September 6, 2015
September 7, 2015
September 8, 2015
September 9, 2015
September 10, 2015
September 11, 2015
September 12, 2015
1 Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” 2 And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. 4 And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” 5 And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. 6 Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. 7 Then he said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out.” So they went out and struck in the city. 8 And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”
9 Then he said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.’ 10 As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.”
11 And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his waist, brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded me.”
Zion, the City of Our God
A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
1 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King.
3 Within her citadels God
has made himself known as a fortress.
4 For behold, the kings assembled;
they came on together.
5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
they were in panic; they took to flight.
6 Trembling took hold of them there,
anguish as of a woman in labor.
7 By the east wind you shattered
the ships of Tarshish.
8 As we have heard, so have we seen
in the city of the Lord of hosts,
in the city of our God,
which God will establish forever. Selah
9 We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
in the midst of your temple.
10 As your name, O God,
so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Let Mount Zion be glad!
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments!
12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
number her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
go through her citadels,
that you may tell the next generation
14 that this is God,
our God forever and ever.
He will guide us forever.[a]
If Ezekiel 8 describes the corrupt worship that was going on in Jerusalem in the years leading up to her destruction in 587 B.C., Ezekiel 9 describes something of what God does about it.
There is both a negative component and a positive element. In his vision, Ezekiel hears God call for “the guards of the city” (9:1)—more precisely, the executioners of the city. Six men arrive, “each with a deadly weapon in his hand” (9:2). A seventh man, clothed in linen, has a writing kit at his side. God commissions him to put an identifying mark on the foreheads of those who will escape slaughter; he commissions the executioners to go through the city “and kill, without showing pity or compassion” (9:5), beginning at the sanctuary itself. “So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple” (9:6).
As they proceed with their grisly task, Ezekiel cries out, “Ah, Sovereign LORD! Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?” (9:8). The Lord responds with a devastating indictment (9:9-10) that includes a word-play: the people of Israel insist the Lord does not “see” (or “look”), so the Lord resolves not to “see/look” on them with pity or spare them. He is resolved to “bring down on their own heads what they have done” (9:10).
The positive element has already been alluded to. Not everyone is destroyed. The seventh man, the man with the writing kit, goes through the city putting a mark on the foreheads “of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it” (9:4). The executioners are strictly forbidden to harm these people (9:5). Note well: those who are spared are not those who simply sit on the sidelines, but those who actively grieve over the spiritual degradation of the city. They may not have the power to effect change, but they have not sunk into the lassitude of careless indifference. And God spares them.
Of course, all that is described here takes place within Ezekiel’s visionary world. In the real world, we are not to think that all the righteous and only the righteous escaped all of the sufferings associated with Nebuchadnezzar’s siege: the Bible is full of stories in which righteous people suffer (e.g., Naboth the vineyard owner). What this vision does mean is that God himself ordains the judgment, and God himself vindicates those who are covenantally faithful. Similar symbolism is picked up at the end of Revelation 13 and the beginning of Revelation 14 (see vol. 1, meditation for December 23).
The Glory of the Lord Leaves the Temple
1 Then I looked, and behold, on the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire,[a] in appearance like a throne. 2 And he said to the man clothed in linen, “Go in among the whirling wheels underneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.”
And he went in before my eyes. 3 Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the house, when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court. 4 And the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord. 5 And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks.
6 And when he commanded the man clothed in linen, “Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim,” he went in and stood beside a wheel. 7 And a cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim, and took some of it and put it into the hands of the man clothed in linen, who took it and went out. 8 The cherubim appeared to have the form of a human hand under their wings.
