Our reading today begins with yet another act prophecy. God tells Ezekiel that Judah is a rebellious house (12:2), an echo of what YHWH said when He called Ezekiel (see 2:1-7). He describes them as those who have eyes but can’t see and have ears but can’t hear (see Isa 42:18). He then tells Ezekiel to “go into exile” in their sight (v. 3). God hints that they will not understand the sign. Ezekiel is to dig through a wall (symbolizing an attempted escape from the siege – v. 5), hiding his eyes so that he cannot see the land, which the captives will not see (v. 6). Ezekiel obeys (v. 7).
The next day God tells Ezekiel to answer the questions he was getting because of the act (v. 9). The prince of Jerusalem is Zedekiah (v. 10). He will try to escape the siege (v. 12 – see Jer 52:7), but God will sovereignly make sure He is captured (v. 13 – see Jer Jer 52:8). He will go into exile, and him not seeing it is a reference to his eyes being put out (see Jer 52:11). Many will die by sword, famine, and pestilence, and but a few will go into captivity (v. 16 – see Jer 15:2).
Ezekiel is then told to eat and drink in fear and anxiety (v. 18) as a sign of how those who are in Jerusalem during the siege will eat and drink (v. 19). Though the people of Jerusalem have heard over and over that judgment is coming, they do not believe it because it hasn’t happened yet (v. 21, 27). God is about to make them believe it (v. 25, 28).
Chapter 13 begins with an indictment against false prophets. Because they have prophesied falsely (13:2-3), they have actually doomed Judah (v. 4). They have provided a false sense of security, so Judah was not prepared for Babylon to come against them (v. 5). So God will judge the false prophets (v. 8). They will not be part of the saved remnant (vv. 9-10). Their prophecies of peace are like whitewash on a wall. That will not keep the wall from falling (v. 12)! The wrath of God will break it down (v. 14). This is His sovereign judgment, and they will know it all too late!
God then tells Ezekiel to prophesy specifically against the female false prophets (v. 17). They lead the people into idolatry (v. 18 – the veils and bands are part of both Akkadian and Babylonian worship of false gods) and have led them astray like the male prophets (v. 19). So God will judge them, too (v. 20). And they will know all too late that He is the true God (v. 21). And He will save His spiritual people from their deceit (v. 23).
In chapter 14, some of the elders come to Ezekiel to seek a word from YHWH (14:1). But God will not be consulted by such idolaters (v. 3). They are basically playing both sides of the fence, worshiping YHWH along with other gods. But what He will do is call them to repentance (v. 5). And that is what He has Ezekiel do (v. 6). If they try to play both sides of the fence, YHWH will cut him off (vv. 7-8). God will remove idolaters and false prophets from among His people (vv. 10-11).
In verses 12-14, God declares that the punishment against Judah would not be avoided even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were still alive and there. God is saying that this is about each man being saved according to his spiritual state, not his national identity. Judah is going to be a wasteland (v. 15), and only the righteous be saved (v. 16) Judah is going to be destroyed (v. 17), and only the righteous will be saved (v. 18). Judah will suffer disease (v. 19), and only the righteous will be saved (v. 20). Judah will be utterly destroyed (v. 21). The sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence point ultimately to spiritual death (see Rev 6:7-8).
But there will be survivors (from spiritual death). They will be consolation for the destruction of the physical people (v. 22). They will be the proof that all God is doing has a purpose (v. 23). God has one plan of salvation that has not been hindered in the least by the failure of the physical people. That was part of His plan all along.
Now we turn to Psalm 10. No one knows the author of Psalm 10 or when it was written, but it is thematically similar to what we just read in Ezekiel. God has turned away from His people (10:1). The arrogant schemes of the wicked in verse 2 bring to mind the false prophets of Israel or the elders who worship YHWH and other gods, leading the people astray (see also vv. 7-10). These people do not really seek God (v. 4). They believe they are beyond judgment from God (vv. 5-6, 11). This is similar to how Judah believed they would not be judged simply because it hadn’t happened yet (see Ezek 12:21-28).
In verse 12, the Psalmist prays for God to act on behalf of His people (the spiritual remnant). The sins of the wicked are not hidden from God, just as the needs of His people are known to Him (v. 14). The need of the people is judgment against the wicked (v. 15)! In verse 16, note that the nations perish from His land. God is sovereign over all, Judah, Israel, and all the nations alike! There was nothing inherently special about the Promised Land, except that it is where He chose to let His people dwell. The Psalm ends with a prayer for judgment against the wicked, and consolation for the righteous (vv. 17-18).