The judgment of the righteous and the wicked (Ezek 33:18-33:20)

“When the righteous ones

Turn

From their righteousness,

When they commit

Iniquity,

They shall die for it.

When the wicked ones

Turn

From their wickedness,

When they do

What is lawful,

What is right,

They shall live by it.

Yet you say.

‘The way of Yahweh

Is not just.’

O house of Israel!

I will judge

All of you

According to your ways.”

Yahweh said that he was going to make his judgment based on what they do. If the righteous one turned away from his righteousness by committing iniquity, he was going to die for it. On the other hand, if a wicked person turned from his wickedness by doing what was lawful and right, he would live. However, they complained by saying that Yahweh was not just. Yahweh reiterated that he was going to judge all of them according to their own ways and deeds. Actions speak louder than words.

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The just way of Yahweh (Ezek 33:17-33:17)

“Yet your people say.

‘The way of Yahweh

Is not just!’

When it is

Their own way

That is not just.”

Just like earlier in chapter 18, Yahweh received a challenge about fairness. Why was Yahweh unfair? Yahweh responded to his people that it was not his ways that were unjust, rather it was their own ways that were not just.

Opposition to worship cults (Isa 66:3-66:4)

“Whoever slaughters an ox is

Like one who kills a human being.

Whoever sacrifices a lamb is

Like one who breaks a dog’s neck.

Whoever presents a cereal offering is

Like one who offers swine’s blood.

Whoever makes a memorial offering

Of frankincense is

Like one who blesses an idol.

These have chosen their own ways.

They take delight in their abominations.

I also will choose to mock them.

I will bring upon them

What they fear.

Because,

When I called,

No one answered.

When I spoke

They did not listen.

But they did

What was evil in my sight.

They chose

What did not please me.”

Yahweh seems to rebuke those who sacrifice animals, saying that killing oxen is like killing humans. If they sacrificed lambs, they are sacrificing dogs. A grain offering was compared to unclean pig’s blood. The use of the frankincense was compared to worshiping idols. They have chosen their own ways that are an abomination to Yahweh. He would continue to mock and punish them because no one answered when he called. No one listened when he spoke. They continued to do evil and not please God.

Yahweh reaches out (Isa 65:1-65:2)

“I was ready to be sought out

By those who did not ask.

I was ready to be found

By those who did not seek me.

I said.

‘Here I am!

Here I am!’

To a nation

That did not call on my name.

I held out my hands

All day long

To a rebellious people.

They walk in a way

That is not good.

They follow their own devices.”

The response of Yahweh is that he is trying to reach out to the Israelites. He was ready and willing to go to those who were not even asking for or seeking him. Yahweh had replied that he was there for a nation that did not even called his name. Yahweh held out his hands all day long to these rebellious people. They did not walk the right way, since they followed their own devices and their own ways.