I had to switch my version from the NIV to The Message. This book is choc-full of flowery language and I was getting totally lost!
God has 6 men in linens (angels I'm assuming) kill those in the city who don't lament over their wickedness and then His spirit leaves the temple. Ezekiel then (again) tells the people of what is to come.
Ezekiel is then to gather his things and leave the city as if in exile. This is to be a sign for those in the city that they will soon be in exile themselves--prince and pauper alike.
Ezekiel 16 is a pretty fantastic rant from the Almighty... he likens the Israelites to a newborn baby, covered in blood and unable to help themselves. God took them and cleaned them up, helped them grow into a beautiful adult woman, gave her fine linens and jewels to wear... and what did she do? She became a whore and ran to everything but God...set up brothels on every street corner and then went to other nations. He even says they are WORSE than Sodom! It's pretty harsh, but oh-so-true.
God then makes is very clear that the old ways of punishing generations for what their ancestors did is OVER. Now, each man is punished according to how he lives, regardless of his parents. He longs to see people repent and live for Him again and wants to reward those that do so. This makes me so happy that Jesus later came and I am no longer eternally punished for my sins!!
Ezekiel is scared to prophesy. He feels the people just think he is crazy and are so set in their ways they think he’s making everything up. But God still has a plan for him and wants him to keep on the path—make a scene if he must, but he needs to get the people’s attention…their end is coming!
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