2 Kings 25:1–12; Ezekiel 33:21–33 (read online ⧉)
The fall of God’s City. The first taking of people had happened 9 years prior to the verses in 2 Kings. Then almost 1-1/2 years of a siege. The so-called People of God were people in misery.
The warriors fled. Let that sink in. This is not COVID-19. This is war. Those that fight the wars and defend the people…they fled. It is likely some of them were paid, foreign soldiers. However, the army was still mostly Israelite. They fled their own blood. They left their own blood behind. Abandoned.
King Zedekiah then compounded the problem and tried to flee with his soldiers that remained. They abandoned him. The King abandoned his people and was abandoned in turn. As a result, all but a very few were taken away.
The very poor remained. These were the people that were likely oppressed by the other Israelites. They could have well been the remnants of the non-Israelite tribes (Anakites and Gibeonites, for example) who were the ones who stayed. Likely the thought process would be that they would grateful for the departure of the Israelites and be loyal.
Poor Ezekiel then had to deliver the news to the exiles. Jerusalem had fallen.
Ezekiel delivered the message. The people heard but didn’t really listen. Then the messenger came (note that the timeline of this passage is not straight) and affirmed Ezekiel’s words.
Sadly, despite the confirmation of Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry, he was still ignored. Despite all the prophetic words spoken to them (those of Ezekiel and others), they still would not believe.
A number of modern music artists (and it really is nothing new) have songs of darkness and pain (sometimes theirs, sometimes that of the writer). These songs often have a cathartic effect, and it would seem that the exiles took Ezekiel’s words that way. What is also interesting is that Ezekiel is compared to a great singer/musician. It is known that many prophets did prophesy to music, and that could be the context.
Even when faced with all of this, Ezekiel remained faithful, and the Israelites remained faithless. God wasn’t done with redemption. The Israelites were done with God.
Father God, help us be the light to those that are done with you. Help us be your ambassadors that draw them to your love. Amen.
1) Have you ever listened to a sad or dark song, and felt release after it? What was it like?
2) Ezekiel was popular. He was attended to. He wasn’t listened to. Can you think of anything similar in your life?