“But I will spare a few of them from the sword, the famine and the pestilence that they may tell all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the Lord,” (12:16).
Three times the Lord repeats the end result when His Word is brought to fruition, His people will “know that I am the Lord.”
“ So they will know that I am the Lord…” (12:15).
“…and may know that I am the Lord,” (12:16).
“… So you will know that I am the Lord,” (12:20).
Three times! He repeated Himself three times in twenty-eight short verses. It is obvious God wanted His people to pay attention. But did you find yourself wondering if they didn’t know by now, why should He even bother, again?
As we remember the context, we will gain a clearer picture behind His repeated declarations that He Will Be Known as Lord.
Ezekiel is called once again to be a living symbol of God’s Word as he carries out the actions of what is coming on those in Jerusalem before the eyes of those who are exiled in Babylon.
Let’s put ourselves in the exiles’ place. They were the ones who had been captured; they were the ones who had been carried away from the City of David, the place of God’s Promise and Presence. They were undoubtedly struggling with why.
Why had the others been spared and left to live in their beloved Jerusalem? Why had they become the object of God’s wrath while others were seemingly left untouched back home? Why were they disciplined more severely than the others? Why had they been excluded from the place of God’s Promise that one from the line of David would reign on the throne forever? Why did they now live under the king of Babylon?
And while the exiles struggled with profound feelings of inferiority, those left in Jerusalem were smugly enjoying their safety and superiority; or so they thought. But both those in Babylon and in those in Jerusalem had been duped by the false prophets. So while pride was seriously swelling in Jerusalem, hope was surely sinking in Babylon.
And I don’t know, but it hit hard this morning. The fact that He went out of His way, again, to tell the exiles what was coming; all so they would Know He is the Lord. And especially amazing is that even though they had repeatedly refused to see or hear His Word time and time again, He would again speak through His prophet as Ezekiel acted out and explained His truth to be both seen and heard.
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house,” (12:1-2).
And particular attention is given toward the depiction of exactly what would happen to the king in Jerusalem; for when it happened they would Know He is the Lord.
I did so, as I had been commanded. By day I brought out my baggage like the baggage of an exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands; I went out in the dark and carried the baggage on my shoulder in their sight… 10 Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem as well as all the house of Israel who are in it.”’ 11 Say, ‘I am a sign to you. As I have done, so it will be done to them; they will go into exile, into captivity,’” (12:7, 10-11).
Ezekiel’s prophecy of Jerusalem’s fall continued for seven years, until it happened. There is no definite time of when this particular prophecy was given, but one thing is certain, it wasn’t long after God spoke that He performed His Word. And the people would Know He Is Lord as news spread of King Zedekiah who would indeed be caught and brought to Babylon, and mercilessly blinded so as to never actually see the land.
“The prince who is among them will load his baggage on his shoulder in the dark and go out. They will dig a hole through the wall to bring it out. He will cover his face so that he can not see the land with his eyes. 13 I will also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. And I will bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chaldeans; yet he will not see it, though he will die there. 14 I will scatter to every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops; and I will draw out a sword after them. 15 So they will know that I am the Lord…” (12:12-15).
And within seven short years from the time Ezekiel began in his call as prophet of the Lord to the exiles in Babylonian captivity, all His Word was performed.
Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled by night by way of the gate between the two walls beside the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho and all his army was scattered from him. 6 Then they captured the king and brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and he passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, then put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon, (2 Kings 25:4-7).
Every Word He spoke He performed, according to His predetermined time. And every Word He has ever spoken He will perform. And the exiles in Babylon, if they would but open their eyes and ears to believe, they would be humbled, to the point that they would “tell all their abominations among the nations.”
And in their humility they would see and hear the truth, He Is Lord, He is Yahweh, the God Who keeps His Covenant. And as they saw His Word fulfilled they would be assured of His Covenant Promise to restore the remnant when He Will Be Known as Lord.
