February 2, 2021
Ezekiel Series #10
Choosing Your Theme Song
Thus far in our study of this book we have noted that God has had the prophet preach verbal sermons and drama type sermons/visual sermons.
Here in the 19th chapter we find that now God is asking Ezekiel to do a musical sermon, in other words, to sing a song.
Ezekiel 19:1-2 (NIV)
1 "Take up a lament concerning the princes of Israel
2 and say: …
A lament was a common and distinctive type of a song. Normally it was as song that would be sung at a funeral. As you sang this song you would be declaring the virtues of the person who had passed away.
But Ezekiel was lamenting people who were still alive. Kind of like the Mafia gathering around you and starting to hum...
Usually the song would proclaim the virtues of the person who had died. This song, however, was about the faults of the leaders and kings of Israel who were still alive.
In the first verses of the chapter the imagery is that of a mother lion and her cubs. As you read thru the song you will notice that one of the cubs tears at his prey. As a result he ends up being hunted down and carried off to Egypt. Ezekiel 19:4 (NIV)
The next cub is even more destructive and he too was captured and taken away by the Babylonians. Ezekiel 19:8-9 (NIV)
After this the song moves from the lion cubs to a vine. And the end result was the same. The vine was uprooted and languished in the hot & dry desert. Ezekiel 19:10-12 (NIV)
It was a sad song. And the people didn’t want to hear it, just like they didn’t want to hear and see the previous sermons from Ezekiel.
Now, in our culture we don’t like sad endings like this. We want the end of the book or the end of the movie to be a happy ending. Well, there was no prospect of a happy ending for the latter kings of Israel & Judah because they had failed to heed the warnings that the prophets had given to them.
The same is true for the church today. It happened to the church in the past and it can happen again.
- Some of the 7 churches mentioned in the book of Revelation
- Germany - where the Reformation had its beginnings...most churches empty on Sundays.
- England - Westminster Chapel pastored by G.Campbell Morgan in the early 1900's with a smattering of people by the end of the century.
We need to keep in mind that when we turn away from God (whether as an individual Christian or as the church at large) when we turn away from God there is not a happy ending – there is not a joyful song sung.
Now, thankfully God is the God of mercy & grace. When God judged Israel & Judah it was pictured in the OT as if God had pulled the vine out of the ground. However, thankfully God did not dig up the roots. He left a stump, and out of that stump came blessing in the days ahead.
But where are you right now in your relationship with God? Are you experiencing a close walk?
Or are you acting like the latter kings of Israel & Judah and are not paying much attention to God and you are doing your own thing – maybe even outright disobeying the teachings of God?
Think about this for a moment – if Ezekiel were to sing a song about you would it be a song of joy or would be a song of lament?