Ezekiel 33:1–20

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Chapter 33 begins the second major section of the book of Ezekiel. Previously, the focus was on Jerusalem’s past and the judgement that was occuring because of it in the present and near future (from the exiles’ perspective). Now the focus is on the future Jerusalem, which God will restore for His people.

The charge that Ezekiel received in chapter 3 to be a watchman who warns the people of coming danger is repeated nearly verbatim here. Ezekiel’s responsibility is still to warn the people of judgement coming upon their iniquity, but if they do not repent, he has done all that he can. But if he doesn’t warn them then they will still be judged, but Ezekiel would also be responsible for their consequences too. While I believe this is specifically Ezekiel’s charge, and not something individual believers should be afraid will be applied to them, collectively, we, the Church, ought to be more mindful of our responsibility to preach the Gospel to a dying world. Romans 10:14 is as true now as it was when Paul wrote it.

Verses 10–20 are likewise a restatement of chapter 18, wherein the Lord offers forgiveness to contrite hearts that have done wicked things but now seek to do righteousness. Additionally, a good person who turns from those ways to do evil will not be saved by his previous actions. The Israelites had accused the Lord of being unjust for treating people this way, but the Lord isn’t talking about someone who constantly flip-flops back and forth between righteousness and wickedness. No, the Lord is looking at those whose lives are transformed. Sinners can be kind and loving, and saints still sin on the regular, but true heart transformation, we know, comes from the blood of Jesus.

Your justice is pure and altogether righteous.

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