A Short Study of Ezekiel 13:22

“Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.”
(Ezekiel 13:22)

The prophet Ezekiel speaks the charges of God against the false prophets of Israel: Hearing the gospel is a “sweet savour of life unto life” to some and a “savour of death unto death to others.” It will find us all out whether we are trusting Christ and the gift of righteousness from God’s free grace in Him or whether we are still going about to establish our own righteousness which are but filthy rags in God’s sight. The gospel of Christ and Him crucified is “glad tidings of good things.” God’s elect will in His time receive it with joy. But as God said through the prophet of old, the preaching of lies which is any message based on or including human works or worth, makes the hearts of the righteous “sad.” Any gospel except the gospel of God and His grace is, as Paul said, “another gospel.” It will always make His people sad and those who preach this message of law and human righteousness as either a part of our justification or sanctification have a sad message. Yet, it is received well by some. Some delight to hear more of the law than of the gospel. More of what Moses gave from Mt. Sinai than of what Christ did on Mt. Calvary! Such preaching simply “strengthens the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.” Under such preaching self-righteousness flourishes and men will not return from their wicked way to Christ who is the Way! Life is in Christ the Life and His doing and dying no matter what false preachers promise people if they will only do something. The “way that seemeth right unto a man” is characterized by many “ways” and the “ways thereof are the ways of death.” That preaching wherein the righteousness of God is revealed is forever the stream that makes glad the Zion of God. Real sinners who have been born of God, when they hear of salvation through the righteousness of Another, they rejoice! This message is good news to them. God’s promise of life in the Lord Jesus Christ does not make His people sad, it makes them glad.

G. Shepard

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