In the twenty-seventh year, on the first day of the first month, the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
I. GOD IS OVER ALL.
(1) The hearts of kings,
(2) the power of armies, and
(3) the fortunes of nations, are in his hand.
II. GOD USES ALL.
1. He has and directs his own instruments of work, kings and nations being at his service.
2. He has his own resources from which to provide wages and rewards for those whom he employs as his ministers of righteousness and retribution.
III. GOD IS GLORIFIED IN ALL.
1. In the submission of the rebellious.
2. In the chastisement of the proud.
3. In the recovery of the erring but penitent. - T.
Because they wrought for Me.I. THE DISPOSAL OF STATES AND NATIONS IS THE WORK OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE.
1. Do we examine this dispensation in reference to the authority of God? It is unquestionably His prerogative: He has a right to do what He will with His own.
2. Do we consider it in connection with the Divine power? Nothing is too hard for the Lord; no difficulties lie in His way.
3. Do we survey the relation it has to the righteousness of God? He is the moral governor of the universe, "who renders to every man according to their works." Individuals can be rewarded or punished in another world; but communities are judged only in this.
4. Do we think of it in application to our own times? Unless we fix upon this principle we shall be in danger of debasing ourselves by joining in worldly parties and political rage; of feeling too much confidence in one class of men and too much fear of another; of prescribing the course of events, and suffering disappointment and mortification when our favourite measures are subverted.
II. MEN MAY SERVE GOD REALLY WHEN THEY DO NOT SERVE HIM BY DESIGN. Nebuchadrezzar is called the servant of God, as well as the Apostle Paul — but observe the difference between them; and, as God will derive glory from all His creatures, inquire which of these characters you are resembling. The former serves God, only from the influence of an overruling Providence — the latter, from the operation of Divine grace.
III. NONE CAN BE LOSERS BY ANYTHING THEY DO FOR GOD. Even services done for Him by worldly men obtain a temporal reward. The Egyptian females (Exodus 1:20, 21). Jehu was a vain, ostentatious, wicked prince, but "the Lord said unto Jehu," etc. (2 Kings 10:30). So here, "I have given Nebuchadrezzar the land of Egypt," etc. This is indeed a poor recompense. It may appear splendid and important in the eye of the vain and the sensual, but the righteous are fax from envying it. Egypt was all the remuneration of Nebuchadrezzar — and what could it do for him? What is it to him now? Ye servants of the most high God, who know Him and love Him; He has provided some better thing for you. He who noticed the hardships endured by the poor soldiers before Tyre, when every head was bald and every shoulder peeled, will not suffer you to labour in vain: He sees your difficulties; considers the burdens under which you bend; He hears your groans, and your sighs — when without are fightings, and within are fears. Is it a vain thing to serve the Lord? You will find your reward in the very nature of your work; you will find it in the glow of pleasure which attends virtuous exertion; you will find it in the approving testimony of your own conscience; you will find it in the esteem of the wise and good; you will find it in the blessing of them that were ready to perish; you will find it in the applause of your Lord and Saviour — "Well done," etc.
2. Behold an instance of the goodness and severity of God! Long did He spare that rebellious nation, the Jews; often did He warn them, sending His prophets to call them to a sense of their duty towards Him. But they steeled their hearts against conviction, and would none of His advice. At last He complains of them, they were like bullocks unaccustomed to the yoke; He fed them at His own stall; He gave them His easy yoke of duties, which ought to have been delightful, coming from so kind a hand; but, alas! they would not draw it in by gentle treatment; He goaded them by corrections; they kicked against the pricks, and ran back upon His chastisements; they were like a backsliding heifer! But behold the severity of God! The cup of their iniquity was full; Manasseh had greatly contributed to it; he had expressed a great quantity of the roots of bitterness into their portion, and his successors after him, with the exception of Josiah, added to it; till Zedekiah completed the measure and drew down on them wrath to the very uttermost.
3. Service of any kind done for God never goes unrewarded. None can be losers by anything they do for Him: in one way or other He will surely recompense them. He is independent of the creature; the cause can never be dependent on its effect; He could act both in the natural and moral world without human agency; and doubtless He would have done so had it been as agreeable to His wisdom as it was easy to His power. But where would be the reward of the faithful steward? In the moral world the power which He manifested on the day of Pentecost might be again exerted. But what room, then, for the work of faith, the labour of love, and the patience of hope?
(J. Summerfield, M. A.).
The Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon.
A London Minister.I. THE SOUL THAT WILL NOT GROW DOWN MUST BE CUT DOWN. Trees that are to stand the storm must send their roots deep into the earth. A man that is to face successfully the storms of life must have a downward growth of humility and faith. "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
II. THE TRUE TEACHER OF MAN IS GREATER THAN A MONARCH WHOSE POSITION ONLY GIVES HIM POWER. Pharaoh must go to school to Ezekiel. A man is more than a king.
(A London Minister.)
PeopleEgyptians, Ezekiel, Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadrezzar, Pharaoh
PlacesBabylon, Cush, Egypt, Migdol, Nile River, Pathros, Sidon, Syene, Tyre
TopicsMonth, Pass, Saying, Seven, Seventh, Twentieth, Twenty, Twenty-seventh
Outline1. The judgment of Pharaoh for his treachery to Israel
8. The desolation of Egypt
13. The restoration thereof after forty years
17. Egypt the reward of Nebuchadnezzar
21. Israel shall be restored
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 29:16
LibraryBut Perhaps Some one is Alarmed at Hearing us Discourse of the Death of Him
16. But perhaps some one is alarmed at hearing us discourse of the death of Him of Whom, a short while since, we said that He is everlasting with God the Father, and that He was begotten of the Father's substance, and is one with God the Father, in dominion, majesty, and eternity. But be not alarmed, O faithful hearer. Presently thou wilt see Him of Whose death thou hearest once more immortal; for the death to which He submits is about to spoil death. For the object of that mystery of the Incarnation …
Various—Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.
The Plan for the Coming of Jesus.
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