Ezekiel 33 and Psalms 81-82


Today’s reading from Ezekiel 33 has some familiar verses in it. It is the story or metaphor of the watchman. It harkens back to chapter 3 of Ezekiel. I have heard many sermons using this text as a motivation for evangelism. Whether that application is strictly correct or not, it does serve as a reminder of how critically important it is for me to share the gospel message. I am a “watchman” against the rising wickedness of my culture and my message of warning is the message of the gospel. D. A. Carson introduces this changing section of Ezekiel,

Although the warnings and calls for repentance continue, one now hears a rising note of comfort. As long as the exiles found it difficult to believe that Jerusalem could fall, Ezekiel was full of warning. Once the fall has taken place, God in his mercy gives Ezekiel words that will comfort the exilic community, nurture their faith, and steel their minds and wills.

Before that turning point arrives, the first half of the chapter returns to a theme first introduced in Ezek. 3:16-21: Ezekiel the watchman.1


The Old Testament Survey Series: The Wisdom Literature and Psalms outlines Psalm 81:

Ps. 81 is another Asaph psalm. Since it tells of the early history of Israel, Ps. 81 is classified as an historical psalm. The psalm has three main divisions: (1) a call for celebration (Ps.81:1-5); (2) a stimulus for recollection (Ps. 81:6-10); and (3) an expression of lamentation (Ps. 81:11-16).2

Ps. 81 reads like a history lesson recalling the goodness of God and the failure of His people to obey. I can only conclude that Israel, like us today, can not do good and please God from their own strength. If the Holy Spirit does not move us to do right and please God, we are helpless with our sin nature to do it on our own volition.

The same commentary does a good job outlining Psalm 82 as well,

The psalm develops three thoughts: (1) the indictment of the judges (Ps. 82:1-4); (2) the pronouncement against the judges (Ps. 82:5-7); and (3) the exaltation of the supreme judge (Ps. 82:8).3

1 D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: a Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word., vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998).

2 James E. Smith, The Wisdom Literature and Psalms, Old Testament Survey Series (Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., 1996), Ps 81.

3 Smith.

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