Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,…
Among the great powers that have affected human history must be reckoned the sword. As the emblem of physical force, of the superiority of the great of the world, it has special significance for the student of human affairs. The vision of the sword revealed to Ezekiel the impending doom of the land of Israel, and particularly of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. When he saw in imagination the glittering blade and the keen edge, his mind anticipated the awful fate which was about to overtake his afflicted and sinful fellow countrymen.
I. THE SWORD IS THE IMPLEMENT OF HUMAN AMBITION AND VENGEANCE.
II. THE SWORD IS THE WEAPON OF DIVINE RETRIBUTION UPON THE NATIONS. Whilst it is unquestionable that wars and fightings come from human lusts, it is to the religious man, to the student of Scripture, equally plain that a Divine Providence overrules all the conflicts of the nations to accomplish wise purposes, and even purposes of. benevolence. The Assyrian power directed its forces against the land of Israel, under the influence, doubtless, of human passions and purposes by which those passions were suggested. But Assyria, Egypt, Persia, and Rome were pewees which the God of Israel employed to bring about the ends fixed upon by his own wisdom and faithfulness. As an instrument by which punishment was inflicted upon the idolatrous and rebellious, the sword was not only the sword of Nebuchadnezzar, but the sword of the Lord of hosts.
III. THE SWORD IS A SUMMONS TO HUMILIATION AND REPENTANCE. Ezekiel himself evidently regarded it in this light. He was directed to cry and howl, to smite upon his thigh, to smite his bands together, when he beheld in vision the weapon which was about to chastise his rebellious countrymen. There are minds which need to face the consequences of sin in order that they may admit the awfulness of sin itself. When the displeasure of the Almighty is revealed against the iniquities of men, they are sometimes roused to reflection and inquiry, and so it may be to repentance.
IV. THE SWORD IS THE SYMBOL OF THE POWER BY WHICH SIN IS SLAIN. The sons of Israel were not alone in the practice of sin, in ingratitude, and disobedience. Men in every age and in every place are found guilty of rebellion against the holy and. righteous God. Well is it when they turn against their own sins the edge of the spiritual sword, when they attack their vices, their follies, their crimes, as the enemies of God, and, by slaying with the Divine weapon the rebellious forces, avoid the otherwise inevitable judgment and retribution which overtake the impenitent. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,