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Sunday, November 15 2015

Ezekiel 22: The Two Ways That Israel Rose To The Top

"The house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver"

"The cream rises to the top" is a mechanical milk-separation term that has become an analogy in the business, political or sports world for having the most-qualified and best-suited people in positions of leadership. The logic of it is sometimes valid.

Israel too was the "cream of the crop" of humanity, not because they were superior human beings (they were literally created from the nations around them; see The Origin Of Israelites And Jews), but because, when they obeyed and lived by the Word of God, they were blessed in all ways. Unfortunately, cream can spoil, or be spoiled, but even then the analogy holds for what happened to the Kingdoms of Israel, from the united Kingdom of Israel under King Solomon (see What Caused Solomon's Idolatry?), to the divided Kingdom of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes) and the Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah). They all did it.

When they became corrupt, another natural rising could be used to describe their decadent political and religious state (see Iniquity In History And Prophecy and Decadence In History And Prophecy). In metal refining, the slag, or dross, the impurities, rise to the top. The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah experienced both kinds of rising.

Slag The LORD's (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) declaration of condemnation (pun intended - condemn nation) was starkly similar to what He declared about all of humanity just before the Flood (see Why Did The Flood Happen?).

"22:1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

22:2 Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations. 22:3 Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself. 22:4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. 22:5 Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed.

22:6 Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood. 22:7 In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow. 22:8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. 22:9 In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness. 22:10 In thee have they discovered their fathers' nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. 22:11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter. 22:12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.

22:13 Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. 22:14 Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it. 22:15 And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. 22:16 And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 22:1-16 KJV)

The LORD then used the "slag," or dross, term for what Israel and Judah had chosen to make of and for themselves: "The house of Israel is to me become dross."

"22:17 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

22:18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. 22:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 22:20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. 22:21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. 22:22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.

22:23 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

22:24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. 22:25 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. 22:26 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. 22:27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. 22:28 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. 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.

22:30 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. 22:31 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 22:17-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: Is the day surely coming when "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch"?
See Malachi: Behold The Day Cometh


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This Day In History, November 15

655: The Battle of Winwaed; Oswiu of Northumbria defeated Penda of Mercia. The battle is regarded by some historians to be the largest military confrontation between the early northern and southern divisions of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain.

Britain 1315: Swiss forces defeated invading Austrians at the Battle of Morgarten.

1532: Following the Caribbean-area voyages of Christopher Columbus (see the map of the Spain-sponsored voyages of Columbus at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy), Spanish conquistadors (conquerors) under Hernando de Soto encountered Inca leader Atahualpa for the first time outside Cajamarca.

1533: Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire that Pizarro later conquered.

1630: German astronomer Johannes Kepler died. He established what are now known as Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion (see also What Can You See In The Firmament Of The Heavens?).

1660: The first kosher butcher, Asser Levy, was licensed in New Amsterdam (later renamed New York City after the British captured it from the Dutch). New York is today the largest Jewish-population city in the world (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).

1688: The "Glorious Revolution" began when William of Orange landed at Brixham.

1859: The first modern restoration of the Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece.

1864: During the U.S. Civil War, Union general William Sherman departed on his "march to the sea," leaving much of the city of Atlanta burning into ashes.

1889: Brazil was declared a republic by Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca. Emperor Pedro II was deposed in the military coup.

1920: The first League of Nations session opened, in Geneva, Switzerland. After the League of Nations failed to stop the Second World War from happening (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), it was reborn as the United Nations in 1945.

1939: Adolf Hitler's Nazis began the mass murder of Warsaw Jews (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1943: Nazi official Heinrich Himmler ordered that Gypsies in Nazi Germany were to be put "on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps."

1948: MacKenzie King retired as Canada's 10th Prime Minister; he was succeeded by Louis St. Laurent.

1957: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev bragged that Russian missiles were more accurate, and challenged U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower to a rocket-range shooting match.

1969: During the Vietnam War, 500,000 protestors in Washington staged a peaceful "March Against Death."

1971: Intel released the world's first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.

1984: A human infant, "Baby Fae," died 20 days after receiving a baboon heart transplant in Loma Linda, California.

2007: Cyclone Sidr struck Bangladesh; it killed 5,000 people and destroyed the world's largest mangrove forest.



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