HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
A Rebellious Nation Lost Forever?
JEHOVAH continued to instruct Ezekiel: “Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them’” (Ezekiel 3:4).
Our Creator speaks to a rebellious people who have rarely been inclined to take His warning messages seriously. Their descendants down through time have most often chosen to remain in the depths of idolatry and Sabbath-breaking, two sins against JEHOVAH God that Ezekiel emphasized
- Ezekiel 14:1-6; Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. 2 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? 4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; 5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols. 6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
- Ezekiel 20:12-13, Moreover, also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
- Ezekiel 20:16-17, 24; Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. 24 Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.
- Ezekiel 22:3, 8: 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. 8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths.
Tragically, these two trends continue unabated today.
But who truly represents the “Israel” today to whom these prophecies are intended? The present tiny state of Israel consists of a number of Jews descended from those of the kingdom of Judah, so the name Israel is a misnomer.
History and Bible prophecy show that the modern descendants of the other tribes of Israel stand clearly identified as the Americans, British Commonwealth and peoples of northwestern Europe.
The modern descendants of Israel have been likewise rebellious against JEHOVAH God. And all share in the same fate — national punishment and, for each individual, the ultimate penalty of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23). The prophecies of future national blessings are encouraging, but what good are they to those who have died?
After the Exodus from Egypt, a whole generation of disobedient Israelites perished in the wilderness. Later, many died at the hands of ruthless Assyrian invaders. Much later, about 40 years after the Messiah’s death and resurrection, many died tragically as a result of the Roman invasion of Judea and the capture of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Of course, the same fate is shared by those who never had the opportunity to choose a way of life to follow. So many people among the Israelites have died as victims of evil and injustice. Today we remember the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were callously murdered in Central and Eastern Europe. How should we try to understand all of these tragic occurrences? Is there no hope for even innocent children who died in infancy without ever knowing why?
Of course, these questions beset people of every nation — not just Israel. But JEHOVAH God has given a special message through Ezekiel to Israel in this regard — one that holds significance for all people.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW …