As a very lovely song - They admired the fine voice and correct delivery of the prophet; this was their religion, and this is the whole of the religion of thousands to the present day; for never were itching ears so multiplied as now.
The exhortation to repentance. Ezekiel first addresses the remnant that still linger in their ancient home, and warns them against presumptuous hopes resting on false grounds Ezekiel 33:23-29; then he turns his eyes to those near him, and points out that their apparent attention to his words was illusory.
Those wastes - The places in the holy land devastated by the conqueror.
Abraham - The argument is, Abraham was but one man, and he had the promise of the land, though he did not at once possess it; much more shall we, the descendants of Abraham, being many, retain this promise and possess the land, though for a time we are depressed and subject. Compare Matthew 3:9; John 8:33, John 8:39.
To eat flesh with the blood was forbidden (see the marginal references). It seems to have been connected with the idolatries of Canaan. The prohibition was, on account of its connection with idolatry, continued in the enactment of the Council of Jerusalem Acts 15:29.
Ye stand upon your sword - Ye put your trust in your swords.
God warns the prophet against being misled by the compliance of the people.
Against thee - Rather, about “thee.” “by the walls” Rather, within “the walls.”
As the people cometh - literally, as in the margin, i. e., in crowds. Render it: they shall come “unto thee” like the coming of a people,” and” shall “sit before thee as My people” etc., i. e., they assume the attitude of God‘s people listening to His prophet. Compare Ezekiel 14:1; Ezekiel 20:1.
And when this - But when this.
Life-Healing Balm From the Cross—The cross, the cross of Calvary presented again and again, plainly dwelt upon in every discourse, will prove the life-healing balm, will reveal the beauty and excellence of virtue. Those who quibble over the authenticity of the Scriptures and question the authority of revelation will not be influenced.—Manuscript 20, 1893. VSS 315.1
Jesus in the Discourse—“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” [John 17:3]. The eternal Word became flesh and dwelt among us. This theme will quench unbelief; and yet, sad to say, Jesus has been dropped out of many, many discourses that have been preached by Seventh-day Adventist ministers. And why? Because these ministers had not Jesus abiding in their hearts by faith; they were not clothed with Christ's righteousness.—Manuscript 16, 1890. VSS 315.2Read in context »
It was in hours of solitary prayer that Jesus in His earth life received wisdom and power. Let the youth follow His example in finding at dawn and twilight a quiet season for communion with their Father in heaven. And throughout the day let them lift up their hearts to God. At every step of our way He says, “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, ... Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13. Could our children learn these lessons in the morning of their years, what freshness and power, what joy and sweetness, would be brought into their lives! Ed 259.1
These are lessons that only he who himself has learned can teach. It is because so many parents and teachers profess to believe the word of God while their lives deny its power, that the teaching of Scripture has no greater effect upon the youth. At times the youth are brought to feel the power of the word. They see the preciousness of the love of Christ. They see the beauty of His character, the possibilities of a life given to His service. But in contrast they see the life of those who profess to revere God's precepts. Of how many are the words true that were spoken to the prophet Ezekiel: Ed 259.2
Thy people “speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.” Ezekiel 33:30-32. Ed 259.3Read in context »
There are persons who believe that they are right, when they are wrong. While claiming Christ as their Lord, and professedly doing great works in His name, they are workers of iniquity. “With their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.” He who declares God's word is to them “as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear Thy words, but they do them not.” Ezekiel 33:31, 32. MB 146.1
A mere profession of discipleship is of no value. The faith in Christ which saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. “Believe, believe,” they say, “and you need not keep the law.” But a belief that does not lead to obedience is presumption. The apostle John says, “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4. Let none cherish the idea that special providences or miraculous manifestations are to be the proof of the genuineness of their work or of the ideas they advocate. When persons will speak lightly of the word of God, and set their impressions, feelings, and exercises above the divine standard, we may know that they have no light in them. MB 146.2
Obedience is the test of discipleship. It is the keeping of the commandments that proves the sincerity of our professions of love. When the doctrine we accept kills sin in the heart, purifies the soul from defilement, bears fruit unto holiness, we may know that it is the truth of God. When benevolence, kindness, tenderheartedness, sympathy, are manifest in our lives; when the joy of right doing is in our hearts; when we exalt Christ, and not self, we may know that our faith is of the right order. “Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” 1 John 2:3. MB 146.3Read in context »