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Bible verses about Ezekiel's Torment
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Ezekiel 9:1-8   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Ezekiel's blood must have run cold when he heard God's judgment, which appears in the last verse of the previous chapter: "Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them."

Continuing the vision in Ezekiel 9, it relates a partial execution of that judgment. It is important to note here that the prophet witnesses God actually leaving His portable throne (described in detail in Ezekiel 1). At this point, "the glory of the God of Israel" actually demounts from it and removes, as verse 3 records, "to the threshold of the temple." So He has taken His place in the Temple, but not on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies. He is, in effect, in the gate, a place of judgment.

And this is a momentous judgment. In verses 5-6, God commands some of the angels, "Go . . . through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women." This is a summary judgment on the entire populace of Jerusalem!

When Ezekiel heard this command, how did he respond? Certainly not in a self-righteous, I-told-you-so manner. When he is alone with God, the angels having left on their mission, he falls on his face in apparent anguish, crying out: "Ah, Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?" (verse 8).

This is a vital question. Ezekiel is concerned about the people and about the scope of God's judgment. Like Lot, he lived in his own kind of Sodom, in his own type of Gomorrah, and he felt anguish over the sin that he saw and heard and over its consequences—as it were, tormented by what was happening around him. Ezekiel was emotionally and spiritually tormented or tortured, not by what the pagans were doing around him, but by what the leaders and the people of Israel were doing in his immediate environment—and even in the Temple! Their wickedness and what they were about to suffer for it are what tormented this righteous man. In vision, he must have witnessed a terrible slaughter, and the trauma and shock of that vision affected him most acutely. Indeed, a prophet of God has no pretty job.

Charles Whitaker
The Torment of the Godly (Part One)


 

Ezekiel 9:7-8   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Effective sighing and crying before God does not imply an "I told you so," self-righteous attitude. Lot, Peter writes, was oppressed by what he witnessed around him; he wrestled with it. There is no indication at all that he self-righteously gloated at the cities' destruction.

What about Ezekiel? Understandably stunned by the destruction that he witnessed in the visions, he cried out to God, asking Him how far the judgment would go (Ezekiel 9:8; 11:13). Far from self-righteous gloating, this forward-looking prophet expressed his concern over the welfare of his countrymen. His was not a self-righteous response to the destruction that he saw coming.

Because Ezekiel asked, we know. God tells us that He does indeed spare and protect His people (see Ezekiel 11:14-21). We know that God will not destroy all Israel, but He will rescue a remnant out of which He will build a better world for our children's children. It will be a world where, as Amos 5:24 foretells, "justice [will] run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream." In that world, we will no longer need to cry and sigh over abominations.

But that will be then, and now is now. In this present evil world, let us sigh and cry over Israel's sins, praying that we use God's Word to understand exactly what those sins are. Let us remain awake and alert to what is happening around us, fully understanding what God considers to be sinful, but not participating at all in those sins. And let us not gloat in self-righteous glee in the wholesale death and destruction that we know will come, but rather pray for God's mercy and grace on all.

The days are becoming very evil, and the angel with the inkhorn might just be roaming around here now. If we do these things, he might not pass us by.

Charles Whitaker
The Torment of the Godly (Part Two)


 

Ezekiel 10:6-7   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

This is a very interesting passage. It makes no mention of the Babylonian troops who would later descend upon and lay siege to Jerusalem, who were going to slay and burn. Spiritually speaking, those who died in that catastrophe died at the hands of the angels whom God had sent, and Jerusalem burned with the fire of God!

Herbert Armstrong taught that the book of Ezekiel is for the modern nations of Israel, which are presently led by the United States of America. Truly, it is a vision, but it points to a reality: that America's fall will be the greatest of any nation in the history of the world. Yes, and the vision seems to tell us that when she burns, America will burn with the very fire of God.

Ezekiel, as verse 19 indicates, watches as the cherubim "mounted up" and left the earth. God returns to His throne in heaven, but the impact of the visions remain on Ezekiel's psyche. Thousands in Jerusalem had perished, and the city was in flames. Ezekiel must have been absolutely terrified to see God leave, to see such utter devastation in advance and probably in living Technicolor, to witness the destruction of God's Temple, the slaughter of myriads of people, and the end of his homeland as he and his forefathers had known it for centuries.

He may have asked, "Could Israel have become so decadent? Could this happen to the city of God?" He must have wondered, but he knew the answer. He had seen it in visions from God Himself.

Similarly, we could ask today, "Could America drift so far from the principles of its founding?" and "Can the destruction of America as we have known her really be happening right before our eyes and her final dissolution be so relatively close?"

We, too, know the answer, for we have seen it in God's Word.

Are we tormented by what we see around us? Are we spiritually tortured by the evil that we hear and see?

Charles Whitaker
The Torment of the Godly (Part One)


 

 




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