Ezekiel 20 Oaths
Three times God says he raised his hand in an oath to complete an action. We take an oath before a judge and jury to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. God is saying that to these disobedient rebel elders as they come to Ezekiel to hear from God. He is so angry that he says he is in a rage! A rage is an uncontrollable anger, and that is how God is towards these He has chosen to carry His name to the nations. He no longer will listen to them. Have you ever experienced that kind of rage? I did once, and it was destructive and disheartening to me. Did it get my attention? It sure did. But these elders are so hardened to the voice of God and His rage that Ezekiel must have been, as we say, flummoxed. There is only one way back to a right relationship with God, and it begins with repentance, but they are not yet ready to take that step. You can hear the heart of God saying; Return to Me, seek Me, and live but alas, they are not ready. What will it take? It will take 70 more years, and even then, they will wallow in their sin.
Why are we so stubborn? Why are we so unrepentant? Jeremiah said it perfectly: The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. [Jer 17:9] Only God can change that; we must be ready to yield to His call. The overwhelming patience of God is mind-boggling. Are we ready to yield to Him?