This is the continuation of God's explanation to the elders of Israel as to why He would not answer them if consulted. It is basically a history lesson of their nation.
Does God issue any commands?
- Since God had told Ezekiel to tell the elders of Israel that He would not be consulted by them this is a continuation of that command. Ezekiel was also told to tell them why and that is what this passage is about.
- God explained that He had commanded the people He led out of Egypt to be live set-apart lives.
- God explained that He had commanded the children of the wilderness wanderers not to follow in the sins of their parents.
- God commanded Ezekiel to tell the elders of Israel that the Israelites that settled Canaan had not followed His statutes or kept His sabbaths either. These had looked at the hills as places to sacrifice and the trees as medium for making idols.
- God accused that generation of doing worse than their ancestors. They were guilty also of offering their own children on the altars of idols and other abominations. That is why God would not be inquired of by them.
- God told Ezekiel to turn his face toward the south and prophesy against the forests. There would be forest fires to burn the green and the dry wood.
Does God make any promises?
- God's statutes and sabbaths were given as a sign of sanctification.
- God promised to rule Israel with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
- God promised to plead with them face to face.
- God again promised a remnant that would serve Him and would fellowship together with Him in His holy mountain.
Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?
- Jesus is the ruler of Israel who will rule with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. He it is that pleads with them face to face.
- Ezekiel told God that when he delivered God's message to the elders of Israel the men complained that he spoke in parables and not plainly. The people of Israel made the same complaint against Jesus in His day.
Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?
- Israel will be ruled by Jesus. They will pass under the rod and will brought into the bond of the covenant. All rebels will be purged and they will not be allowed to enter into the land. This might be speaking directly of the future Kingdom or it may be speaking of a time in Israel's Old Testament or New Testament history; however, it definitely fits the description of the future pure Kingdom of Israel when all believers will be part of God's covenant and will worship together in the New Jerusalem.