Ah Lord God - O my God, consider my situation; who will believe what I shall say? They put the evil day far from them.
Doth he not speak parables? - הוא משלים ממשל הלא halo memashshel meshalim hu, "Is not he a maker of parables?" Is it not his custom to deal in enigmas? His figures are not to be understood; we should not trouble ourselves with them. We are not obliged to fathom his meaning; and perhaps after all it does not refer to us, or will not be accomplished in our time, if it even respect the land. Thus they turned aside what might have done them good, and rejected the counsel of God against themselves.
By dividing the word with our neighbor we often lose the benefit both of threatenings and promises. They voluntarily shut their own eyes; and then God, in judgment, sealed them up in darkness.
This paragraph is in the Hebrew text, Septuagint and Vulgate the beginning of Ezekiel 20:46
In this verse occur three Hebrew synonyms for “south,” denoting:
(1) the region on the right, Teman 1 Samuel 23:24;
(2) the region of dryness, Negeb Joshua 15:4;
(3) the region of brightness, Darom Deuteronomy 33:23.
The variety of terms helps the force of the application. Chebar is in the north of Babylonia; from the north the Chaldaeans came upon Judaea (see the Ezekiel 1:4 note).
Forest of the south - The land of Israel. See Ezekiel 21:1-2.
Parables - Compare Ezekiel 17:2. The meaning of the prophet was clear enough, if those whom he addressed had chosen to understand.
Scoffers pointed to the things of nature,—to the unvarying succession of the seasons, to the blue skies that had never poured out rain, to the green fields refreshed by the soft dews of night,—and they cried out: “Doth he not speak parables?” In contempt they declared the preacher of righteousness to be a wild enthusiast; and they went on, more eager in their pursuit of pleasure, more intent upon their evil ways, than before. But their unbelief did not hinder the predicted event. God bore long with their wickedness, giving them ample opportunity for repentance; but at the appointed time His judgments were visited upon the rejecters of His mercy. GC 338.1
Christ declares that there will exist similar unbelief concerning His second coming. As the people of Noah's day “knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away; so,” in the words of our Saviour, “shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:39. When the professed people of God are uniting with the world, living as they live, and joining with them in forbidden pleasures; when the luxury of the world becomes the luxury of the church; when the marriage bells are chiming, and all are looking forward to many years of worldly prosperity—then, suddenly as the lightning flashes from the heavens, will come the end of their bright visions and delusive hopes. GC 338.2Read in context »
“Christ sorrows and weeps over our churches, over our institutions of learning, that have failed to meet the demand of God. He comes to investigate in Battle Creek, which has been moving in the same track as Jerusalem. The publishing house has been turned into desecrated shrines, into places of unholy merchandise and traffic. It has become a place where injustice and fraud have been carried on, where selfishness, malice, envy, and passion have been borne sway. Yet the men who have led into this working upon wrong principles are seemingly unconscious of their wrong course of action. When warnings and entreaties come to them, they say, Doth He not speak in parables? Words of warning and reproof have been treated as idle tales.”—Letter 31, 1898. PM 167.5Read in context »