Acting On God's Word       Ezekiel 12:17-28 & 14:4-6      June 19, 2005
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Introduction
If you wear the label "Baptist" you will be known as a person of the Bible. That is more true today than at anytime in recent years. The Book of Psalms uses several words to affirm the Inerrancy of scripture. Words like: "Your judgments are just," "Your word is completely pure," "Your instruction is true," "Your decrees are righteous forever," and those are just a few. We believe the Bible is the very Word of God, so let's be busy Acting On God's Word.
 

1. Acting On The Word through the . . Personalization of It. 12:17-20

    A.    The . . Defining of the Personalization. v 17-18
        17 The word of the Lord came to me: 18 "Son of man, eat your bread with trembling and drink your water with shaking and
        anxiety.

    B.    The . . Declaration of the Personalization. v 19
        19 Then say to the people of the land: This is what the Lord God says about the residents of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They
        will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water in dread, for their land will be stripped of everything in it because of the
        violence of all who live there.

    C.    The . . Destruction of the Personalization. v 20
        20 The inhabited cities will be destroyed, and the land will become a desolation. Then you will know that I am the Lord..

        When we attempt to act on God's word we can know of it's personalization to us just as it was to Ezekiel. In the personal definition to Ezekiel God gave a specific word. He calls on him to dramatize in personal anxiety what will happen to the people. God will do this because they have rejected His Word and Ways. Ezekiel gets to declare to the people, they will be stripped of everything. Destruction will come and the people will recognize the hand, and power, of God.
 

2. Acting On The Word through the . . Power of It. 12:21-25

    A.    The . . Inquiry about the Proverb and the Power of God's Word. v 21-22
        21 Again the word of the Lord came to me: 22 "Son of man, what is this proverb you [people] have about the land of Israel,
        which goes: The days keep passing by, and every vision fails?

    B.    The . . Injunction about the Proverb and the Power of God's Word. v 23-24
        23 Therefore say to them: This is what the Lord God says: I will put a stop to this proverb, and they will not use it again in Israel.
        But say to them: The days draw near, as well as the fulfillment of every vision. 24 For there will no longer be any false vision or
        flattering divination within the house of Israel.

    C.    The . . Incomparability about the Proverb and the Power of God's Word. v 25
        25 But I, the Lord, will speak whatever message I will speak, and it will be done. It will no longer be delayed. For in your days,
        rebellious house, I will speak a message and bring it to pass. " [This is] the declaration of the Lord God."

        God inquires of Ezekiel about a popular proverb, "the days keep passing by, and every vision fails." At the same time the people reject the truth and power of His Word. This action brings an injunction from the Lord that He will put a stop to this proverb, and the false and flattering divination. As the Lord speaks His message, and brings it to pass the Incomparability of His word and the proverbs of the people will be obvious.
 
 

3.    Acting On The Word through the . . Promise of It. 12:26-28

    A.    The . . Accusation about the Delayed Promises. v 26-27
        26 The word of the Lord came to me: 27 "Son of man, notice that the house of Israel is saying: The vision that he sees concerns
        many years [from now]; he prophesies about distant times.

    B.    The . . Announcement about the Delayed Promises. v 28
        28 Therefore say to them: This is what the Lord God says: None of My words will be delayed any longer. The message I speak
        will be fulfilled." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God.

        In the text the people did not act on God's Word. They made the accusation it always pertained to sometime off in the future. The people did not act upon God's Word, but He reacted to their constant rejection of it. Ezekiel received the command to announce God would no longer delay the fulfillment of His prophecies.
 

4.    Acting On The Word through Hypocritical . . Penetration of It. 14:4-6

    A.    The . . Conditioned Response because of the Hypocritical Penetration. v 4
        4 "Therefore, speak to them and tell them: This is what the Lord God says: When anyone from the house of Israel sets up idols in
        his heart, puts a sinful stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet, I, the Lord, will answer him appropriately.
        [I will answer him] according to his many idols,

    B.    The . . Communicated Reaction because of the Hypocritical Penetration. v 5
        5 so that I may take hold of the house of Israel by their hearts, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.
 

    C.    The . . Called for Repentance because of the Hypocritical Penetration. v 6
        6 "Therefore, say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: Repent and turn away from your idols; turn
        your  faces away from all your abominations."

        The condition of hypocrisy penetrated Israel as they came to the prophet pretending to seek God's purposes while displaying idols in their homes, and in their hearts. God promises to answer them in direct proportion to the number of their idols. God communicated His desire to remove all idols from their hearts, and for Him to be in their hearts. This can be done if the people pay attention to the call for repentance. Their response to this call must be registered in a turning away from the idols, and a turning toward the Word and Ways of God. Anytime the people demonstrate this kind of turning it will be obvious they are Acting On God's Word. Amen? Amen!