(14 verses, 2:05 to read)
What I am about to READ
The Lord gave Ezekiel a lament to sing at Jerusalem’s funeral. The people in Babylon would hear it, and they would know that the funeral was not far off.
MARK & LEARN
Verses 1, 14: “A lament”—A lament is a funeral dirge. Before the event takes place, Ezekiel writes a funeral hymn for fallen Judah and Jerusalem.
2: “What was your mother? A lioness!” Many years before, when Jacob blessed his son Judah, he called him “a lion’s cub” (Gen. 49:9). Jesus is also referred to as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5). So referring to the people of Judah as lions is nothing new.
3: “He became a young lion.” From the description that follows, this is King Jehoahaz, who was carried off into captivity in Egypt. Jehoahaz was a wicked king who ruled during the last days of Judah’s life. He was the third to the last king before Jehoiachin. Pharaoh Neco of Egypt conquered Judah and took Jehoahaz into captivity. See 2 Kings 23:31–34
5: “She took another of her cubs and made him a young lion.” This is a reference to Jehoiachin, who, as the following verses reveal, was taken into captivity to Babylon. Jehoiachin surrendered to Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar took him into captivity in Babylon. See 2 Kings 24:8–13.
10-14: The picture of the vine illustrates the same thing as the pictures of the lions. The Lord had planted Israel in Canaan and had blessed it there. It became strong, and the wood of its vine was tough enough and large enough to serve as a ruler’s staff. Israel towered above the nations in power, wealth, and honor. But it rebelled against the Lord who had blessed it. It was thrown down by a foreign king from the east. Nebuchadnezzar would shrivel Israel, strip off its riches, and plant it in Babylon, a desert country. In the end, fire spread from rebellious and burning King Zedekiah to the rest of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who chose to flee to Egypt because they had killed Gedaliah, the governor appointed by Babylon.
Once again Ezekiel puts the Lord’s grace on display. The Lord had raised up lions who could have ruled the nations but who instead were destroyed by them. God wanted nothing other than to bless His people. But when they rebelled, the only song left to sing was a lament. The same is true for the world. God has richly blessed us in Christ, and He will continue to bless us into eternal life. But if we rebel, this song has already been prepared for our funerals.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/
Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.