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EZEKIEL 22:24-29


"Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully."


 A Preacher in his Study












Ezekiel is a Prophet.

A "major" Prophet we call him today, probably due to the size, the length, of the Book that contains his sermons, his writings.

In Old Testament days Prophets did not come on the scene until certain aspects of national life had deteriorated to an extremely low point spiritually.

Note God's dealings with Israel. She first had Patriarchs. Then came the Priests. Next the Judges. After which appeared the Kings. Then, generally speaking, the Prophets were needed!

And things were bad when they came!

Even before the days of Ezekiel, Israel's national life had become so extremely wicked that God expelled them, the Ten Tribes, from the land. They were taken into Assyrian Captivity.

Now it was Judah's turn!

Not learning from the apostasy of her older Sister, the Two Tribes, also called Judah, had been taken prisoner by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Captivity had begun! It would last seventy long years according to Jeremiah, another of God's choice Prophets.

Ezekiel, already in the land of Babylon, had been deported much earlier than most of the general Jewish population.

And even there he still preached!

Preached against sin!

Sins still apparent in the life of Judah!

Especially her religious life!

The first words of one of his sermons indicate the seriousness of the matter. Ezekiel 22:24 opens: "Son of man, say unto her ...." This is the Lord speaking to His Prophet.

The name God so often uses for Ezekiel, "son of man," indicates his humanity, his nearness to the people and to the land they loved so dearly. If my sources are correct, God uses this title over 90 times when addressing the Prophet! In Hebrew the name is spelled this way "ben adam." They are the opening words of the verse, indicating prominence and priority.

By the way, Jesus loved that Name also! The God-Man, Son of the Everlasting Father, loved to identify Himself as also fully human, born of a Virgin! This was one of his ways of doing so. He used "son of man" over 80 times!

The next word, "say," is of course a verb and translates "amar." It means to speak or answer or command or tell or call or as here, to preach! It possesses active voice imperative mood properties. This message may have been preached more than once, perhaps even regularly to a hard-hearted people, backslidden on God! "Amar" is also expressing a command in this verse. The Prophet was given no choice in his sermon Text. He MUST deliver this specific message! No other will suffice.

Then, and this perhaps is a small point, but every word of Scripture is inspired ... notice the pronoun used for Judah, "her." It's obviously feminine. Why so? Because in God's eyes, Judah is a lady! A pure young virgin! Scriptures even exist that compare her to the wife of Jehovah God! "For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called." Isaiah 54:5 says this. When Judah is unfaithful to God, worshipping idols and such, she is accused of being an adulteress! These obviously are feminine terms.

Folks, so much of the Old Testament consists of sermons and counsel and encouragement and advice and even warnings to nations, particularly Israel and Judah!

Might not America, or your country whatever it is, take heed to God's concern for whole Continents?

Yes, the Almighty God holds nations responsible for its deeds!

Psalm 66:7 ... "He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah."

Then read Psalm 9:17 ... "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."

Fair warning has been given!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The word I need is "linkage."

It indicates certain grammatical and practical relationships between two or more components of an entity, here a Hebrew sentence.

Ezekiel is preaching.

He is rebuking Judah for her sins, her spirit of rebellion against God.

And here are his opening words: "Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation." Ezekiel 22:24

The noun "land" is "eretzs" in Hebrew and can mean anything from the earth itself, the soil of the ground, to a whole country or territory. Here it appears that the whole Nation of Judah is in view, based on the context.

Judah as a country is "not cleansed." The verb "cleansed" is spelled "taher" in Hebrew and means to be pure. It can imply being free of disease, physical impurity or being free of blatant sin, spiritual purity. Its first Bible appearance involves the latter definition: "Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went." Genesis 35:2-3

This is a call to repentance, to confession of sin. The Jew of Ezekiel's day, had he been back in the Holy Land, would have offered blood sacrifice for his wrongdoings.

So ... Judah is dirty, soiled, stained with sin.

Next comes the "linkage" element I mentioned earlier.

The land is defiled ceremonially ... therefore, no "rain" has fallen! "Goshem" means rain, the wet form of precipitation that aids productivity on the farm!

The situation looks like this.

Judah is sinning unrepentantly.

God then withholds rain, threatening her financial stability since she is an agricultural economy.

See the relationship?

Again, that is also called linkage.

