Ezekiel 11: 18“When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. 19“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,
This is a great metaphor; the heart of stone replaced by the heart of flesh. Sounds like an incredible change, and it indeed is. We are given that new change, that new life, when we are re-born. But, we also have our human nature which comes along and misdirects us with free will. So we are instructed to be ever vigilant, to “guard our hearts” in Proverbs 4 and Philippians 4.
Vision of God’s Glory Departing from the Temple
1Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them. 2And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And he entered in my sight.
3Now the cherubim were standing on the right side of the temple when the man entered, and the cloud filled the inner court. 4Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD. 5Moreover, the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks.
6It came about when He commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, “Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim,” he entered and stood beside a wheel. 7Then the cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubim to the fire which was between the cherubim, took some and put it into the hands of the one clothed in linen, who took it and went out. 8The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings.
9Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like the gleam of a Tarshish stone. 10As for their appearance, all four of them had the same likeness, as if one wheel were within another wheel. 11When they moved, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went; but they followed in the direction which they faced, without turning as they went. 12Their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around, the wheels belonging to all four of them. 13The wheels were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels. 14And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
15Then the cherubim rose up. They are the living beings that I saw by the river Chebar. 16Now when the cherubim moved, the wheels would go beside them; also when the cherubim lifted up their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels would not turn from beside them. 17When the cherubim stood still, the wheels would stand still; and when they rose up, the wheels would rise with them, for the spirit of the living beings was in them.
18Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. 19When the cherubim departed, they lifted their wings and rose up from the earth in my sight with the wheels beside them; and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of the LORD’S house, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them.
20These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; so I knew that they were cherubim. 21Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and beneath their wings was the form of human hands. 22As for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. Each one went straight ahead.
Evil Rulers to Be Judged
1Moreover, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the LORD’S house which faced eastward. And behold, there were twenty-five men at the entrance of the gate, and among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people. 2He said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give evil advice in this city, 3who say, ‘Is not the time near to build houses? This city is the pot and we are the flesh.’ 4“Therefore, prophesy against them, son of man, prophesy!”
5Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and He said to me, “Say, ‘Thus says the LORD, “So you think, house of Israel, for I know your thoughts. 6“You have multiplied your slain in this city, filling its streets with them.” 7‘Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, “Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of the city are the flesh and this city is the pot; but I will bring you out of it. 8“You have feared a sword; so I will bring a sword upon you,” the Lord GOD declares. 9“And I will bring you out of the midst of the city and deliver you into the hands of strangers and execute judgments against you. 10“You will fall by the sword. I will judge you to the border of Israel; so you shall know that I am the LORD. 11“This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be flesh in the midst of it, but I will judge you to the border of Israel. 12“Thus you will know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor have you executed My ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you.”’”
13Now it came about as I prophesied, that Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, “Alas, Lord GOD! Will You bring the remnant of Israel to a complete end?”
Promise of Restoration
14Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 15“Son of man, your brothers, your relatives, your fellow exiles and the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far from the LORD; this land has been given us as a possession.’ 16“Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Though I had removed them far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the countries where they had gone.”’ 17“Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’ 18“When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. 19“And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. 21“But as for those whose hearts go after their detestable things and abominations, I will bring their conduct down on their heads,” declares the Lord GOD.
22Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. 23The glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city. 24And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God to the exiles in Chaldea. So the vision that I had seen left me. 25Then I told the exiles all the things that the LORD had shown me.
Ezekiel Prepares for Exile
1Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2“Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house. 3“Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile by day in their sight; even go into exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand though they are a rebellious house. 4“Bring your baggage out by day in their sight, as baggage for exile. Then you will go out at evening in their sight, as those going into exile. 5“Dig a hole through the wall in their sight and go out through it. 6“Load the baggage on your shoulder in their sight and carry it out in the dark. You shall cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have set you as a sign to the house of Israel.”
7I did so, as I had been commanded. By day I brought out my baggage like the baggage of an exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands; I went out in the dark and carried the baggage on my shoulder in their sight.
8In the morning the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9“Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ 10“Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem as well as all the house of Israel who are in it.”’ 11“Say, ‘I am a sign to you. As I have done, so it will be done to them; they will go into exile, into captivity.’ 12“The prince who is among them will load his baggage on his shoulder in the dark and go out. They will dig a hole through the wall to bring it out. He will cover his face so that he can not see the land with his eyes. 13“I will also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. And I will bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans; yet he will not see it, though he will die there. 14“I will scatter to every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops; and I will draw out a sword after them. 15“So they will know that I am the LORD when I scatter them among the nations and spread them among the countries. 16“But I will spare a few of them from the sword, the famine and the pestilence that they may tell all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the LORD.”
17Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me saying, 18“Son of man, eat your bread with trembling and drink your water with quivering and anxiety. 19“Then say to the people of the land, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel, “They will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water with horror, because their land will be stripped of its fullness on account of the violence of all who live in it. 20“The inhabited cities will be laid waste and the land will be a desolation. So you will know that I am the LORD.”’”
21Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 22“Son of man, what is this proverb you people have concerning the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days are long and every vision fails’? 23“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “I will make this proverb cease so that they will no longer use it as a proverb in Israel.” But tell them, “The days draw near as well as the fulfillment of every vision. 24“For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25“For I the LORD will speak, and whatever word I speak will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, for in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it,” declares the Lord GOD.’”
26Furthermore, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 27“Son of man, behold, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ 28“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word I speak will be performed,”’” declares the Lord GOD.
57 The LORD is my portion;
I have promised to keep Your words.
58 I sought Your favor with all my heart;
Be gracious to me according to Your word.
59 I considered my ways
And turned my feet to Your testimonies.
60 I hastened and did not delay
To keep Your commandments.
61 The cords of the wicked have encircled me,
But I have not forgotten Your law.
62 At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You
Because of Your righteous ordinances.
63 I am a companion of all those who fear You,
And of those who keep Your precepts.
64 The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O LORD;
Teach me Your statutes.