9 And I looked, and behold, there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub, and the appearance of the wheels was like sparkling beryl. 10 And as for their appearance, the four had the same likeness, as if a wheel were within a wheel. 11 When they went, they went in any of their four directions[b] without turning as they went, but in whatever direction the front wheel[c] faced, the others followed without turning as they went. 12 And their whole body, their rims, and their spokes, their wings,[d] and the wheels were full of eyes all around—the wheels that the four of them had. 13 As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing “the whirling wheels.” 14 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was a human face, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
15 And the cherubim mounted up. These were the living creatures that I saw by the Chebar canal. 16 And when the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them. And when the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the wheels did not turn from beside them. 17 When they stood still, these stood still, and when they mounted up, these mounted up with them, for the spirit of the living creatures[e] was in them.
18 Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. 19 And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out, with the wheels beside them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.
20 These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the Chebar canal; and I knew that they were cherubim. 21 Each had four faces, and each four wings, and underneath their wings the likeness of human hands. 22 And as for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the Chebar canal. Each one of them went straight forward.
Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble?
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
1 Hear this, all peoples!
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor together!
3 My mouth shall speak wisdom;
the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
4 I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.
5 Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches?
7 Truly no man can ransom another,
or give to God the price of his life,
8 for the ransom of their life is costly
and can never suffice,
9 that he should live on forever
and never see the pit.
10 For he sees that even the wise die;
the fool and the stupid alike must perish
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their homes forever,[a]
their dwelling places to all generations,
though they called lands by their own names.
12 Man in his pomp will not remain;
he is like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
yet after them people approve of their boasts.[b] Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
death shall be their shepherd,
and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.
Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
for he will receive me. Selah
16 Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
when the glory of his house increases.
17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
his glory will not go down after him.
18 For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed
—and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—
19 his soul will go to the generation of his fathers,
who will never again see light.
20 Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.
In light of the terrible judgments pronounced against Jerusalem in Ezekiel 8-11, with the beginning of the withdrawal of the glory of the Lord in Ezekiel 10, we should think through the bearing of such sins in our own framework:
Why do we choose what can last but an hour
Before we must leave it behind?
Why do possessions exert brutal power
To render us harsh and unkind?
Why do mere things have the lure of a flower
Whose scent makes us selfish and blind?
The cisterns run dry, and sour is our breath;
We dwell in the valley of death.
Why is betrayal attractive to us
Who often are hurt and betrayed?
Why barter faithful devotion for lust,
Integrity cast far away?
Why do our dreams, then our deeds, beggar trust,
Our guilt far too heavy to pay?
The cisterns run dry, and sour is our breath;
We dwell in the valley of death.
Why do we stubbornly act out a role,
Convincing the world that we’ve won?
Why for mere winning will we sell our soul,
In order to be number one?
Why sear our conscience so we’re in control—
Despairing of what we’ve become?
The cisterns run dry, and sour is our breath;
We dwell in the valley of death.
Why do you promise to quench all our thirst,
When we have despised all your ways?
Why do you rescue the damned and the cursed,
By dying our death in our place?
Why do you transform our hearts till they burst
With vibrant expressions of praise?
The well flows with life—and we’re satisfied—
The fountain that flows from your side.
Judgment on Wicked Counselors
1 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the house of the Lord, which faces east. And behold, at the entrance of the gateway there were twenty-five men. And I saw among them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. 2 And he said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city; 3 who say, ‘The time is not near[a] to build houses. This city is the cauldron, and we are the meat.’ 4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man.”
5 And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the Lord: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind. 6 You have multiplied your slain in this city and have filled its streets with the slain. 7 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the meat, and this city is the cauldron, but you shall be brought out of the midst of it. 8 You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you, declares the Lord God. 9 And I will bring you out of the midst of it, and give you into the hands of foreigners, and execute judgments upon you. 10 You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 11 This city shall not be your cauldron, nor shall you be the meat in the midst of it. I will judge you at the border of Israel, 12 and you shall know that I am the Lord. For you have not walked in my statutes, nor obeyed my rules, but have acted according to the rules of the nations that are around you.”
13 And it came to pass, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell down on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, “Ah, Lord God! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?”
