English Standard Version (ESV)
Prophecy Against Mount Seir
35 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it,3 and say to it, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will make you a desolation and a waste. 4 I will lay your cities waste, and you shall become a desolation, and you shall know that I am the Lord. 5 Because you cherished perpetual enmity and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment,6 therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; because you did not hate bloodshed, therefore blood shall pursue you. 7 I will make Mount Seir a waste and a desolation, and I will cut off from it all who come and go. 8 And I will fill its mountains with the slain. On your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those slain with the sword shall fall. 9 I will make you a perpetual desolation, andyour cities shall not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord.10 “Because you said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them’—although the Lord was there— 11 therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy that you showed because of your hatred against them. And I will make myself known among them, when I judge you. 12 And you shall know that I am the Lord.
“I have heard all the revilings that you uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are laid desolate;they are given us to devour.’ 13 And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it. 14 Thus says the Lord God: While the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate.15 As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
Prophecy to the Mountains of Israel
36 “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord God: Because the enemy said of you, ‘Aha!’ and, ‘The ancient heights have become our possession,’ 3 therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God: Precisely because they made you desolate and crushed you from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you became the talk and evil gossip of the people, 4 therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God: Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, the ravines and the valleys, the desolate wastes and the deserted cities, which have become a prey and derision to the rest of the nations all around, 5 therefore thus says the LordGod: Surely I have spoken in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave my land to themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, that they might make its pasturelands a prey. 6 Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I have spoken in my jealous wrath, because you have suffered the reproach of the nations. 7 Therefore thus says the Lord God: I swear that the nations that are all around you shall themselves suffer reproach.8 “But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home. 9 For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. 10 And I will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt. 11 And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 12 I will let people walk on you, even my people Israel. And they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no longer bereave them of children. 13 Thus says the Lord God: Because they say to you, ‘You devour people, and you bereave your nation of children,’ 14 therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, declares the Lord God. 15 And I will not let you hear anymore the reproach of the nations, and you shall no longer bear the disgrace of the peoples and no longer cause your nation to stumble, declares the Lord God.”
The Lord's Concern for His Holy Name16 The word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. 18 So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. 19 I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them. 20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land.’ 21 But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.
I Will Put My Spirit Within You22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean fromall your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.29 And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. 30 I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.
33 “Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. 34 And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. 35 And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’36 Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places andreplanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.
37 “Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. 38 Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Accompanying Rayburn sermon
There is a lot of hope in this passage, and God makes a lot of promises to His people - not because they deserve (they do not!), but in order to glorify His name.
Just like the Israelites, we - all of humanity - are in trouble.
Our problem is not outside of us - it's inside of us. We have bad hearts. Our inner man is corrupt.
We also have a bad record before a Holy God. We have grievously offended Him - we need forgiveness and righteousness, a new record.
We also have a bad lifestyle. We need a new life.
Right here in Ezekiel 36, we see the gospel message. God promises to give the Israelites, and us, a new heart, a new record, and a new life. That promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ - partially at His first coming, and fully in His Second Coming.
Our greatest needs are spiritual transformation, forgiveness of sins, and empowerment to live a new and godly life. Along with those promises, we are also promised earthly blessings. But, most of the time, those earthly blessings have a New Earth fulfillment. It is a picture of what's to come, and we can only see it by faith. Just like our perfected spiritual transformation still to come.
We have the gospel here in Ezekiel 36: the glorious and immeasurably happy promise of a new heart and nature, of a new record, and of a new life to replace the sin-sick nature and the sin-soaked record and the sinful life of every human being as he is in himself or as she is in herself. But the gospel must be believed. This is truth that is known by faith and by faith alone.
It was hard for the Jews who first heard this prophecy to believe it. They were in exile, slaves in Babylon. Jerusalem and Judea lay in ruins behind them. It was no simple thing to believe that God would put them back in the land and make them the envy of every nation, just as it is no easy thing to believe that we are brand new people on the verge of inheriting the world. Do you believe it? Really believe it? Is there the spring in your step that proves you believe it?
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Ezekiel 37:1-14
Sunday's passage: Exodus 15-16
Monday's passage: Exodus 17-18, Psalm 25, Matthew 25