And we know God is behind this because of the last word Ezekiel uses, in this twenty second verse I mean.

"Indignation" is "zaam" and suggests anger or rage. It's a pretty strong word and is only used 22 times in all the Bible. It expresses intense anger, often resulting in denunciation! Its cognate verb is used in the King James Bible to mean "abhor" twice! And "defy" two more times also. Psalm 7:11 uses our word, which I will capitalize for identification. "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day."

Now we must be careful here. Just because it does not rain on someone's garden does NOT necessarily mean that he has viciously sinned against God! Other facts may be involved. This farmer's neighbor may be in rebellion! He might live in an arid country. Or a hundred other reasons.

But our Text does mean that in this case ... presumptuous sinning led to changes in the weather pattern!

No rain!

God does control such things.

In fact, in Deuteronomy 28:23-24, as God teaches Israel the consequences of disobedient living, He promises that if they sin repeatedly, habitually ... there would be no rain!  "And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed."

The apostate lands of earth today, godless nations, had best heed the warning!

                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




A conspiracy!

That's what Ezekiel calls it!

"There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof." Ezekiel 22:25

The city of Jerusalem is the primary subject, Judah the Nation being secondary.

The noun for "prophets" is spelled "nabiy" in Hebrew and means "one who speaks by inspiration." The ancient etymology involved here may suggest a man who shakes and quivers and falls under the control of another spirit, even as he preaches! That's all right if the Spirit is the Holy Spirit and the physical movement is decent and in order and used to declare the Truth of God's Word.

Anyway, these men in Ezekiel's day, days of apostasy and declension from the ways of God, were in "conspiracy" with each other. "Qesher" is a noun and in addition to meaning conspiracy or confederacy it also carries the idea of treason or unlawful alliance!

It is the first word in the verse in the Hebrew Masoretic Text, revealing the strong emphasis the word is due interpretively. This word, when pointed differently or assigned different vowel characters, means "strong or stronger." One can easily see the connection. Fifty false prophets in a Nation, a confederation of them, would have a more "powerful" impact for evil than just one!

The word for "midst," in Hebrew "tavek," means right in the middle of something!

Don't misunderstand me, some preachers' fellowships can be great. As long as they are Bible-believing fundamental separated Brethren. But when you begin mixing liberals and neo-evangelicals and others from so-called main-line denominations into the group, there's no doubt that theological and spiritual trouble is on the way.

Look at what these prophets did next. "Like a roaring lion ravening the prey" is Ezekiel's word picture. And I'm afraid the "prey," in Hebrew "tereph" meaning spoil or food or anything desirable that's taken in battle, primarily here includes spiritual things. Things like the minds and hearts and souls of men and women. These things are the most precious resources of any nation. In fact, they are the nation!

Today a bunch of apostates, religious and otherwise, are trying to seize and destroy the faith of our people!

"They have devoured souls," cries the Preacher Ezekiel! "Akal" means to devour in this sense; to eat, to feed, to consume and even to slay!

Excuse me, these false prophets are in it for the money, for personal gain, for filthy lucre's sake to use Paul's term.

They additionally "have taken the treasure and precious things." The verb "laqach" means to take by force, to seize! Nearly stealing! Coercion! Extortion!

"Treasure" translates "chosen," pronounced kho'-sen, and means riches. Here are its schematics based on the King James Version. Total appearances: 5. These are translated "treasure" 2 times and "strength" 2 times and "riches" 1 time. These wicked preachers have pilfered the "strength" of the people. Living godly lives does produce marvelous strength of character and purpose in individuals and in  their communities!

"Precious things" are priceless and honorable items. In the same form we have here, "qekar" is rendered as "honor" in Esther 1:20, but notice the context! "And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, for it is great, all the wives shall give to their husbands HONOUR, both to great and small." See! Robbing the wives' respect and honor and submission to their mates! Sounds like today's radical feminists and their supporters!

The acts of these prophets have become so intense that death has been the result! The deaths of the very people whom they are supposed to be protecting! For example, if they have wrongly advised war, which they certainly did in the case of godly King Josiah, the Jewish men, soldiers, who died in the conflict would have left their wives behind, widows all! Go ahead, Ezekiel: "They have made her many widows in the midst thereof." Also to lead men into blatant sin and to bring God's resultant wrath on a land, devastating wrath, where God ends men's lives prematurely, would be to produce another crop of widows!

