The short term message in Ezekiel 20:45-48 introduces the four messages in Chapter 21 about the judgments that would come upon Jerusalem. The city would be destroyed because it was corrupted or spiritually unclean.
Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, turn and face the south and speak out against it; prophesy against the brushlands of the Negev. Tell the southern wilderness, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Hear the word of the Lord! I will set you on fire, and every tree, both green and dry, will be burned. The terrible flames will not be quenched and will scorch everything from south to north. And everyone in the world will see that I, the Lord, have set this fire. It will not be put out.’” (Ezekiel 20:45-48)
According to Jewish law, unclean objects were to be passed through fire in order to purify them.
Then Eleazar the priest said to the men who were in the battle, “The Lord has given Moses this legal requirement: Anything made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead—that is, all metals that do not burn—must be passed through fire in order to be made ceremonially pure. These metal objects must then be further purified with the water of purification. But everything that burns must be purified by the water alone (Numbers 31:21-23).
But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold (Job 23:10).
You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver (Psalm 66:10).
Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart (Proverbs 17:3).
God’s judgment is designed to purify; destruction often is a necessary part of that process. Hard times and discipline are the “fire” God uses to purify.
Feeling the heat? Can you, like Job, say with confidence, “God knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold” (Job 23:10)?
May almighty God bless you always,
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