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In this chapter the Prophet is reproving the false prophets, and denouncing a woe upon them and the lying prophetesses.
There is somewhat very striking and awful in this scripture. One should hardly conceive it possible that any men, much less a multitude of men, should ever go forward unsent, and without authority from the Lord, to speak in his name, and more especially in times of public danger; yet we find the history of the Church furnisheth numberless instances of the kind. It hath been the custom in all ages. Reader! it is much to be feared that it is so now. The ministry is with some a genteel profession; with others, a lucrative one; and when worldly motives prevail, and men assume the office for filthy lucre's sake, they run unsent, and speak lies in the name of the Lord. Oh! that everyone about to enter the service of the Sanctuary would pause at the threshold, and recollect that the question put, are you inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon you this office, is answered to God, and not to man. What awful expressions the Lord makes use of to deter: behold I am against you, saith the Lord. Oh! for grace, to have a right understanding in this weighty matter!
There were, it should seem, in Ezekiel's days, women also that prophesied, and those prophesied falsely. We read of one Anna, a prophetess in the Church, just at the birth of Christ; and the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost, we know, was both on sons and daughters. Luke 2:36 ; Joel 2:28 . But the women here spoken of are expressly declared to be lying prophets, and such as prophesied for gain. The pillows for arm holes, and kerchiefs for covering, are figurative: it is to be supposed intimating, the false security they held forth to quiet the alarms of a guilty conscience. But, Reader, do not fail to remark the sweet assurance given by the Holy Ghost to the people of God, to preserve them from such preachings. I will deliver my people out of your hands. So that the Lord undertakes to preserve his people from their delusions. And while a woe is pronounced against false prophets, the Lord's Israel are assured, that the Lord will reveal himself to his people otherwise than he doeth to the world, and they shall know; saith Jehovah, that I am the Lord.
READER! what a mercy is it, in our day, that amidst all the false prophets and heresies; which have come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord hath lifted up, and doth continue to lift up, a standard against them; so that if any precious child of God is at a loss to know the truth, amidst the multitude of pretenders to it, there is a promise, which, if duly attended to and regarded, cannot fail to preserve from error. Though the Lord give you (saith one of the Prophets) the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner anymore; but thine eyes shall see thy teachers, and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee saying, this is the way, walk ye in it when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. And, as if this was not enough, there is another absolute promise made by the Lord to all the children of Christ, namely, that they shall all be taught of God. Here therefore the Lord engages for them, that they shall be kept from false prophets, and be brought under true teachers; and the Lord Jesus makes this a standing testimony or mark, that all that are truly taught of God come to him. Reader! I beseech you, let this be your improvement and mine from the perusal of this chapter. Do we dread lying prophets? Are we earnest to discover the chaff from the wheat? Is it a momentous concern to know the truth, that the truth may make, us free? What then are we taught of Christ? What do the present prophets, I mean the preachers of the present generation, tell us of Jesus? Do they hold Him up as the Scriptures reveal Him, the way and the truth and the life? Do they delight to speak of the glories of His person, and of the everlasting and eternal merit and efficacy of His blood and righteousness, as God the Holy Ghost delights to glorify him? If so, these are the true Prophets, because they lead, as the star guided the wise men, unto Christ; and hereby know we, saith the Apostle, the spirit of truth from the spirit of error.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ezekiel 13". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter