Ezekiel 22-24

The End is Near

In these chapters it seems the intensity of Ezekiel’s prophesy is picking up and rightly so. The time is short now. Back in Chapter 4 Ezekiel prophesied the siege against Jerusalem. In Chapter 24 we read that word had come to the exiles that Jerusalem is under siege by the king of Babylon. What Ezekiel had predicted is happening right before their eyes. It looks like Jerusalem, the Temple, and most important, their hope and heritage will be lost. However, God has a plan.

Out of the people taken in exile to Babylon God will bring out a remnant who will one day return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple and the city. However, up to this point, the exiles remain rebellious and were neither listening nor understanding what Ezekiel was trying to communicate. Instead they were listening to the false prophets who were saying they would return in 2 years.

In Chapter 22 the Lord says the people have become like dross to Him. All of the metals that are mentioned in verse 18 corrode as they interact with the oxygen in the air. We call this oxidation. Under normal conditions this is a slow process but when these metals are heated to the point where they melt the oxidation increases at a rapid pace and the corrosion that builds up on the surface of the molten metal is called dross. Dross corrupts the metal and must be scraped off and discarded. In the Bible bronze stands for judgment. Copper and tin are alloyed together to make bronze. Iron stands for strong rule. Lead can be alloyed with iron to make it softer. Lead or lead and tin alloyed together are a solder that can hold bronze and iron together as well as silver, but solder is not as strong as the base metals. I like to think of solder as faith. Silver in the Bible stands for salvation. Israel and Judah have become corrupted by the world and become impure and worthless like dross.   

In Chapter 23 we see that Israel and Judah have not honored the covenant they made with God to be his people. To God this is like breaking a marriage vow. God’s standard in marriage is found in Genesis 2:24 and in Matthew 19:5. When the people turned to Assyria, Egypt, and other nations, to form alliances to protect them, they were committing adultery and harlotry in the eyes of God. By using these terms and this illustration, God is describing their conduct in the strongest way He can in order to get them to understand. God wants them to not only hear the message, but feel it as well so they will understand what breaking the covenant really means to God. Solomon deals with harlotry and adultery in Proverbs and it is important to understand that there are important spiritual implications to our relationship with God as well as physical implications within a marriage.

Again, in Chapter 24 we read that the end is near for Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar has laid siege to the city just as the prophets have predicted and it is just a matter of time. From this point until Chapter 33 God will address the neighboring gentile nations through Ezekiel. As the Church it would be well to listen since we have made a covenant with God when we asked Jesus for forgiveness of our sins and committed our life to Him. One day Jesus will return and the world will be judged. We need to be careful that we don’t let our interaction with the world corrupt us like dross, in our relationship with our Lord.

Pastor Dave