Bad preaching is dangerous!

It can kill!

I've never heard a sermon on today's subject.

The dangers of false prophets!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




When a nation drifts far away for God, usually her leaders must bear part of the responsibility.

Such was the case with Israel, with Judah too.

Listen to Ezekiel the Prophet as he preaches. "Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." Ezekiel 22:26

The Priests are the religious leaders of the Jewish Nation. One of their main functions was teaching God's Law, God's Word. "That thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do." Deuteronomy 24:8

"Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land." 2nd Kings 17:27

To see this principle negatively: "The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us." Micah 3:11

"For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 2:7-8

But instead of upholding and revering God's Law, teaching it faithfully to the people, these priests have "violated" it. The Hebrew verb here is "hamas!" Say it, folks! Hamas! It means "to do wrong." Also "to treat harshly, ruthlessly or injuriously!"

Zephaniah 3:4 agrees with Ezekiel, although at a later time in Israel's history. "Her priests have done violence to the law." Here's "hamas" again!

This kind of violence was prevalent on the earth just before the Flood in Noah's days. It was part of the indictment God brought against mankind before He destroyed the population of the world! "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." Genesis 6:11

Here in Genesis 49:5 "hamas" is translated "cruelty." Read it: "Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations."

Folks, this day has come to America!

Preachers, priests and professors of all kinds have declared war on the Word of God!

One book published within the past few years is named "The Sins of the Scriptures." It attacks God's Word furiously!

Others are just as bad, critiquing it beyond recognition!

Today we are being told that the inerrant old Book, the Scriptures of Truth, are filled with mistakes, if not deliberate misrepresentations!

Any more its historical accuracies are doubted.

Its characters are questioned, their very existence.

Its prophecies denied.

Its Lord and Saviour stripped of His Divinity!

But, don't worry!

Just as God solved the problem years ago with first Israel then Judah, He can and will solve it today!

Just wipe that Nation off the map!

At least for a while!

And you know what?

America is well on her way to oblivion!

At least ... as America!

Nationally we too have done much violence to the precious Word of God!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





In English the word is composed of two Latin terms. "Pro" means "out in front of." And "fanum" means a temple, a place of worship! When combined, a profane individual is one who is "out in front" of the Temple, not having entered to worship! This person leaves God out of his or her life altogether! They refuse to go "into" the House of God, preferring rather to exclude Him from their lives!

From that classic background and meaning, "profanity" has come to mean "abusive, vulgar, irreverent language." The kind of talk that refuses to respectfully admit God into human life or world affairs!

Now to the Scriptures, where Ezekiel accuses the Jewish Priests of his day of great profanity! "Her priests have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane." Ezekiel 22:26

The verb "profaned" translates "chalal." It means "to defile, to pollute, to wound or break, to prostitute or stain!" All these are valid translations of "chalal" in the King James Old Testament.

Its "root" background seems to imply "wounding someone, boring through them or piercing them violently!" It can even mean to slay an individual or to fatally wound them!

Here in our Text "chalal" is in the Piel stem too. This means that the action described is fierce, dramatic and powerful!

"Holy things" mean that which is "set apart" unto God! Dedicated solely to Him, consecrated! Hallowed! I'll go ahead and say it: "separated!" The word is "qodesh."

Things like the Word of God and the Spirit of God and the items of the Tabernacle or Temple, all pointing to the Person of God, His Character and Essence. Other things like marriage and reverence and worship are in mind too!

To "put difference" between things translates "badal." It means "to divide, to separate, to make a distinction, to sever."

Some things in life are holy. Some are not.

Some things are allowed. Others are forbidden.

Some things edify and encourage spiritually. Others hinder and destroy!

These things must be labeled.

Instructions must be given, warnings issued and punishment dispensed if God's people disobey!

The set of adjectives with which today's lesson ends, "they have put no difference between the holy and profane," are interesting words in their respective categories.

"Holy" again is "qodesh" and is used 468 times in Scripture!

However, "profane" is "chol" and only appears 7 times in all the Bible!

