christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

ezekiel 31-32

Read Ezekiel 31-32 at Bible Gateway.

A repeating refrain over and over in these chapters, is that the uncircumcised will die the death of the slain and lie with those who go down to the Pit. This theme is repeated from the chapters concerning Tyre and the king of Tyre, who we saw was a metaphor for Satan:

‘Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
“Because you have set your heart as the heart of a god,
Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers against you,
The most terrible of the nations;
And they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom,
And defile your splendor.
They shall throw you down into the Pit,
And you shall die the death of the slain
In the midst of the seas.
“Will you still say before him who slays you,
‘I am a god’?
But you shall be a man, and not a god,
In the hand of him who slays you.
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
By the hand of aliens;
For I have spoken,” says the Lord GOD.’” Eze 28:6-10

If we examine the mention of the Pit in Scripture up until this point, we find that:

1) Those of the company of Israel who rejected the LORD were swallowed alive by the earth to go down whole into the Pit (Num 16:28-33);

2) Job’s friend and the Psalmist calls it the dwelling place of men after death (Job 33:18 and following, Psa 30:3, Psa 49:5-9);

3) Solomon uses it as a poetic metaphor for death (Pro 1:10-12);

4) The LORD decrees that Lucifer, who aspired to the throne of God, will instead dwell in the lowest depths of the Pit (Isa 14:12-15), and He repeats that Tyre, the metaphoric throne for the king of Tyre, who is Satan, will dwell in the lowest parts of the earth, like those who go down to the Pit (Eze 26:19-20);

5) Hezekiah uses Death, Sheol, and the Pit synonymously in his psalm of thanksgiving (Isa 38:18-19).

Taken together with the numerous mentions of the Pit in today’s chapters, we see the LORD again preaching the gospel of grace from Ezekiel, conversely. Instead of declaring positively the fate that will befall the circumcised, He is declaring negatively the fate that will befall the uncircumcised of the nations: death, and a dwelling place forever in shame with those who go down to the Pit.

How is this the gospel of grace? Those who remain uncircumcised, i.e. outside of the LORD’s covenant with Israel, will suffer death with those who go down to the Pit. The end result of uncircumcision, is death and Hell. Circumcision is the outward act, the cutting away of the flesh, that identifies someone with Israel and in covenant with the LORD God. It is the visual aid by which the LORD teaches, that those who are His have cut away the flesh of their hearts. They have removed themselves from the nations, and come into covenant with the LORD God, as Israel is removed from the nations and in covenant with the LORD God.

In fact, a circumcised heart even more so than circumcised flesh declares someone of Israel, belonging to His chosen people:

This is Jacob: the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face.  Psa 24:6

Those of the nations who are grafted in among Israel do not replace Israel, but are added to Israel, as Israel, through the blood of Messiah Yeshua (Rom 11:17), and we saw in Hosea, that many of those Gentiles were originally of Israel scattered among the nations, regathered as Israel in these last days.

For a time, God needed two witnesses in the earth, to establish the fact among the nations that He is God. When His purpose is accomplished, at the right time, He will join the two into one (Eph 2:14-15), and there will be one faith and one people of God, just as there is one God (Eph 4:4-6).

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