Israel's New Heart and Spirit
14 And the word of the Lord came to me: 15 “Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, your kinsmen,[b] the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession.’ 16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while[c] in the countries where they have gone.’ 17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ 18 And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will[d] bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord God.”
22 Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. 23 And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city. 24 And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in the vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up from me. 25 And I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me.
God Himself Is Judge
A Psalm of Asaph.
1 The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes; he does not keep silence;[a]
before him is a devouring fire,
around him a mighty tempest.
4 He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6 The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge! Selah
7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,[b]
and perform your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
16 But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline,
and you cast my words behind you.
18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
and you keep company with adulterers.
19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother's son.
21 These things you have done, and I have been silent;
you thought that I[c] was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.
22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
There are two highly symbolic actions in Ezekiel 11, one of them beginning in Ezekiel 10, the other entirely within the chapter at hand:
(1) Although it is difficult to trace exactly the movement of the glory of the Lord, it is reasonably clear that this glory, once associated with the temple—especially with the Most Holy Place and the ark of the covenant over which the cherubim stretched their wings—abandons the temple and hovers over the mobile throne. The same mobile throne Ezekiel had seen in Babylon is now parked by the south entrance to the temple. The four living creatures, now identified as cherubim, transport the glory of the Lord to the east gate (10:18-19), and then to the mountain east of the city (11:23). Thus the presence of God judicially abandons the temple and the city. Nothing stands in the way of their destruction.
(2) The picture of the cooking pot (11:3-12) conjures up the false sense of security that a strong, walled city could engender among its inhabitants. The Jerusalemites thought of themselves as the good meat within the “pot” of the walled city, nicely surrounded and protected. But God himself will drive them out (11:7). This city will not be a “pot” for them at all (11:11). The truth of the matter is that the Jerusalemites, whom the exiles were inclined to lionize because they were still there in Jerusalem, were extraordinarily arrogant. While the exiles pinned their hopes on them, the Jerusalemites themselves saw the exiles as so much rubbish, people rejected by God and transported far away from the land and the temple (11:14-15). Indeed, God says there is going to be a mighty reversal. True, God did scatter the exiles among the nations. But while they have been away, God himself has been their sanctuary (11:16)—which shows that the temple is not strictly needed for God to be present among his people, to be a “sanctuary” for them. Thus while the Jerusalemites will be destroyed (even as they dismiss the exiles as of no account), God will gather together a remnant from among them (11:17). Ultimately he will put into place a new covenant that will transform them (11:18-20). These themes are taken up in more detail later in the book (e.g., chap. 36).
The vision of chapters 8—11 ends with Ezekiel transported back to Babylon, telling the people everything he has seen and heard. The first strands of hope in this book have been laid out, but not in the categories expected. Jerusalem will be destroyed, and God’s purposes for the future center on the exiles themselves. How often in Scripture does God effect his rescue, his salvation, through the weak and the despised!
Judah's Captivity Symbolized
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house. 3 As for you, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight. You shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though[a] they are a rebellious house. 4 You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile, and you shall go out yourself at evening in their sight, as those do who must go into exile. 5 In their sight dig through the wall, and bring your baggage out through it. 6 In their sight you shall lift the baggage upon your shoulder and carry it out at dusk. You shall cover your face that you may not see the land, for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel.”
7 And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands. I brought out my baggage at dusk, carrying it on my shoulder in their sight.
8 In the morning the word of the Lord came to me: 9 “Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ 10 Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: This oracle concerns[b] the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.’[c] 11 Say, ‘I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them. They shall go into exile, into captivity.’ 12 And the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage upon his shoulder at dusk, and shall go out. They shall dig through the wall to bring him out through it. He shall cover his face, that he may not see the land with his eyes. 13 And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. And I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, yet he shall not see it, and he shall die there. 14 And I will scatter toward every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops, and I will unsheathe the sword after them. 15 And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries. 16 But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the Lord.”