So a word about "chol" is in order. Ezekiel himself uses it four times. He is here alluding to Leviticus chapter 10 where God is instructing Aaron about the Priesthood. "And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses." Leviticus 10:8-11

The word seems to mean something like "common." In 1st Samuel 21:4 the shewbread of the Tabernacle was not "common" bread! It was special, dedicated to God! And you no doubt noticed in the Leviticus 10 Text I just quoted, "chol" is boldly translated "unholy."

Respect, reverence, awe toward the things of God must be maintained as a national heart-felt attitude!

And in ancient Judah one group, the Priests ... in spirit the Preachers ... were to have taught and modeled and preached and demanded such an attitude toward God and His Ways!

The Priests failed!

They became so lazy they no longer even tried to build reverence into the lives of God's people.

And ... the Nation was punished by the Lord!

Vehemently so!

Will America be an exception?

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Prophet Hosea was an observer with keen perception. One of his findings reads like this: "And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings." Of course he is quoting the Lord God Almighty. That's right! Hosea 4:1 begins by saying "Hear ye the Word of the Lord, ye children of Israel." Then 4:9 thunders: "Like people, like priest.

The skilled commentators tell us that the expression can mean either the people eventually mimic their priests ... or conversely, the priests finally become like the people they seek to lead!

Both no doubt are true. After all, we are talking about the inspired inerrant Scripture of Truth as it's called in Daniel 10:21.

If the priests are "copying" the backslidden people of their day, then whatever happened to courage and conviction and the willingness to "stand alone" for the sake of righteousness?

If the people are following in their priests' footsteps, which we shall assume in today's lesson, they are merely doing what various crowds have done throughout the whole of the Bible.

Jesus' disciples followed Him!

Paul encouraged his followers to "mimic" him, as he followed Christ! Here it is, 1st Corinthians 11:1. "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."

Even Elisha followed Elijah, going so far as to help him wash with water day after day! 2nd Kings 3:11 tells us: "Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah."

Look at the kinds of lives the priests in Ezekiel's day were living. "Neither have her Priests shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." Ezekiel 22:26

To "show difference" translates a beautiful but unusual verb. "Yada" primarily means "to know." Of course, you can't "show" anyone anything until you "know" that thing yourself, can you?

These men of God do not know enough about real purity to distinguish it from blatant evil!

The noun "clean" translates "tahor" and means that which is pure. Twice in the Bible it is translated "fair" even! Purity is lovely to our God! The word comes form a "root" that means "to be bright!" Pure in a "physical, chemical ceremonial and moral sense," says one lexicon, a Hebrew dictionary. Its first Bible occurrences appear in Genesis 7 and 8 where Noah is bringing the "clean" animals aboard the ark.

"Unclean" is "tame" in Hebrew, pronounced taw-may', and means defiled or polluted. It is rendered as "infamous" in the King James Text of Ezekiel 22:5. It means "foul, spoiled, degraded."

This word, in verbal form now, is used initially in Genesis 34:5 where Dinah had been "defiled" by a heathen young man! You could say she was "raped."

Jewish society at the time of the Babylonian Captivity had drifted so far from God that the clear Bible line separating right from wrong was erased! And if there is no absolute standard by which to live ... anything goes! Each man decides for himself what to do!

Naturally such degradation precludes any true worship of God. Little wonder that Ezekiel next tells us that the "sabbaths" were hidden! Here are his exact words: "They have hid their eyes from my sabbaths," The Lord was talking!

The verb "to hide" is spelled "alam" and means "to veil from sight" or just "to conceal." In the King James Text it is rendered several ways, depending on the context, once being associated with outright blindness! This is a deliberate act!

If one is living as ungodly as these Priests were, Sabbath worship at the House of God is the last thing he would have enjoyed doing!

In America today faithful Church attendance is about to be extinguished also, largely due to rampant unconfessed rebellion and sin.

The word "Sabbath" suggests rest and a cessation from labor! Time to remember the things of God, savoring His Person and Presence! Adoring Him! Notice God calls them His Sabbaths! He loves them! He wanted His people to call the Sabbaths a "delight" according to Isaiah 58:13. There "delight" is "oneg" and means that which is exquisite and dainty and pleasant!

Lastly for today, God acknowledges that He is abhorred by these reprobate people. "I am profaned among them."

The verb "profaned" here is "chalal" and literally means "pierced through!" God is hurt, wounded, by the sins of Israel!

