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The Prophet still continues to bring his alarming message to the house of Israel: and having in several preceding Chapters announced the judgments that were coming upon them; here in this Chapter, by several awakening forms of expression, informs them, that those judgments are now at the very door.
There is somewhat very striking in the manner of the Prophet's opening this Chapter. It is like an alarm, rousing up and imperiously demanding attention: and not unsimilar to what our Lord represented in the parable. At midnight there was a cry made, behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Matthew 25:6 . Reader! it is always midnight in that soul that is living in a careless state! But I would ask the question of the Reader, (I mean the awakened and truly regenerated Reader), doth it not strike him, as it doth me, that in the midst of these alarms, there is still discoverable somewhat of divine love? Methinks, it is the expostulations of grace, mingled with the just rebukes of a much injured Lord. Under the frowning countenance of the threatened dispensation, we can, I think, discern strong features of mercy. See similar passages, Ezekiel 20:0 throughout. Hosea 11:8-9 .
The same alarm is here given under another figure, to rouse Israel. The evil come, and the morning arrived, when sentence is to be carried into execution: these are strong intimations to work upon the heart. But no calls, no alarms, no threatenings avail, until grace enters the soul. How truly blessed it is, when with an eye to Jesus, the heart is led to see redemption from all evils, and from all alarms, only in him. When that effect the Prophet speaks of is wrought by grace, the Lord's mercies in all dispensations are seen. Zechariah 12:10 .
I include the whole under one reading for the sake of shortness. In these verses is contained, the effect which must always follow God's judgment. No rank, no state, no condition of man is exempt. When the sword is without, and the pestilence within, both the king and the beggar fall under the sweeping visitation. Grace only makes. a difference, when the Lord comes to discern between the righteous and the wicked; between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not, Malachi 3:18 .
Lord! help both Writer and Reader in the perusal of this solemn Chapter, to make application of the awakening contents to themselves, as it concerns the great day of the Lord. Yet a little while, and as it relates to either, the cry will be, the end is come, now is the end come upon thee. My soul, if the archangel's trump was now to sound, how art thou prepared? There is indeed laid up for them that fear God, a crown of glory, which the Lord the righteous Judge will give them at that day, and to all them that love his appearing. But the question is, do we love his appearing? Is Jesus in his person, in his work, in his saving grace, in the conversion of sinners, and the comforting of saints, precious. If so we may look forward with holy joy, and hail the approach of this great day of God. Blessed we shall then say be the day, when the end is come to sin and sorrow; to pain, sickness, and care. Oh, ! for grace thus to be looking for, and hasting to the great day of God!
Reader! as we pause over the review, let us bless our gracious Covenant God in Christ, if so be our souls are both prepared for the troubles coming upon the earth. The day is coming, when, as this scripture solemnly assures us: all hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water. In the outward calamities of national judgments, the same flame that burns up the city, consumes both the righteous and the wicked in it. All swim in the same ship. All are saved or stranded together. But in respect to inward comforts, grace lifts the soul above all danger. Oh! the blessedness to be found in that day among the redeemed of the Lord, and sealed as the Lord's hidden ones, by the Holy Spirit unto eternal redemption. Grant, heavenly Father! for the Lord Jesus's sake, if it be thy heavenly will, both to Writer and Reader, such rich assurances of faith, that when the great day of the Lord shall come, and Jesus himself shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ezekiel 7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13