The Boiling Pot and the Death of Ezekiel’s Wife
24 And the word of Yahweh came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, saying, 2 “Son of man, write for yourself the name of the day, this very day. The king of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem on exactly this day! 3 And deliver a proverb to the rebellious house, and you must say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Place the pot! Place it and also pour water into it. 4 Gather its pieces to it, every good piece, thigh and shoulder, fill it with choice bones; 5 take the choicest of the flock, and also pile the bones under it; boil it vigorously; indeed, its bones boiled in the midst of it.” ’ ”
6 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Woe to the city of bloodguilt! A pot that has its rust in it; its rust did not go out from it. Bring it out piece by piece; one is as good as another. 7 For her blood was in the midst of her; she put it on a bare rock; she did not pour it on the ground to cover it with dust. 8 To stir up rage, to avenge myself through vengeance, I placed its blood on the barrenness of a rock, so that it may not be covered.”
9 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Woe to the city of bloodguilt! I, even I, will make the pile of wood great! 10 Pile up the logs; kindle the fire; finish cooking the meat, and mix in the spices, and let the bones be burned. 11 And make it stand empty upon its burning coals so that it may become hot, and its copper may become molten and be melted in the midst of it, so that its uncleanness and its rust be consumed. 12 Through effort she has caused weariness; its thick rust went not out of it. Its rust! Into the fire with its rust! 13 In your uncleanness is obscene conduct, because I cleansed you, but you were not clean from your uncleanness; you will not be clean again until I fully vent my rage on you. 14 I, Yahweh, I have spoken. It is coming, and I did it; I will not disregard, and I will not take pity, and I will not reconsider. According to your ways and according to your deeds they will judge you!” declares the Lord Yahweh.
15 And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 16 “Son of man, look! I am taking from you what is pleasing to your eyes with a plague, but you shall not mourn, and you shall not weep, and your tears shall not run down. 17 Sigh in silence for the dead; you shall not make a mourning ceremony. Bind your turban on you, and you must put your sandals on your feet. You must not cover your upper lip, and the bread of mourners you shall not eat.” 18 And I spoke to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening, and I did in the morning just as I was commanded. 19 And the people said to me, “Will you not make known to us what these things that you are doing mean for us?” 20 And I said to them that the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 21 “Say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Look! I will be profaning my sanctuary, the pride of your strength and the delight of your eyes and the object of your own affection; and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind will fall by the sword, 22 and you shall do just as I did: You shall not cover your upper lip, and you shall not eat the bread of mourners. 23 And your turban must be on your heads, and your sandals must be on your feet. You shall not mourn, and you shall not weep, but you shall waste away because of your iniquities, and you shall groan to one another. 24 And Ezekiel will be to you as a sign; everything that he did you shall do; and when it comes you will know that I am the Lord Yahweh.
25 “And you, son of man, will it not be that on the day when I take from them their stronghold, the joy of their glory, the delight of their eyes, and the longing of their inner self, their sons and daughters— 26 on that day a survivor will come to you with the news. 27 On that day your mouth shall be opened at the arrival of the fugitive, and you shall speak, and you shall not be silent any longer, and you shall be to them as a sign, and they will know that I am Yahweh.”
Judgment upon Various Gentile Nations
25 And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward the Ammonites and prophesy against them, 3 and you must say to the Ammonites, ‘Hear the word of the Lord Yahweh! Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Because of your saying, ‘Ah!’ to my sanctuary when it was profaned, and to the land of Israel when it was desolate, and to the house of Judah when they went into the exile, 4 therefore look! I am giving you to the people of the East as a possession, and they will set up their encampments in you, and they will make in you their dwelling places; they themselves will eat your fruit and they themselves will drink your milk. 5 And I will make Rabbah as a pasture of camels and the Ammonites as a haunt of flocks, and they will know that I am Yahweh.” ’ ” 6 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Because of clapping your hand and stamping with your foot, and because you rejoiced in yourself with all of your malice over the land of Israel, 7 therefore look! I stretched out my hand against you, and I will give you as plunder to the nations, and I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will destroy you from the countries, and I will wipe you out, and you will know that I am Yahweh.”
8 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Because of Moab and Seir saying, ‘The house of Judah is like all of the nations,’ 9 therefore, look! I am opening the side of Moab from the cities on its frontier, the glory of the land: Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon, and Kiriathaim. 10 I will give it to the people of the East in addition to the Ammonites as a possession, so that the Ammonites will not be remembered among the nations. 11 And on Moab I will execute punishments, and they will know that I am Yahweh.”
