekiel into the temple to see for himself the abominable things the people, even the elders, were doing. The Lord cried out for executioners to come, one of whom was a man clothed in linen with writing instruments in his waistband. God told the man to put a mark on the forehead of every person who groaned and mourned over the abominations around them, but to strike down all the rest. This winnowing was to begin among the leaders and extend to all the people (see Eze. 9:1–6). Then this: “You have feared a sword; so I will bring a sword upon you.”
Application: What fascinating insight into the judgments and the salvation of God. He promises to discipline with the very thing we have feared most. So, not only will the destruction be horrible even to the point of death, depending upon our response to the decadence around us, but the instrument of destruction will be the very thing we most fear. In this is a hint of Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge . . . for in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”
Notices that before judgment, God sends a man with a writing instrument to mark those whose hearts are His; they will be spared. Even in the midst of unimaginable rebellion, some live with hearts longing to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. These have nothing to fear; they have chosen, in deep humility, not to judge, so the Judge of the universe will pass them by, seeing upon them the mark of Christ.
But there are many who do judge others, who pridefully hang on to supposed “rights” God has told them to lay down. These are the rebellious ones, who have no recourse but to live out their days in their own strength, waiting with a growing sense of doom for the coming of what they know in their hearts will be righteous judgment. When it comes, it will be in the fashion most feared. Matthew says they will be judged by their own judgment. God said in Ezekiel 9:10, “I will bring their conduct upon their heads.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You have been present from the beginning of the Book, haven’t You? The cross has always been Your way of salvation. Jesus, I long to be in Your presence; since You have not yet taken me home, then I ask You to overwhelm me with Your presence now. Separate me, Lord, from the decadence of worldly pursuits and let me hear Your voice moment by moment. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.