Ezekiel 12:17–28

Read the passage.

Ezekiel is given another symbolic action to perform, another layer on top of the ones he is already performing, most likely. He is to eat the siege rations that have been assigned to him with “trembling and anxiety”. (v. 18) This represents the fear and dismay with which the inhabitants of Jerusalem will eat their bread and drink their water because of the terrible things that are happening all around them. The Lord reiterates that the desolation has come as a judgement upon the people who have filled the land with violence.

The next time He speaks to Ezekiel, the Lord changes the subject and addresses the attitude of the people towards their God. They have been plagued with false prophets to such an extent that it has become a proverb to remark that the things that were prophesied have not come about. Remember that the people have decided that God must have forsaken the land or is otherwise indifferent to the things going on in it. I suspect the preponderance of false visions contributed to that attitude significantly.

The Lord declares that He will make it so that this proverb will no longer be said. He will give visions, and they will come true. No longer will false prophets give flattering predictions because people want to hear what they want to hear (as is still true today). Instead, the true visions from the Lord will also come true within the sight of those who first hear of it, not just “eventually” or “some day”.

This declaration should be understood in the context of Ezekiel’s ministry, and not applied to prophecy in general. There are plenty of predictions and prophecies that have not yet come to pass, even after 2,000 years or more. Some of Ezekiel’s prophetic messages may still be fulfilled in the end times (he says, looking at the end of the book), but the vast majority of them are for the near future.

Your word never returns void, and You accomplish all You have decided to do.

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