5-13-24: Judgment Is Coming

Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.” Ezekiel 2:9

God told Ezekiel to proclaim what was given to him. Note that God is the provider. Our message is not something that we create, it is given (a gift) to us by the One who said He would provide all our needs. Here he meets one of, if not the most important, needs we have our message. But what is this message? Now when I looked   Ezekiel looked to see what God was referring to. God told him He would provide this so Ezekiel, fully trusting in God, looks to see what God is giving him.  There was a hand stretched out to me Ezekiel sees a hand stretched out to him. This exact phrase is used after the sin of Adam.The Godhead is speaking of the need to remove Adam from Eden lest  he “stretch out his hand” and take off the Tree of Life. In Scripture we see God’s hand stretched out either in punishment or in mercy and love. To accept His merciful outstretched out hand is to accept His Lordship and to reject His hand is to receive punishment and wrath on sin. Behold, a scroll of a book was in it  Ezekiel looks and sees, to his amazement, a book – a scroll. Perhaps Ezekiel anticipated manna or food like was given to Elijah to energize him in the wilderness. Instead he sees a hand holding out a scroll to him. Then He spread it before me  God opens the book for Ezekiel to see. Imagine the joy of having God open His book to give, teach you and explain to you His words, wisdom and will. There was writing on the inside and on the outside Ezekiel notices something unique. The scroll is written on the inside and outside. It is full of information and wisdom. The writing reminds us of the scroll John saw in Revelation 5 – “Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.” Remember this is the scroll that is opened at the beginning of the Tribulation period by the Lord Himself – a scroll detailing God’s judgment on sin Written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe. Ezekiel looks at what is written in the scroll and he sees a common theme. First he sees lamentations. This is a funeral dirge accompanied by beating the breasts or instruments. This word is used ten times in the book of Ezekiel as he is instructed by God to pronounce lamentations on rebellious Israel and on the nations that are in rebellion to God. Second Ezekiel sees the book is filled with mourning. This is a sigh or a moan used as the years in this life come to an end. Finally Ezekiel sees there are woes in the scroll. This is the only time this word is used in scripture. It can mean wailings. This scroll is one of grief, sorrow and warning. What can we learn? Zechariah 5 tells us of another scroll which is written on both sides. It  is “the curse that goes out over the face of the  whole earth”. In Revelation when the scroll is opened judgment for sin falls on the earth. The writing on both sides shows us the full story of man’s rebellion is known and documented and justice and judgment is decreed. It is important to note that in heaven there is also a book (scroll) of life. If a person’s name is in that book their deeds are not listed in the books of judgment (opened at the Great White Throne Judgment). God pours out his judgment on nations and individuals on this  earth to bring them to repentance – to turn to God. If people reject (rebel against) God’s call there is a final judgment that is followed by the weeping and gnashing of teeth. So God sends Ezekiel to all Israel with the same  message Enoch took to the pre-flood world – ‘judgment is coming”. It is not a message that will make him popular, in fact he will be hated by most who hear. But eternity in hell is so awful, God sends his messenger to people that urgently needs to hear the truth before it is too late.