17 And the word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink water with trembling and with anxiety. 19 And say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord God concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink water in dismay. In this way her land will be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it. 20 And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
21 And the word of the Lord came to me: 22 “Son of man, what is this proverb that you[d] have about the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing’? 23 Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.’ But say to them, The days are near, and the fulfillment[e] of every vision. 24 For there shall be no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25 For I am the Lord; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord God.”
26 And the word of the Lord came to me: 27 “Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ 28 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord God.”
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me,[a] O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
The substance of Ezekiel 12 is easy to understand.
One can imagine the power in Ezekiel’s symbol-laden actions. In full view of
the exiles, he packs his meager belongings in exactly the same way he would if he were a Jerusalemite preparing for a seven-hundred-mile march into exile. What he could bring would have to be carried on his shoulders. At night he digs through the mud-brick walls of his own house. Probably this symbolizes the futile attempt at breakout made by Zedekiah and those immediately around him (2 Kings 25:4; Jer. 39:4): they fled, but they could not escape. All of this Ezekiel does without saying a word, and then the next morning he delivers his message: “I am a sign to you. As I have done, so it will be done to them. They will go into exile as captives” (12:11)—with further explanations following (12:12-16).
The second symbol-laden action adds a layer to something already in place. So far as his public eating is concerned, Ezekiel is still restricted to the starvation rations imposed in 4:9-17. Now as he eats them, he shudders and puts on a display of terror and despair (12:17-20).
And then the stunning application. The people have heard a lot of prophets, and they have grown so cynical that they are circulating a couple of proverbs: “The days go by and every vision comes to nothing” (12:22); “The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future” (12:27). After all, not only are there false prophets around, but even the true prophets like Ezekiel and (in Jerusalem) Jeremiah keep promising the destruction of the city while years pass with its mighty walls intact. Jeremiah has been at it for decades. Doubtless God sees the long delay as powerful evidence of his forbearance and mercy, providing multiplied opportunities for repentance; the people simply grow cynical. So judgment will certainly fall, Ezekiel says—and the popular proverbs will be destroyed.
Peter applies the same point to Christians, drawing from another Old Testament account. After the warnings began, the Flood was decades coming, and no one was ready for it except Noah and his family. So it is not surprising that in the “last days”—the days between the first and second comings of Christ, the days in which we live—new generations of scoffers arise and make a virtue of the same wretched cynicism: “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4). But the Flood came. And so will the fire.
False Prophets Condemned
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. 5 You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord. 6 They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. 7 Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the Lord,’ although I have not spoken?”
8 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord God. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God. 10 Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash,[a] 11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. 12 And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ 13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. 14 And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 15 Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, 16 the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord God.
17 “And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own hearts. Prophesy against them 18 and say, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls! Will you hunt down souls belonging to my people and keep your own souls alive? 19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.
20 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. 21 Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 22 Because you have disheartened the righteous falsely, although I have not grieved him, and you have encouraged the wicked, that he should not turn from his evil way to save his life, 23 therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the Lord.”
The Steadfast Love of God Endures
To the choirmaster. A Maskil[a] of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”
1 Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
2 Your tongue plots destruction,
like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
3 You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah
4 You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.
5 But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
6 The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
7 “See the man who would not make
God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!”[b]
8 But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
9 I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.
There Is None Who Does Good
To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath. A Maskil[c] of David.
1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
there is none who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven
on the children of man
to see if there are any who understand,[d]
who seek after God.
3 They have all fallen away;
together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.
4 Have those who work evil no knowledge,
who eat up my people as they eat bread,
and do not call upon God?
5 There they are, in great terror,
where there is no terror!
For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you;
you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.
6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
The Lord Upholds My Life
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil[e] of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “Is not David hiding among us?”
1 O God, save me by your name,
and vindicate me by your might.
2 O God, hear my prayer;
give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For strangers[f] have risen against me;
ruthless men seek my life;
they do not set God before themselves. Selah
4 Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life.
5 He will return the evil to my enemies;
in your faithfulness put an end to them.
