Ezekiel 35 and Psalm 85


Ezekiel 35 is another chapter of condemnation of one of Israel’s neighbors. It seems out of place with the others that ended with chapter 32. Mount Seir is actually an indirect reference to Edom. Carson gives his explanation,

More importantly, of all the neighboring nations Edom was in one respect a special case. The nation of Edom was descended from Esau, and the old rivalry between Jacob and Esau was passed down into the rivalry between Israel and Edom, two nations of relatives divided by a common animus. Edom is not specifically mentioned in this chapter, of course; the reference instead is to Mount Seir (Ezekiel 35:2)—i.e., the mountain region east of the Arabah, the valley running south from the Dead Sea. There they harbored their “ancient hostility” (Ezekiel 35:5)1

It is difficult to comprehend why emnity among brothers seems so much stronger and enduring than among strangers. I think it is sad that the animosity between Jacob and Esau flowed down to the many generations of their offspring.


Psalm 85 feels like the morning after the dark night or the sunshine after the hard rain. The psalmist recounts God’s restoration after the severe judgment that Israel faced. He uses words like “restore” and “revive” to describe what is going on in the life of the nation of Israel. There are a couple of places where I again highlighted the phrase, “steadfast love”

  • Psalm 85:7
  • Psalm 85:10

This morning, I am rejoicing in the goodness and faithfulness of God. He has given restoration and shown His steadfast love. He is trustworthy and kind. He is always good. I cannot always see His hand but I know that it is always with me. Thank you, God, for loving and caring for me.

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).

Ezekiel 32 and Psalm 80


Ezekiel 32 is a lament by Ezekiel for both Egypt and for Pharoah Hophra. Pharoah is described as both a lion and as a sea monster. The Lord catches him in a net and he is cast upon the shore to be devoured by the birds and other creatures. Later, the chapter describes several of the neighboring nation-states that have previously fallen in like manner. Assyria, Elam, Meshech-Tubal, Edom, and finally the ‘princes of the north”, likely the Phonecian city-states or Sidonians. Each of these nations were fierce and powerful at one time, but because of their sin, they faced the inevitable judgment of God and they have been destroyed.

It serves to me as a reminder that those people or groups who seem today to have such power, whether it is political, social, etc. and who turn their back on God and pursuade other to also so so, will one day face the inevitable judgment of God. When it comes to the people, I would pray for repentance and rebirth, but when it comes to the sin, as a Christian, I rejoice in the just hand of God.

The effect of God’s judgment is “fear-producing”. The Bible Knowledge Commentary says this,

In response to Egypt’s fall the surrounding nations would be appalled (cf. Ezek. 26:16; 27:35; 28:19) and their kings would shudder with horror. God’s revealing His holy character through Egypt’s judgment would have a profound effect on other nations. If mighty Egypt could be destroyed, so could they.1


Psalm 80:3, Psalm 80:7, and Psalm 80:19 all repeat the refrain,

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Matthew Henry’s commentary shares this thought,

Lastly, The psalm concludes with the same petition that had been put up twice before, and yet it is no vain repetition (Ps. 80:19): Turn us again. The title given to God rises, Ps.80:3, O God! Ps.80:7, O God of hosts! Ps.80:19, O Lord (Jehovah) God of hosts! When we come to God for his grace, his good-will towards us and his good work in us, we should pray earnestly, continue instant in prayer, and pray more earnestly.2

In this psalm, Asaph uses the metaphor of the vine. Israel is represented by the vine that is in rough shape. A big part of this condition is that God’s protection has been removed due to judgment. How can I expect God to surround me with his protection while at the same time willfully sin and dishonor His glory?

1 Charles H. Dyer, “Ezekiel,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1290.

2 Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 861.

Ezekiel 12 and Psalm 51

Today’s readings are from Ezekiel 12 and Psalm 51. Ezekiel is commanded by the Lord to demonstrate the Lord’s judgment against Jerusalem by preparing an exile’s baggage and digging a hole in the wall of his home. Carson explains the event,

One can imagine the power in Ezekiel’s symbol-laden actions. In full view of the exiles, he packs his meager belongings in exactly the same way he would if he were a Jerusalemite preparing for a seven-hundred-mile march into exile. What he could bring would have to be carried on his shoulders. At night he digs through the mud-brick walls of his own house. Probably this symbolizes the futile attempt at breakout made by Zedekiah and those immediately around him (2 Kings 25:4; Jer. 39:4): they fled, but they could not escape. 1

In Ezek. 12:22, God addresses the saying among the people, “…the days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing?” Judgment is now imminent and will come to pass. This proverb will no longer be used. Carson notes,

Ezekiel and (in Jerusalem) Jeremiah keep promising the destruction of the city while years pass with its mighty walls intact. Jeremiah has been at it for decades. Doubtless God sees the long delay as powerful evidence of his forbearance and mercy, providing multiplied opportunities for repentance; the people simply grow cynical. So judgment will certainly fall, Ezekiel says—and the popular proverbs will be destroyed.2

Relating it to today, he says,

So it is not surprising that in the “last days”—the days between the first and second comings of Christ, the days in which we live—new generations of scoffers arise and make a virtue of the same wretched cynicism: “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:3–4). But the Flood came. And so will the fire.3

Psalm 51 is the famous song of David’s repentance of his sin with Bathsheba after he was confronted by Nathan the prophet. In Ps. 51:1-4, David pleads to God for His mercy while asking for forgiveness and both confessing and repenting of his sin. He acknowledges that his sin is first and formost against the holy God (Ps. 51:4). He confesses that he is encompassed by the grief and guilt of his sin (Ps. 51:3). David states a truth in Ps. 51:5 that is true of all of us — we are born with a sin nature (c.f. Rom. 3:23).

Psalm 51:10 is a sinner’s cry for restoration and a new start. It is continued in Psalm 51:12. He states that God is able to remove the stain of sin in Ps. 51:7. There is a plea for the mercy of God in Ps. 51:11.

The end result of restoration by God is that David will testify of the mercy and goodness of God before other sinners who may also be burdened by the guilt of their sin. They too can turn to God for forgiveness and restored fellowship with God.

Of the many, many verses that I highlighted in this psalm, the last one is Ps. 51:17. God delights when I forsake sin and return to him with my heart broken over what I am and what I have done. Even the sinner who struggles under the guilt of repeated sin (Heb. 12: ) finds forgiveness and restoration in God.

I am amazed at the inverse relationship between the two readings today. Ezekiel is full of the judgment of God against unrepentant sin by His chosen people in Jerusalem. Psalms 51 is full of repentance, mercy, forgiveness, and restoration. The question to ask myself is, “Is my heart tender and soft regarding sin in my life or is it hardening and unrepentant?”

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), 25.

2 Ibid.,

3 Ibid. ,