Ezekiel 20

* The elders of Israel are reminded of the idolatry in Egypt.

(1-9) In the wilderness. (10-26) In Canaan. (27-32) God promises

to pardon and restore them. (33-44) Prophecy against Jerusalem.

(45-49)

#1-9. Those hearts are wretchedly hardened which ask God leave

to go on in sin, and that even when suffering for it; see ver.

#32|. God is justly angry with those who are resolved to go on

still in their trespasses. Cause the people to know the evil

deeds of their fathers, that they may see how righteous it was

with God to cut them off.10-26. The history of Israel in the wilderness is referred to

in the new Testament as well as in the Old, for warning. God did

great things for them. He gave them the law, and revived the

ancient keeping of the sabbath day. Sabbaths are privileges;

they are signs of our being his people. If we do the duty of the

day, we shall find, to our comfort, it is the Lord that makes us

holy, that is, truly happy, here; and prepares us to be happy,

that is, perfectly holy, hereafter. The Israelites rebelled, and

were left to the judgments they brought upon themselves. God

sometimes makes sin to be its own punishment, yet he is not the

Author of sin: there needs no more to make men miserable, than

to give them up to their own evil desires and passions.
27-32 The Jews persisted in rebellion after they settled in the

land of Canaan. And these elders seem to have thought of uniting

with the heathen. We make nothing by our profession if it be but

a profession. There is nothing got by sinful compliances; and

the carnal projects of hypocrites will stand them in no stead.
33-44 The wicked Israelites, notwithstanding they follow the

sinful ways of other nations, shall not mingle with them in

their prosperity, but shall be separated from them for

destruction. There is no shaking off God's dominion; and those

who will not yield to the power of his grace, shall sink under

the power of his wrath. But not one of God's jewels shall be

lost in the lumber of this world. He will bring the jews to the

land of Israel again; and will give them true repentance. They

will be overcome with his kindness: the more we know of God's

holiness, the more we see the hateful nature of sin. Those who

remain unaffected amidst means of grace, and would live without

Christ, like the world around them, may be sure it is the way to

destruction.
45-49 Judah and Jerusalem had been full of people, as a forest

of trees, but empty of fruit. God's word prophesies against

those who bring not forth the fruits of righteousness. When He

will ruin a nation, who or what can save it? The plainest truths

were as parables to the people. It is common for those who will

not be wrought upon by the word, to blame it.

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