center of the nations
Ezekiel 5:5-12 (JDV)
Ezekiel 5:5 “This is what the Lord Yahveh says: I have set this Jerusalem in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.
Ezekiel 5:6 She has rebelled against my rules with more guilt than the nations, and against my prescriptions more than the countries that surround her, because her people have rejected my rules and have not walked in my prescriptions.
Ezekiel 5:7 “Therefore, this is what the Lord Yahveh says: Because you have been more arrogant than the nations around you– you have not walked in my prescriptions or kept my rules; you have not even kept the rules of the nations around you –
Ezekiel 5:8 therefore, this is what the Lord Yahveh says: Notice, I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will execute judgments within you in the sight of the nations.
Ezekiel 5:9 Because of all your repulsive practices, I will do to you what I have never done before and what I will never do again.
Ezekiel 5:10 As a result, fathers will eat their sons within Jerusalem, and sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments against you and scatter all your survivors to every direction of the wind.
Ezekiel 5:11 “Therefore, as I live” – this is the declaration of the Lord Yahveh – “I will withdraw and not look compassionately, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your repulsive acts and repulsive practices. Yes, I will not spare you.
Ezekiel 5:12 A third of your people will die by epidemic and be consumed by famine within you; a third will fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter a third to every direction of the wind, and I will draw a sword to chase after them.
center of the nations
The inhabitants of Jerusalem in Ezekiel’s day thought they were safe because God had set them in the center of the nations. But their rebellion and indifference to God’s covenant and law turned that safe position into an unsafe one. God was going to withdraw from them, resulting in death by disease and warfare. Those who did not die would become hunted refugees.
God’s favored people are the ones who have ears to hear his word, repent of their sins, and seek his face. Being in the center of the nations made Jerusalem more responsible to listen to their God and obey him. It was not a safe place for hypocrisy.
LORD, give us the wisdom to stop trying to hide our hypocrisy. May we be more concerned to be in the center of your will than in the center of the nations.