Chapter 21:18-32 (ESV) - The word of the Lord came to me again: “As for you, son of man, mark two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to come. Both of them shall come from the same land. And make a signpost; make it at the head of the way to a city. Mark a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites and to Judah, into Jerusalem the fortified. For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination. He shakes the arrows; he consults the teraphim; he looks at the liver. Into his right hand comes the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth with murder, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build siege towers. But to them it will seem like a false divination. They have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be taken.
“Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have made your guilt to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your deeds your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand. And you, O profane wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.
“And you, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say, A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter. It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning— while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. Return it to its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy. You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the Lord have spoken.”
Question to consider: To whom did judgment belong and who would come and restore the crown of David?
Most of the time, when we think of the pagans using divinations, we think they are acting on their own imaginations or potentially talking to demons. It’s rather shocking that that word of the Lord to Ezekiel spoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, acting on divinations received from pagan practices that were influenced by the hand of God. Those in Jerusalem would consider them false divinations and think that God would listen to their sworn solemn oaths even though all their deeds reveal the sin in their hearts.
One of the broken oaths was that which Israel made with Nebuchadnezzar where Zedekiah went behind his back to cut a deal with Egypt and thus profaned the name of the Lord with his duplicity. Nebuchadnezzar was already on the way, sword in hand, to cut down Zedekiah and decimate Jerusalem. God would remove his turban and strip him of his crown, and it would not return to the line of David until Christ would take His place as King of kings and Lord of lords. The city and temple would be rebuilt under Zerubbabel as governor, one who was in the direct line of Christ, but the throne of David would not be reestablished until Jesus bore the judgment of the world on the cross, rose from the dead and ascended to His throne.
At the time in which Israel received their land inheritance, the region of the Ammonites was given to Gad, and from that point on, the Ammonites desired the ruin of Israel proclaiming that the land belonged to them. In effect, God was saying that their reproach for Israel would soon be satisfied as the sword of judgment had been drawn for Israel’s slaughter. By the time their ruin was complete, the Ammonites would sheath their sword and go back to the land of their origin. In the end, God would bring judgment on them as well, spilling their blood in the land and wiping them out to the point where they would no longer be remembered.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for restoring the throne of David and setting upon it the eternal King of kings and Lord of lords. We look forward to the day when He returns and every knee will bow and tongue will confess that He is Lord. Amen.