6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 For he has delivered me from every trouble,
and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.
IN ALMOST EVERY GENERATION there are both true voices and false. How can one discern between the two?
The question cannot be comprehensively answered by referring to only one passage. For instance, Deuteronomy 13 provides one framework that should be carefully thought through, but it is not the only one. Here in Ezekiel 13 the matter is cast not so much as a set of points to help the righteous discern between true prophet and false, but as a denunciation of all that is false. In so doing God provides at least a partial profile of false prophets.
(1) False prophets speak out of their own spirit, out of their own imaginations. They may think they have something from the Lord, but they do not. “Their visions are false and their divinations a lie” (13:6). This is not so much a principle that the onlooker can use, as a warning to the false prophets themselves. False prophets may deceive other people; they never deceive God. And it is to God that we will one day have to give an account (13:8-9).
(2) They do not deal with the fundamental issues of sin, corruption, injustice, and covenantal faithlessness. To use the metaphor of a walled city, instead of repairing the “wall” they merely cover it with whitewash, so that it looks sturdy enough to the casual observer even though it is hopelessly compromised. “You have not gone up to the breaks in the wall to repair it for the house of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the LORD” (13:5), Ezekiel writes. A good storm strips away the whitewash and discloses the horrible weakness. The false prophets deal in omens and end-times fancies and promises of revival, but they do not declare the holiness of God and the odiousness of sin; they fail to bring people to repentance, faith, and obedience.
(3) They are more interested in auguries, telling personal fortunes, serving as “prophetic” personal hope-spinners, than in conveying the word of the Lord. They are not really serious people—except for their seriousness when it comes to getting paid (13:17-19).
(4) One of the larger effects they have is to discourage the genuine people of God. Too many false voices in a culture and many people become confused, disheartened, disoriented. Instead of maintaining a moral standard that reinforces righteousness, builds character, and encourages godliness, these people pronounce their curses and taboos on people God himself has not condemned, and exonerate the wicked so that they do not turn from their evil ways and so save their lives (13:20-23).
Where in our culture do these characteristics thrive? Where do they thrive in the professing church?
Idolatrous Elders Condemned
1 Then certain of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. 2 And the word of the Lord came to me: 3 “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them? 4 Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols, 5 that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are all estranged from me through their idols.
6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. 7 For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the Lord will answer him myself. 8 And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 9 And if the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10 And they shall bear their punishment[a]—the punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer shall be alike— 11 that the house of Israel may no more go astray from me, nor defile themselves anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be my people and I may be their God, declares the Lord God.”
Jerusalem Will Not Be Spared
12 And the word of the Lord came to me: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply[b] of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, 14 even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord God.
15 “If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it be made desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even if these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.
17 “Or if I bring a sword upon that land and say, Let a sword pass through the land, and I cut off from it man and beast, 18 though these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they alone would be delivered.
19 “Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast, 20 even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord God, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.
21 “For thus says the Lord God: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! 22 But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it. 23 They will console you, when you see their ways and their deeds, and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, declares the Lord God.”
Cast Your Burden on the Lord
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil[a] of David.
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
2 Attend to me, and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
3 because of the noise of the enemy,
because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they drop trouble upon me,
and in anger they bear a grudge against me.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
6 And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
7 yes, I would wander far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
8 I would hurry to find a shelter
from the raging wind and tempest.”
9 Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it
on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11 ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
do not depart from its marketplace.
12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
then I could hide from him.
13 But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
14 We used to take sweet counsel together;
within God's house we walked in the throng.
15 Let death steal over them;
let them go down to Sheol alive;
for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.
16 But I call to God,
and the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.
18 He redeems my soul in safety
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
19 God will give ear and humble them,
he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
because they do not change
and do not fear God.
20 My companion[b] stretched out his hand against his friends;
he violated his covenant.
21 His speech was smooth as butter,
yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
yet they were drawn swords.
22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
23 But you, O God, will cast them down
into the pit of destruction;
men of blood and treachery
shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.
