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Israel’s leaders ask Ezekiel for a word from God, and he says ‘No’; Judgement will come on Israel, described in her sin as a prostitute and adulterer; Judgement for the Negev and the Ammonites: Ezekiel 20–23

Two things:

1. The Law was given to help the people find life:

Ezekiel 20:10-11 So I brought them out of Egypt and led them into the wilderness. There I gave them my decrees and regulations so they could find life by keeping them.

2. The Sabbath is a sign and a reminder of being set apart:

Ezekiel 20:12 And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I am the Lord, who had set them apart to be holy.

Did it work? Not really; not in the wilderness (even with that column of smoke by day and fire by night as a constant reminder):

Ezekiel 20:13 But the people of Israel rebelled against me, and they refused to obey my decrees there in the wilderness. They wouldn’t obey my regulations even though obedience would have given them life. They also violated my Sabbath days.

And not once settled in Israel:

Ezekiel 21:24 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Again and again you remind me of your sin and your guilt. You don’t even try to hide it! In everything you do, your sins are obvious for all to see. So now the time of your punishment has come!

With the result:

Ezekiel 21:25 “O you corrupt and wicked prince of Israel, your final day of reckoning is here.

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