And I pronounced them unclean through their gifts--the sacrifice of every firstborn in the fire--so that I might devastate them, in order that they would know that I am the LORD.
I. THE DIVINE LAW WAS REPUBLISHED.
II. THE REBELLION AND IDOLATRY OF THE PEOPLE WERE RENEWED.
III. THE MOST FLAGRANT FORMS OF IDOLATROUS PRACTICE WERE ADDED TO WHAT HAD PRECEDED, In ver. 26 mention is made of the causing the firstborn to pass through the fire in the service of Moloch.
IV. ADDITIONAL AND SEVERER THREATS WERE UTTERED. In ver. 23 threats of scattering and dispersion among the heathen were added to the more general denunciations.
V. STATUTES AND JUDGMENTS WERE TURNED TO THE CONDEMNATION OF THE REBELLIOUS.
VI. SPARING MERCY WAS AGAIN EXERCISED TO PRESERVE THE NATION FROM DESTRUCTION.
APPLICATION. The lesson is very impressively taught in this passage that repentance and amendment by no means follow as a matter of course upon either punishment or forbearance. The discipline through which Israel passed partook of both characters; yet it left the people, as a people, still disposed to rebellion against God, and to contempt of his Law. It is the spirit in which God's dealings with us are received which determines whether or not they shall issue in our highest good. - T.
I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live.
1. It has been supposed by some that the statutes and judgments here alluded to were those of the Mosaic Law, and that in describing them as statutes not good, the Almighty designed to express their deficiency, as contrasted with the Gospel system, in future times to be made known. A short consideration, however, of the context will show that this theory is unsound, and at the same time explain the real meaning of the text. God having first promulgated to the Israelites laws of life, upon their indifference to these gave them laws of death; and the general principle here involved is, that the punishment of transgressing or refusing holy laws is to have unholy laws assigned us. If we will reject truth we shall be caused to take falsehood for our guide. If a man have truth proposed for his acceptance, and reject it; if he turn away through carelessness, or shut his heart through perverseness of will to the truth as it is in Jesus, what we should most fear for such an one is not famine, or pestilence, or sword. There is a more terrible vial still than these in the treasury of God. Of those who having ears hear not, the punishment would appear to be, that eventually the capacity of understanding shall be taken from them. We cannot, of course, in any particular case pronounce whether the curse of invincible ignorance has been poured out, and the veil drawn finally over the heart; but we urge it upon yea as strong ground for never playing with your convictions, or shutting your souls against the voice of instruction.
2. But now we can imagine that many and great objections present themselves to your minds in connection with the foregoing doctrine. Is this, you ask, agreeable to the goodness and justice of the Deity? Can it be reconciled with His attributes, that He should thus, at any period of human life, take away the power of belief, and Himself blind the soul and make dull the heart? Now let us pause for a moment upon the nature of God's punishment, so far as we may discover it. We may trace one grand principle pervading and colouring all the visitations of Divine vengeance; the principle is this, that the punishment should in its quality bear a resemblance to the sin. Adam and Eve, presuming to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil, were debarred access to the tree of life. Jacob, deceiving his father Isaac, was in his turn deceived by his own sons. And it is not difficult to perceive why this should be. The punishment of sin is to preach against sin. How much more striking this preaching becomes when the penalty inflicted is of a sort to call to remembrance the precise iniquity of which it is the penalty. Now, if this be correct, the particular judgment spoken of in the text is just what we might expect would overtake those who will not when they may amend their opinions and embrace the truth. If the sin be to resist truth, what should the penalty be but the being incapacitated from embracing truth?
PeopleEzekiel, Israelites, Jacob, Teman
PlacesBabylon, Bamah, Egypt, Negeb
TopicsApart, Caused, Causing, Child, Defile, Defiled, Desolate, Destroy, Devoted, Fill, Fire, Firstborn, First-born, Gifts, Horrify, Horror, Making, Offer, Offerings, Opened, Opener, Openeth, Opens, Order, Pass, Polluted, Pronounced, Sacrifice, Unclean, Womb
Outline1. God refuses to be consulted by the elders of Israel
4. He shows the story of their rebellions in Egypt
19. in the desert
27. and in the land
33. He promises to gather them by the Gospel
45. Under the name of a forest he shows the destruction of Jerusalem
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 20:26
LibraryTen Reasons Demonstrating the Commandment of the Sabbath to be Moral.
1. Because all the reasons of this commandment are moral and perpetual; and God has bound us to the obedience of this commandment with more forcible reasons than to any of the rest--First, because he foresaw that irreligious men would either more carelessly neglect, or more boldly break this commandment than any other; secondly, because that in the practice of this commandment the keeping of all the other consists; which makes God so often complain that all his worship is neglected or overthrown, …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
Manner of Covenanting.
Questions About the Nature and Perpetuity of the Seventh-Day Sabbath.
Covenanting Sanctioned by the Divine Example.
The Old Testament Canon from Its Beginning to Its Close.
A Sermon on Isaiah xxvi. By John Knox.
The Covenant of Works
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