Three observations from Ezekiel 14:
First, the peculiar expression “set up idols in their hearts,” repeated several times with minor variations in 14:1-8, reeks of duplicity. Publicly there may be a fair bit of covenantal allegiance, but heart loyalty simply isn’t there. To set up idols in the heart is to separate oneself from the living God (14:7).
That danger is no less treacherous today than in Ezekiel’s time. Somehow we manage to adhere to our creedal profession, but if anything goes wrong our undisciplined rage shows that we maintain little real trust in the living God: our secret idol is comfort and physical well-being. We attend church, but rarely do we pray in private or thoughtfully read the Word of God. We sing lustily at missionary conventions, but have not shared the Gospel with anyone for years. And deep down we are more interested in our reputation, or in sex, or in holidays, than we are in basking in the awesome radiance and majesty of God. Meditate on 14:8, and ask for forgiveness and grace to become more consistent.
Second, those who set up idols in their hearts are the very people most likely to seek out a prophet or a preacher to keep up appearances and secure a little help along the way. But God says, “I the LORD will answer [them] myself in keeping with [their] great idolatry” (14:4). He will “entice” the prophets (14:9-11)—the word might better here be rendered “deceive.” God’s “deception” of the prophets is part of his judicial sentence. Yet it is a peculiar “deception,” for God’s revelation is already there in public Scriptures to be read and studied; moreover, he now openly tells the prophets of his judicial hand upon them. If they had an iota of spiritual sensibility, the warning would drive them to self-examination and repentance. But no: the sentence is pronounced, and they are deceived. Such prophets lie to the people, and the people like the lies and listen to them (cf. 13:19).
Third, sometimes judgment becomes so inevitable that not even the presence of the most righteous would delay it any longer (14:12-23). The reasoning presupposes the theology of Genesis 18: God may spare a wicked city or nation for the sake of the just who reside there. But where wickedness overflows, not even the presence of Noah (spared from the Flood), Job (declared “blameless” and “upright,” Job 1:1), and Daniel (Ezekiel’s contemporary, serving in the Babylonian courts, renowned for his piety) will stay the disaster that God ordains. Indeed, when the exiles see the revolting conduct of the new refugees, they will realize how right God was (14:22-23).
Jerusalem, a Useless Vine
1 And the word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, how does the wood of the vine surpass any wood, the vine branch that is among the trees of the forest? 3 Is wood taken from it to make anything? Do people take a peg from it to hang any vessel on it? 4 Behold, it is given to the fire for fuel. When the fire has consumed both ends of it, and the middle of it is charred, is it useful for anything? 5 Behold, when it was whole, it was used for nothing. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it ever be used for anything! 6 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so have I given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 7 And I will set my face against them. Though they escape from the fire, the fire shall yet consume them, and you will know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. 8 And I will make the land desolate, because they have acted faithlessly, declares the Lord God.”
In God I Trust
To the choirmaster: according to The Dove on Far-off Terebinths. A Miktam[a] of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.
1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
2 my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
3 When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?
5 All day long they injure my cause;[b]
all their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They stir up strife, they lurk;
they watch my steps,
as they have waited for my life.
7 For their crime will they escape?
In wrath cast down the peoples, O God!
8 You have kept count of my tossings;[c]
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that[d] God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 I must perform my vows to you, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.
Let Your Glory Be over All the Earth
To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam[e] of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
3 He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
4 My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
6 They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
7 My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
8 Awake, my glory![f]
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
The superscription of Psalm 57 specifies that this psalm was written when David “had fled from Saul into the cave” (cf. 1 Sam. 22:1; 24:3). What we find, then, is something of the emotional and spiritual tone of the man when he could say, in effect, that “there is only a step between me and death” (1 Sam. 20:3). Some reflections:
(1) Even as he cries for mercy, David expresses his confidence in God’s sovereign power. The language is stunning: “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me” (57:2). The title “God Most High” is not very common in the Psalms. Perhaps David is thinking of another man without a home, Abraham, who was more familiar with this way of addressing God. Certainly David does not think that somehow circumstances have slipped away from such a God. He begs for mercy, but he recognizes that God, the powerful God, fulfills his purposes in him. This mixture of humble pleading and quiet trust in God’s sovereign power recurs in Scripture again and again. Nowhere does it reach a higher plane than in the prayer of the Lord Jesus in the garden: “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39). In some measure or another, every follower of Jesus Christ will want to learn the anguish and the joy of that sort of praying.