Typologically and prophetically this ought to remind us of the Saviour, Who was indeed pierced on the Cross, shedding His Blood, that our sins might be washed away, forgiven!

What a view of Grace we have here!

No wonder it is called marvelous Grace, or as Peter has it ... "manifold Grace!"

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Iniquity spreads!

"As doth a canker," says Paul, using the word "gangrene" as we know it in English! These words are found in 2nd Timothy 2:17.

In just one of the Old Testament Prophet Ezekiel's superb paragraphs, a piercing sermon, he reveals this wicked progression. Sins there seep through the lives of the Prophets, false Prophets of course, then to the Priests, impure Priests by now ... even to the Princes, Judah's political and governmental leaders!

Notice for example these words: "Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain." Ezekiel 22:27

The noun "princes" is spelled "sar" and indicates rulers, leaders or chiefs of various kinds. Even captains and governors are included.

The noun "wolves" is "zeeb" in Hebrew. To show you how some words develop their meanings by association, note that "zeeb"  means yellow, the color yellow! Apparently the wolves of the Holy Land had that tint in their fur and the name stuck!

Of course these "wolves" who are in political office are called such because they are predators, killers, vicious people seeking their own good, and that alone!

To prove my point, "ravening" means "tearing into pieces!" The Hebrew word "taraph" is also used as "prey and catch and feed" in the King James Bible. Sounds dangerous!

We have a play on words here. "Ravening the prey" in the Hebrew Text is represented like this: "tareph tereph." Professional predators!  "Pork barrel" specialists we might call them today! Selfish leaders!

They want to pad their pockets, no matter who they harm in the process!

They are even willing "to shed blood" for purposes of political expediency!

"Shed" translates "shaphak" and means "to pour out" or even to allow that precious liquid "to gush out!"

This reminds me of the thousands of unborn little babies that will be slaughtered today in America, victims of selfish mothers and greedy doctors in the Country's abortion mills!

Shedding blood, to get the feminists' votes!

And some of the Doctors' votes also!

But they not only destroy people physically. They do so spiritually as well!

They "destroy souls." The verb here is "abad" and suggests extermination! Breaking something or just causing it to vanish! The verb is actually expressed as a Piel participle. The action is continuous, on-going and the spirit of it is intense!

One's soul is the real person within. "Nephesh" primarily means a person's mind, will and emotions but his or her spirit can be involved too!

Why all this?

"To get dishonest gain," accuses Ezekiel!

"Get" is "batzsa" and means to covet or to achieve by violence, even to wound in acquisition. To "cut off" a person!

"Dishonest gain," a noun in Hebrew, is another repeat. Ezekiel has done this twice in a single verse! He is poetic in his preaching! "Betzsa" now still focuses on the thing desired, really desired! Like Ahab's lust for Naboth's vineyard!

If anyone gets in the way of these Leaders, watch out!

They will do anything to advance themselves financially!

How did the political situation get so bad in Israel, in Judah really?

It began not with the politicians and governmental princes, but with the preachers!

When they go "bad," everything else eventually does too!

God help us in America!

Bad times are coming!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The True Prophets of God did not have a lot of patience with the “false” prophets of the land! In Old Testament days I mean.

In one short paragraph, chapter 22:24-29 of his writings, Ezekiel twice denounced the evil ways of those men, those apostate preachers.

For example, verse 25 relates: “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.” We studied this Text several days ago. It is archived here on the website for your future reference too. I just wanted you to read the verse again.

Now in verse 28 Ezekiel “hits” further areas of disobedience, indeed concerning those very same prophets. In fact, it appears that the offenses of verse 28 supercede even those of verse 25.

“And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.” Ezekiel 22:28

How like today’s religious scene this verse sounds!

Boldly preaching what God bids, Ezekiel calls these backsliders a bunch of liars!

The verb “divine” translates “qasam” and means to practice soothsaying! To tell the future via heathen methods, reading stars or consulting animals’ entrails or praying to an evil spirit!

This activity is expressly forbidden for the Israelites. “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.” These activities all are related. I’ve quoted Deuteronomy 18:1-11 here.

But the results of their witchcraft is uniform ... “lies!” This noun is spelled “kazab.” It means that which is deceitful or false. Their prophecies were wrong! They did not come to pass!

