45 And the word of Jehovah continued to occur to me, saying: 46 “Son of man, set your face in the direction of the southern quarter and drip [words] to the south, and prophesy to the forest of the field of [the] south. 47 And you must say to the forest of the south, ‘Hear the word of Jehovah. This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said: “Here I am setting a fire ablaze against you, and it must devour in you every still-moist tree and every dry tree. The kindling flame will not be extinguished, and by it all faces must be scorched from [the] south to the north. 48 And all those of flesh must see that I myself, Jehovah, have set it afire, so that it will not be extinguished.”’”
49 And I proceeded to say: “Alas, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah! They are saying respecting me, ‘Is he not composing proverbial sayings?’”
So here we witness Ezekiel warning the older, experienced ones, the counselors of Israel/Judah, regarding impending annihilation of their tribes, razing their cities and homes to ashes in toto.
“It’s just a figure of speech. A metaphor.”
But they had less than 4 years left before watching the very literal annihilation of their homeland, tribes, and families.
So will it evidently be in the days before the mother of all cataclysms, Harmageddon.
“Approached by “men from the elderly ones of Israel,” Ezekiel spoke God’s message. He pointed out that although Jehovah delivered the Israelites from Egypt and gave them His Law, they rejected it and practiced idolatry. Since Ezekiel’s contemporaries were guilty of similar wrongdoing, God would put himself on judgment against them. Apparently with skepticism and not because they did not understand what Ezekiel meant, the people asked: “Is he not composing proverbial sayings?” They would soon learn that there was nothing merely proverbial about the prophet’s message. This should warn us never to adopt a skeptical attitude toward the fulfillment of Scriptural warnings.”
“The response of the older men of Israel shows that they were skeptical about what Ezekiel had said. May we never develop a doubting attitude toward divine warnings.”
w 07 7/1