(2) The refrain in 57:5 and 11—“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth”—finds David not only in reverent worship, but affirming something believers easily forget, not least when they are under duress. Perhaps the clearest New Testament equivalent lies in the prayer the Lord Jesus taught us: “[H]allowed be your name” (Matt. 6:9). Here David meditates not on God’s sovereign power, but on God’s sovereign importance. More important, for David, than whether or not he gets out of the cave, is that God be exalted above the heavens. The passionate prayer that willingly submerges urgent personal interests to God’s glory breeds both joy and stability: “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music” (57:7).
(3) Rather striking is David’s glance at the orbit where he intends to bear witness: “I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies” (57:9-10). No truncated vision, this. And today as countless millions sing these words, David’s vow has been fulfilled far more extensively than even he could have imagined.
Pray for God’s mercy to us in every aspect of our lives but particularly in regard to the troubles we face in this world. Ask God to guide us in fulfilling His purpose for our individual lives and our life as a faith family. Praise God for the great gift of His salvation. Pray for others to come to know the hope and refuge that can be found in God. Ask the Spirit to keep us from complacency in our Christian lives and to daily call us to trust and follow Him. Pray for God to use us individually and corporately to see Him glorified among all peoples.
This week we are praying for the pregnancy resource ministries located in Vestavia (Sav-a-Life) and Shelby County (Sav-a-Life Shelby). These comprehensive pregnancy care ministries are dedicated to offering free and confidential services in a loving environment to women, men, and families facing an unplanned pregnancy. Free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, abortion education, parenting classes, and material assistance are just some of the many services offered to empower women and men to make a life-affirming decision. We are also praying for Grace & Truth Church and Steve Longenecker, Pastor.
Day 1: Pray for the board and staff at both Sav-A-Life ministries to be encouraged, to walk in faith, and to not be weary in the battle against abortion. Pray for them to stay strong in their mission and to walk in love and truth.
Day 2: Pray for the hearts of women, men, and families that Sav-A-Life reaches to be softened to the gospel. Pray for them to choose physical life for their child and for God to impart eternal life to them.
Day 3: Pray for the volunteers at Sav-A-Life to be strengthened in their own walk with the Lord as they lead others to Christ. Pray for God to give them the words to meet their clients where they are in life. Pray for volunteers to join the upcoming Vestavia Hills Sav-A-Life Training.
Day 4: Pray for the students who will hear the healthy relationship message from the school program Decisions, Choices, and Options. Pray for students to take steps towards healthy relationships in the midst of a sex-obsessed culture.
Day 5: Pray for the students and faculty at both the University of Montevallo and Jeff State as Sav-A-Life Shelby begins to reach out to more college students. Pray for connections to be made leading to opportunities to share the gospel.
Day 6: Pray for the staff and volunteers overseeing the start up of the new STD testing and counseling program at Sav- A-Life Shelby. Pray for both women and men to seek this service so that more will be reached in the name of Christ.
This week we are praying for the people of Syria and the millions of refugees who are being affected by the conflict in their country. We are also praying for Brook Hills partners who are working among Syrian refugees displaced by war in neighboring countries. Join us this week as we pray for Syria’s people. Interested in joining a Short-Term team that will be serving among Syrian refugees this next year? Visit the Global kiosk or contact email@example.com.