These charlatans appealed to God, declaring that their Messages came from Him. But it was not so! “Saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.” This short clause uses two different words for speech. “Saith” translates “amar,” emphasizing the act of speaking. While “spoken” is represented by “dabar” emphasizing the content of what is said, including the time and circumstance surrounding the utterance! The false prophets’ words were mere “jabber” to Ezekiel … God’s Words were filled with substance and worthy of close study!


But notice this too.

Before these fake preachers proclaimed their lies, they were already “seeing “vanity!” This verb is “chozen” and means "to have a vision." Once in the King James Bible it is associated with “stargazing.” The accompanying noun is “shav” and means emptiness or nothingness or falsehood!

Ezekiel took notes apparently!

And Ezekiel, ever the picturesque Prophet, paints a metaphor for our understanding. Such flimsy preaching is like “daubing” the people of Judah with untempered mortar! To “daub” is to paint, coat or plaster something. “Tuach” means to smear or overlay something, preparing it for use.

“Untempered mortar” translates “taphel,” just one word. It means that which is foolish or unsavory! Insipid, tasteless, unseasoned!

Conversely, we then may assume that real preaching, Bible preaching, is tasty! Healthy! Filled with Wisdom!

Again I say “amen!”

Dear readers today, what kind of preaching do you hear each weekend?

Good or bad?

According to Ezekiel’s definitions I mean!

The answer to that "preaching" question is far more important that you might think!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




One teacher called it “cause and effect.”

Another said it was “reaping what one had sown.”

It certainly illustrates the contagious nature of sin!

And we shall use the Prophet Ezekiel to illustrate.

In chapter 22 of his great Prophecy, Ezekiel talks about the wickedness that had invaded the clergy of his day, the guild of men known as the Prophets.

Then the priests are listed, also backslidden from God.

Next, the princes were implicated.

Then, lastly in the sequence, the “people,” the whole nation is guilty!

Read with me Ezekiel 22:29. “The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.”

Let’s review our six verse Text, just hitting the major points of Ezekiel 22:24-29. You will readily see what I mean.

The Prophets were thieves.

The Priests no longer hallowed the Sabbath Days, making them unholy by their profanity.

The Princes, that’s the nation’s rulers, were so “politically correct” that they even allowed many innocent lives to be lost, just to maintain popularity!

But the people … yes the people were not willing to be left behind at all!

To “use oppression,” in Hebrew “asaq,” is literally to crush something with a heavy weight! Then to extort, to exploit, to defraud or to violate. This sounds like an ultra litigious society, suing one another with abandon. Legally “hurting” others to the fullest extent of the law! Exacting revenge mercilessly!

The clause “exercising robbery” is another of several couplets Ezekiel uses. “Gazal gazel” it appears in Hebrew. The verb means “to tear away, to seize, to plunder, to take by force!” The noun suggests anything plundered. This is a violent lifestyle. No love found in this society! And isn’t that exactly what Jesus would teach centuries later? “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12

To “vex”someone, “yanah” in Hebrew, means in its root form  “to rage or be violent.” To maltreat. It is “to thrust out” once in Scripture. Legally finding a loophole in some statute and kicking the poor people off their own land! The “poor” are the lowly, “aniy.” While the “needy” are the ones in dire “want,” in Hebrew “ebyon.”

They even mistreat and oppress (“ashaq” again) the “stranger.” The noun “ger” means alien, foreigner, sojourner or temporary inhabitant.

The adverbial term “wrongfully” needed two Hebrew words to express its depth. “Lo mishphat,” with no justice!

You see, our verse has just described some things being done in the courts that were legally permissible … but spiritually immoral according to God’s Precepts!

What a society in which to live!

How low can things digress?

What must God do?

Come back tomorrow and we shall see!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




When things in a Nation fall to an all-time low, when God’s judgment is looming overhead like a sword dangling by a mere thread, what’s a godly man to do?

At least one Bible Text, Ezekiel 22:24-29, describes such a worsening situation.

But, just as importantly, it suggests to us what God longs to see in such a dark situation. God’s very words: “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30

To “seek,” translating “baqash,” means “to desire or require,” but once in Scripture “to beg!” This is here a Piel verb, intense in action!

The clause “make up the hedge” is another double word appearance. It in Hebrew looks something like this: gadar gader.” First is the verb, a participle, to wall something into security, to close off an area by building a wall! The following noun means a fence or anything else that can separate and protect!

