The Spiritual Status of the Evil Figs
After being nearly annihilated by Assyria, becoming the servants of Egypt, and then meanwhile suffering 3 Captivities in becoming the servants of Babylon, the Jews who remained in Judah (the Evil Figs) were unrighteously exasperated from faith to think and feel, “The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth” (Ezek. 8:12). The people (the Evil Figs) were confused, unbelieving, and panicking. They were depravedly-bent on surviving in conditions which God declared as inescapably fatal. At the very thought of the God of Ezekiel and Jeremiah they were afraid for manifold reasons. To summarize, they were experiencing worldly fear and confusion because God was silent to them on an individual basis. Ah! …but this feeling of silence persisted only because when God did speak to the people through the Prophets, they didn’t listen! “Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 7:13; Prov. 1:23-33, Jer. 11:11, 14:12, Ezek. 8:18, Micah 3:4). The embattled Prophet Jeremiah had already striven against this depressed condition of the fallen people when they responded to God’s appeals of restoration and salvation, by saying, “There is no hope…we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart” (Jer. 18:12). Also, because the people were despiteful of the LORD’s judgment, they wanted to believe that it was hopeless to serve the LORD in the outdated, non-progressive, non-evolving ways represented by the preaching of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
The House of Israel was directly involved in what was happening in House of the LORD in Judah, namely because “all the idols of the House of Israel” were found therein. Furthermore, the highest court of rule, called the Sanhedrin, was here represented with “seventy men of the ancients of the House of Israel” (Ezek. 8:10-11). However, it is important to note that in the Book of Ezekiel, the term, “the House of Israel”, was used more generally and inclusively compared to how it was used in the Book of Jeremiah, which means that this reference often includes both the Houses of Israel and Judah as a whole, even though the people of Judah in Jerusalem were in direct view concerning the subject matter of the prophecy. Speaking of actual men that were living in Jerusalem, Ezekiel recognized one of these seventy ancients, “Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan” by name, and the LORD informed the Prophet concerning the heart of apostasy at work:
“…they say, “The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth” (Ezek. 8:12).
Do you see the abomination, my reader? The House of Judah did not learn from the judgment which came upon the House of Israel (Ezek. 16:1-63), and, instead, Judah gathered all the abominations of the House of Israel and brought them into the House of the LORD in Jerusalem (Ezek. 8:17). In response to this, the LORD stated: “Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Ezek. 8:18)! At this final word, the tutorial of abominations was complete (Ezek. 8:1-18) – the sin was found to be wrath-inciting, Glory-repelling, and Temple-abandoning in its abominableness! Hence, the following scene…