September 4 (Daily reading: Ezekiel 25-27) Ezekiel 24 ended with refugees from Jerusalem coming to Ezekiel with some news. In a parallel passage, Ezekiel 33:21-22, Ezekiel wrote: “Now in the twelfth year of our exile, on the fifth of the tenth month, the refugees from Jerusalem came to me, saying, ‘The city has been taken.’ Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me in the evening, before the refugees came. And He opened my mouth at the time they came to me in the morning; so my mouth was opened and I was no longer speechless.”
As other prophets before him, Ezekiel’s mouth was opened so that he could pronounce judgment on foreign nations. One of these nations was Phoenicia, and its major city, Tyre. It had been an important ally of the Israelites in the days of David and Solomon, as well as some later kings. They provided the materials for some of the major building projects in Israel, as well as helpers for the construction. Unfortunately, they did not remain allies, but said when Jerusalem was destroyed: “Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper” (26:2, NIV). Because of this, Tyre itself would be destroyed, and Ezekiel concluded with God’s often-used assertion: “Then they will know that I am the LORD” (26:6).
This expression from God, “They will know that I am the LORD,” occurs six times in chapters 25 and 26. The title “Sovereign LORD” appears eighteen times in these chapters. Our God has always been in control of the nations of this earth, and His sovereignty has been established and recognized. That remains true today. With all the uncertainty about Afghanistan in our day, we must remember that God is sovereign, and ultimately, everyone will know that He alone is the Lord God!
– Al Gary
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