Day 1: It is estimated that over 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced because of the war and over 3 million of those are refugees. Pray for God to comfort those who have fled and now find refuge in different countries. Pray for God to give wisdom and fortitude to world leaders who have the power to intervene.
Day 2: In many instances, churches and believers in other countries are reaching out to help provide for the physical needs of many Syrian refugees. Many Syrians are hearing the truth for the first time. Pray for God to open the hearts of Syrians to Christ who can save them.
Day 3: Pray for God to use this turmoil to bring openness to the gospel, for many to become transformed by Christ, and to then become reproducing disciple-makers.
Day 4: There are thousands of Syrian children who have been forced to flee with their families. Pray for God to protect this generation of children who are experiencing harsh conditions and deadly realities.
Day 5: Pray for Brook Hills partners in Turkey and Jordan who are currently receiving Syrian refugees into their countries. Pray for God to give wisdom and resources to provide both physically and spiritually for those they are receiving. Pray for the church to extend its hand and welcome those who are displaced.
Day 6: Pray for God, the one who has all power over creation and history, to bring about peace in Syria for the good of those who live there and for His glory among all nations.
At Your name
The mountains shake and crumble
At Your name
The oceans roar and tumble
At Your name angels will bow
The earth will rejoice
Your people cry out
Lord of all the earth we shout Your name
Shout Your name
Filling up the skies with endless praise
We love to shout Your name oh Lord
At Your name
The morning breaks in glory
At Your name
Creation sings Your story
At Your name angels will bow
The earth will rejoice
Your people cry out
There is no one like our God
We will praise You praise You
There's no one like our God
We will sing we will sing
There is no one like our God
We will praise You praise You
There's no one like our God
We will sing
Now why this fear and unbelief
Has not the Father put to grief
His spotless Son for us
And will the righteous Judge of men
Condemn me for that debt of sin
Now canceled at the cross
Jesus all my trust is in Your blood
Jesus You've rescued us
Through Your great love
Complete atonement You have made
And by Your death have fully paid
The debt Your people owed
No wrath remains for us to face
We're sheltered by Your saving grace
And sprinkled with Your blood
How sweet the sound of saving grace
How sweet the sound of saving grace
Christ died for me
Be still my soul and know this peace
The merits of your great High Priest
Have bought your liberty
Rely then on His precious blood
Don't fear your banishment from God
Since Jesus sets you free
I cast my mind to Calvary
Where Jesus bled and died for me
I see His wounds His hands His feet
My Savior on that cursed tree
His body bound and drenched in tears
They laid Him down in Joseph's tomb
The entrance sealed by heavy stone
Messiah still and all alone
O praise the Name of the Lord our God
O praise His Name forevermore
For endless days we will sing Your praise
O Lord O Lord our God
Then on the third at break of dawn
The Son of heaven rose again
O trampled death where is your sting
The angels roar for Christ the King
He shall return in robes of white
The blazing sun shall pierce the night
And I will rise among the saints
My gaze transfixed on Jesus' face
Who has held the oceans in His hands
Who has numbered every grain of sand
Kings and nations tremble at His voice
All creation rises to rejoice
Behold our God seated on His throne
Come let us adore Him
Behold our King nothing can compare
Come let us adore Him
Who has given counsel to the Lord
Who can question any of His words
Who can teach the One who knows all things
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds
Who has felt the nails upon His hand
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal humbled to the grave
Jesus Savior risen now to reign
You will reign forever
Let Your glory fill the earth
You will reign forever
Let Your glory fill
The heavens ring
The saints all sing
Great is Your faithfulness
From age to age we will proclaim
Great is Your faithfulness
How great is Your faithfulness
Now unto the King who reigns over all
And never changes or turns
Unfailing justice unfading grace
Whose promises remain
Yes Your promises remain
Ev'rything changes but You stay the same
Your Word and kingdom endure
We lean on the promise of all that You are
And trust forevermore
We will trust forevermore
From generation to generation
You never failed us O God
Yesterday and today and tomorrow
Until the day You return