12 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Because of the doings of Edom in avenging himself with vengeance for the house of Judah, and so they became very guilty and they avenged themselves on them,” 13 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: “so I will stretch out my hand against Edom and I will cut off from it both human and animal, and I will make it a ruin from Teman and Dedan; they will fall by the sword. 14 And I will exact my vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they will do in Edom according to my anger and according to my rage, and they will know my vengeance,” declares the Lord Yahweh.
15 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Because of the acting of the Philistines in vengeance, so that they avenged themselves relentlessly with malice in themselves for destruction with everlasting hostility, 16 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Look! I am stretching out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Kerethites, and I will destroy the remainder of the seacoast. 17 And I will execute on them great vengeance with punishments of rage, and they will know that I am Yahweh when I exact my vengeance on them!”
The Blowing of the Seventh Trumpet
15 And the seventh angel blew the trumpet, and there was a loud voice in heaven saying,
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord
and of his Christ,
and he will reign forever and ever.”
16 And the twenty-four elders who are seated on their thrones before God fell down on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God All-Powerful,
the one who is and the one who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun to reign.
18 And the nations were angry,
and your wrath has come,
and the time for the dead to be judged,
and to give their reward to your slaves the prophets
and to the saints and to the ones who fear your name,
the small and the great,
and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
19 And the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant appeared in his temple, and there were lightnings and sounds and thunders and an earthquake and large hail.
The Woman and Her Son Versus the Dragon
12 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun and with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars, 2 and who was pregnant and was crying out because she was having birth pains, and was in torment to give birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven, and behold, a great fiery red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven royal headbands. 4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars from heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, in order that whenever she gave birth to her child he could devour it. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is going to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod, and her child was snatched away to God and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared there by God, so that they could feed her there for one thousand two hundred sixty days.
Satan Thrown Down from Heaven to Earth
7 And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 And they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying,
“Now the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ have come,
because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down,
the one who accuses them before our God day and night.
11 And they conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
and they did not love their lives until death.
12 Because of this, rejoice, you heavens,
and those who live in them!
Woe to the earth and to the sea,
because the devil has come down to you,
having great anger,
because he knows that he has little time!”
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 And the two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she could fly into the wilderness, to her place where she is fed there for a time, and times, and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And from his mouth the serpent spouted water like a river after the woman, in order that he could make her swept away by a river. 16 And the earth came to the aid of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river that the dragon had spouted out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was angry at the woman, and went away to fight against the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and who hold to the testimony about Jesus.
Elihu Extols God’s Greatness
36 Then Elihu continued and said,
2 “Bear with me a little longer, and I will explain,
for I still have something to say on God’s behalf.
3 I will bring my knowledge from far away,
and I will ascribe righteousness to my maker,
4 for truly my words are not falsehood;
one who has perfect knowledge is with you.
5 Look, God is mighty but does not despise anyone;
he is mighty and good in understanding.
6 He does not keep the wicked alive
but grants justice to the afflicted.
7 He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
but he sets them forever with kings on the throne, and they are exalted.
8 “And if they are tied up with fetters,
if they are caught in the cords of misery,
9 then he declares their work to them,
and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
10 So he opens their ear to the discipline,
and he commands that they return from mischief.
11 If they listen and serve him,
they complete their days in prosperity and their years in pleasantness.
12 But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword,
and they pass away without knowledge.
We sometimes jump on the bandwagon with politics. Yet if we put our full trust in political candidates, or believe their rise to power is an indication of our future—a common campaign platform—we’re putting our hope in something transitory. No earthly person or kingdom has absolute rule. The book of Revelation portrays this in a surprising way.
In the last book of the Bible, God’s judgment is loosed, and it can be overwhelming to read and interpret. Six trumpets, blown consecutively by angels, unleash God’s judgment. When the seventh trumpet blows, we expect judgment to be set in motion yet again. Instead, a loud voice from heaven announces a different, glorious event: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever” (Rev 11:15).
This seems like a strange turn of events, but it’s the culmination of plans and actions that have been happening all along. The initiation of God’s kingdom is prophesied throughout the Bible, and it is presented in John’s vision to bring hope. All of God’s judgments have a purpose. They terminate an old way of life to usher in a new one—a life guided by the eternal reign of God.
In some ways, the arrival of God’s kingdom is a judgment—it’s a judgment on all other kingdoms. John’s vision would have been a comforting reminder to the early church that the kingdoms of this age are transitory. Their flawed, corrupt rule is not forever. And while the kingdoms of the world come and go, God’s kingdom will never end.
We can be hopeful, then, in hopeless situations. We need not feel morose or hopeless when the factions and kingdoms of the world struggle and disappoint. God’s eternal kingdom—His exclusive, righteous rule—is our hope.
How are you living like a member of God’s kingdom, not the kingdom of this world?
Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord
Publisher: Lexham Press
Publication Date: 2012
This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.