Truth On Fire

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In the years leading up to the Babylonian captivity, God had a handful of anointed prophets—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel—who sounded the alarm of God’s coming judgment upon his people Israel. But the vast majority of alleged prophets were false prophets catering to itching ears, men who constantly contradicted what God’s men had to say. 

In Ezekiel 11, we find an event wherein the prophet Ezekiel is bidden by God to confront a group of these deceivers. There were “five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people” (11:1). Concerning these twenty-five men, God told Ezekiel: “Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city: which say, It [judgment and captivity to come] is not near; let us build houses [rather than focus on destruction]: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh” (11:2-3). 

That was quite a boast, pure hubris, from these men. The city of Jerusalem, said they, was the caldron [large cooking vessel on an open fire] and they were the flesh [source of true spiritual sustenance]. In other words, we (OUR preaching) are equivalent of a savory stew loaded with meat and root vegetables, from which the people of Israel can devour OUR words and get all the spiritual nutrition (TRUTH) they need. Now is the time for ‘positive thinking’ about our future, NOT the gloom-and-doom of Ezekiel et al. 

Well, as always, God knows and hears every thought and word that proceeds from his spiritual opponents (11:5). When our politicians, just like these twenty-five men, make their boasts that preclude the God of heaven, he is listening, keeping score.  

Question: What’s the difference between the 'MAGA' and ‘Build Back Better’ platforms, each claiming to be a caldron full of flesh from which the nation can derive sustenance, and the false assurances given to Israel by Ezekiel’s detractors? Answer: NOTHING!

Here’s what God thought about the caldron-flesh analogy proffered by the false prophets, in Ezekiel’s own words: “And it came to pass, WHEN I PROPHESIED, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah DIED” (11:13). There are few preachers that wield SO much power with God that their words kill the hearer. But God is not averse to using extreme measures when he wants to get across HIS message that HE ALONE is the LORD, and that what HE says is the final word (11:10). 

God took Pelatiah out of his misery and at the same time confirmed (1) his judgment was near, (2) it was NOT time to build, and (3) the caldron-flesh analogy was a FICTION! We in America have our own Pelatiah’s with caldrons of full of false optimism. Those whose hopes lie in the caldrons proffered by Political Parties will be sorely disappointed!


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