Consider Him Who Will Be Known as Lord
Know: 3045. יָדַע yāḏaʿ: A verb meaning to know, to learn, to perceive, to discern, to experience, to confess, to consider, to know people relationally, to know how, to be skillful, to be made known, to make oneself known, to make to know… One of the primary uses means to know relationally and experientially,” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
It is His Heart to Be Known as Lord, relationally and experientially, to Be Known as the Faithful God Who speaks to perform His Word, to Be Known as the Compassionate God Who will spare a remnant that they may be saved and Know that He is the Lord.
So they will know that I am the Lord when I scatter them among the nations and spread them among the countries. 16 But I will spare a few of them from the sword, the famine and the pestilence that they may tell all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the Lord,” (12:15-16).
It is His Heart to Be Known as Lord, relationally and experientially, to Be Known as the Sovereign God Who controls the course of history, to Be Known as Almighty God Who will put an end to all lies and deception.
“For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25 For I the Lord will speak, and whatever word I speak will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, for in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it,” declares the Lord God, (12:24-25).
It is His Heart to Be Known as Lord, relationally and experientially, to Be Known as the Omnipotent God Who perfectly determines His time and His way to perform His Word according to His great power.
“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word I speak will be performed,”’” declares the Lord God,” (12:28).
How do we respond to Him Who Will Be Known as Lord?
Jesus came to reveal the Father and make Him Known. So we must begin there. Do we Know we have eternal life because we have placed our faith in Jesus the Son of God Who Is King of kings and Lord of lords?
…He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, (1 Timothy 6:15).
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life, (1 John 5:13).
But eternal life in Christ does not start when we get to heaven. It starts the moment we are born again through faith. And Jesus described eternal life as knowing Him Who Will Be Known as Lord.
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent,” (John 17:3).
In other words, when we are saved, we are granted the amazing gift of becoming recipients of His Covenant of Grace to Know Him Who Will Be Known as Lord, revealed by the Son.
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him,” (Matthew 11:27).
It is God alone Who saves us by His grace; but He does call us to grow in the Knowledge of Him Who Will Be Known as Lord.
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen, (1 Peter 3:18).
And in order to grow in Knowledge, we need His Word to transform our minds to detect the lies of those who would proclaim that which is not from God but rather their own schemes to tickle our senses with “false vision and flattering divination,” (12:28).
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God–what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect, (Romans 12:2 GNT).
Let us learn from His faithful patience with the exiles. Let us train our eyes and ears to Know His Promises, that we would be strengthened to face the future with humility and confidence, fully expecting Him to perform His Word as He has spoken, as we grow in the Knowledge of Him Who Will Be Known as Lord.
Just imagine. What if we lived with such a desire to Know Him that we would look to grow in our Knowledge of Him in every situation He allows? Consider the words of Oswald Chamber as he wrote in My Utmost for His Highest:
“The spiritual saint never believes circumstances to be haphazard, or thinks of his life as secular and sacred; he sees everything he is dumped down in as a means of securing the knowledge of Jesus Christ. There is a reckless abandonment about him. The Holy Spirit is determined that we shall realize Jesus Christ in every domain of life and He will bring us back to the same point again and again until we do.… The aim of the spiritual saint is “that I may know Him.” Do I know Him where I am today? If not, I am failing Him. I am here not to realize myself but to know Jesus Christ.”
Lord, we thank You that You have so worked in our lives and have given us Your Word that You Would Be Known as Lord, by us. Lord, please grow us in our faith and in our desire to Know You more. Oh, Lord please speak Your Word over us to perform Your Will and conform our hearts to the image of Your Son.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified, (Romans 8:28-30).
Lord, more than anything, and in everything, we ask that You lead us, that we would make it our life’s ambition to Know You and thereby be empowered to live the resurrected life here on earth with You Who Will Be Known as Lord.
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead, (Philippians 3:10).