To “stand,” in Hebrew “amad,” is to endure or remain or abide or even to present oneself for duty!

“Peretzs” is “gap,” a broken place in the wall! A breach! The verbal root here means a bursting forth, maybe here the enemy gushing into and overrunning God’s hedged vineyard!

If such a man, an intercessor, and advocate is NOT found, the land will obviously be “destroyed.” Now “shachath” means in its mildest sense to corrupt or to ruin or spoil, even to decay! In its strongest sense, absolutely annhilated! Here we are again dealing with a Piel verb, the action is vehement! We must choose the strongest definition applicable!

“Found,” the verb “matzsa,” suggests "acquiring or securing" such a man, but often it also carries the idea of "encountering" one or having "befallen" into a pathway!

Either way, “none” is located by the Lord. Then “lo” means absolutely not a single soul!

This verse has some reminders of Abraham’s interceding for Sodom. God would perhaps have spared there the city, here the nation, had enough godly people been found!

Since such is not the case, since no one cared, destruction is decreed and soon would be delivered. In fact, as Ezekiel writes and preaches it has already begun!

Back in Ezekiel 9 a somewhat parallel situation has already occurred. Sin is rampant, idolatry everywhere and God wants, hungers, for some righteous people who will at least grieve over the rampant sin! “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Ezekiel 9:4

To “set a mark” again appears as a double word group. “Tavah tav,” to write or scribble a letter or sign or mark on something or someone!

On whom?

Those that “sighed” (“anach”) or groaned or mourned and that “cried” (“anaq”) or lamented out loud were spared, given their lives in return for such sorrow. While the multitudes that did not care, not slightly phased or bothered by the sin, were slain!

“And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Ezekiel 9:5-6

God knows if we care!

On the other hand, God sometimes forbids such care, or at least its expression! Maybe that’s when a group becomes so apostate that no hope remains! Look at these verses from Jeremiah. Is God exhausted with Judah? “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.” Jeremiah 7:16

“Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.” Jeremiah 11:14

“Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.” Jeremiah 14:11

See the connection?

Too late!

God is a gracious God of love!

He also is a holy God of judgment and wrath if man stubbornly and persistently refuses to repent!

Does anyone care about America?

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




In an almost forgotten sense today, sin has consequences!

Romans 6:23 is still in the Bible!

“The wages of sin is death.”

That has been true since Satan first filled his heart with Pride and attacked Almighty God!

The Scriptures, including the Old Testament Prophets, clearly illustrate this principle again and agin, usually drawing on the histories of men, women and even nations, especially Israel and Judah.

After the litany of unconfessed sins Ezekiel has enumerated in the 22nd chapter of His Prophecy, verses 22 through 29, the iniquities of Judah … God moves in judgment!

He administers His chastening severely and continuously for seventy years, seventy long years!

Let’s read together: “Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 22:31

God’s “indignation” has fallen on Israel! “Zaam,” the Hebrew noun employed here, actually means “rage!” It’s root verb means “to foam at the mouth!” Here’s a picturesque way of depicting anger for sure! God is upset!

To “pour out” translates “shaphak” and means to copiously shed forth some commodity upon a subject! Once in the Biblical Text it is rendered “gush out!”

The noun “wrath” is the rather rare “ebrah” and means an “overflow” or an “excess” of something! An “outburst!”

“Fire” is the common noun “esh” and has one basic meaning the 379 times it appears in the Word of God, literally burning flames!

To “consume” is to finish, accomplish or bring to an end! It can even mean to waste or destroy also! Here it’s a Piel stem verb, indicating extreme passion and vehemence! It is spelled “kalah.”

The noun “way” translates “derek” and means road or path or journey. Here it obviously pictures Judah’s lifestyle, wicked as it has been.

The verb “recompense” is spelled “nathan” and is translated “give” over a thousand times in the King James Text.

Divine retribution!

Holy Anger!

Judgment from the Righteous One!

So saith the Lord GOD, using both fundamental Names for our Creator and Redeemer!

“GOD,” printed in capital letters as you can see, is Jehovah in today’s English. While “Lord” is “Adonay” and means the One with absolute control!

Judgment has fallen!

It always does!

“Behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23

This includes every other nation on earth who also rebels against the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob!

America as well!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell





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