Sovereignty of God and the Nations

God of Ezekiel Judge and Forgiver

Acts with unrelenting anger against rebellious and sinful people and cannot be swayed by any appeal (Ezk 14:12-23) • Even prophets must suffering alongside the people • Although have seen intimations of God suffering alongside his people also He longs to forgive and has the power to do so • Ezekiel claims that one day he will restore and forgive because it is his nature to do so Key Terms • I am Yahweh • Then you will know that I am Yahweh • For the sake of my holy name • Son of man (perhaps) reminds Ezekiel and readers of radical different between humanity and God

God’s Holy Name
Key terms o For the sake of my holy name motive for God’s actions o Profane my holy name God’s name vunerable to human activity Name in OT one’s character, essential nature o God has associated himself with people who bear his name but who also take his name in vain and bring shame upon it because of their behaviour Being the people of God calls for lives that reflect the true character of God Accepting responsibility for their situation crucial in exile enables them to recognise their unique role as Yahweh’s people o So name is also reputation God is concerned that his name has been profaned amongst the nations o God is concerned that his true character be known amongst all “Then they will know that I am Yahweh” why not simply “then they

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will know me?” o “I am Yahweh” in OT is a form of self introduction by one who cannot be found by human means but who announces his own presence Ex. 6:2 God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD. o His presence necessitates recognition and obedience o But it is just a name nothing about God can be learnt from his name itself Just a way to address and identify God Therefore one does not know Yahweh but knows that ‘I am Yahweh’ One knows Yahweh in terms of his character through the actions and behaviour of the people he has identified himself with. Yahweh is concerned for his name because the people who are meant to be reflecting his true character are instead profaning it and therefore profaning his name. Yahweh & The Nations - The nations have learnt about Yahweh from his people, but what they have learnt is false profaning God’s name - Introduces new understanding between Israel and nations and between Yahweh and the nations o Like concentric circles Jerusalem at the centre of the nations
Ezek. 5:5 ¶ “Thus says the Lord GOD: This is Jerusalem. I have set her in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.

o Nations are witness to Israel’s rebellion, their distress and finally the truth about Yahweh as they are restored
Ezek. 5:6 And she has rebelled against my rules by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries all around her; for they have rejected my rules and have not walked in my statutes. Ezek. 36:20-21 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.’ But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came. Ezek. 36:36 Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the LORD; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.

o Ezk shows that Yahweh will no longer be the anonymous sovereign of the nations (as in previous prophetic books) for they will know him when they see what he does to and for Israel

o Ezk also shows that Yahweh has power over the nations and will vindicate his name no matter what threat may come from human sources Ezkiel uses rich mythological themes to speak of power and wealth of nations’ kinds but the destroys the orginal meaning of the myth by announcing the future death of these kings • Draws a line between humanity and diety • Reveals folly of the state who tries to deify itself in the face of Yahweh being the only God • End of each story is death- final proof the kinds were not gods after all