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 promisesto pardon and restore them. (33-44) Prophecy against Jerusalem.(45-49) #1-9. Those hearts are wretchedly hardened which ask God leaveto 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 onstill in their trespasses. Cause the people to know the evildeeds of their fathers, that they may see how righteous it waswith God to cut them off.10-26. The history of Israel in the wilderness is referred toin the new Testament as well as in the Old, for warning. God didgreat things for them. He gave them the law, and revived theancient keeping of the sabbath day. Sabbaths are privileges;they are signs of our being his people. If we do the duty of theday, we shall find, to our comfort, it is the Lord that makes usholy, that is, truly happy, here; and prepares us to be happy,that is, perfectly holy, hereafter. The Israelites rebelled, andwere left to the judgments they brought upon themselves. Godsometimes makes sin to be its own punishment, yet he is not theAuthor of sin: there needs no more to make men miserable, thanto give them up to their own evil desires and passions. 27-32 The Jews persisted in rebellion after they settled in theland of Canaan. And these elders seem to have thought of unitingwith the heathen. We make nothing by our profession if it be buta profession. There is nothing got by sinful compliances; andthe carnal projects of hypocrites will stand them in no stead. 33-44 The wicked Israelites, notwithstanding they follow thesinful ways of other nations, shall not mingle with them intheir prosperity, but shall be separated from them fordestruction. There is no shaking off God's dominion; and thosewho will not yield to the power of his grace, shall sink underthe power of his wrath. But not one of God's jewels shall belost in the lumber of this world. He will bring the jews to theland of Israel again; and will give them true repentance. Theywill be overcome with his kindness: the more we know of God'sholiness, the more we see the hateful nature of sin. Those whoremain unaffected amidst means of grace, and would live withoutChrist, like the world around them, may be sure it is the way todestruction. 45-49 Judah and Jerusalem had been full of people, as a forestof trees, but empty of fruit. God's word prophesies againstthose who bring not forth the fruits of righteousness. When Hewill ruin a nation, who or what can save it? The plainest truthswere as parables to the people. It is common for those who willnot be wrought upon by the word, to blame it.
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