WILL ALL PREDICTIONS COME TO NOTHING?
A vision is something seen in a dream, trance, or religious ecstasy, especially a supernatural appearance that conveys a revelation. Visions are known to emerge from spiritual traditions and could provide a lens into human nature and reality. Prophecy is often associated with visions. [from Wikipedia]. Visions lead to predictions, and many predictions have been made: scientific, political, financial, and future events: some are accepted others are refuted. Many prophetic predictions recorded in the Scriptures have been fulfilled while others are yet to be fulfilled, and this leads some to ridicule the recorded statements that have not yet come to pass.
In this passage Ezekiel is instructed to act out* the response of the people in Jerusalem as God’s judgment falls upon them for their rebellion against Him: “…tremble as you eat your food, and shudder in fear as you drink your water…” because “They will eat their food in anxiety and drink their water in despair…”; all this would occur as the invading armies of the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem “because of the violence of all who live there.”.
He is then reminded of a proverb that was no doubt used by the false prophets in the land of Judah as they mocked Jeremiah’s warnings of the coming judgment; “Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: ‘The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’?” ; the false prophets were lying to the people saying that God was not going to punish them and they should continue living as they desired in rebellion against God; but the message to Ezekiel was the same as the message to Jeremiah and all the true prophets: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Say to them, ‘The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled.” .
The apostle Peter recorded in his New Testament letter similar words in response to those in his day, and those in our times, who ridicule God’s warnings of the coming judgment upon all mankind. Just as it was in Ezekiel’s and Jeremiah’s day, so it is in our day; “scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation”; he reminds his readers that God’s word is certain and it will be fulfilled; currently God is delaying His judgment allowing every person to hear and respond to His call to repent of their evil deeds, for he declares, and we should not forget, that “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”. The day of judgment on all evil and evil-doers will come unexpectedly “like a thief”and we all need to understand that we must respond to God in a positive way .
God’s message to Ezekiel ends with the solemn statement; “None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord”, and history records the total destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the people to Babylon.
And so it is that God’s word will be fulfilled in our time for Christ will return to bring judgment upon all ungodliness, for He taught His disciples on the night before He was crucified that He was returning to His Father and that “..if I go………. I will come back” ; after His crucifixion and resurrection “he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight…… This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” . The New Testament continues to teach that “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time…”, and this is what Peter was eluding to, that mankind has waited so long for this event to occur they now “scoff” at the promise and continue to live as they please. But do not be deceived “For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.” , and just as in Ezekiel’s and Jeremiah’s day, God’s prediction of judgment will occur!
GOD PROMISES (PREDICTIONS) NEVER FAIL!
* Ezekiel was directed by God to involve himself in the Divine word by acting it out in prophetic symbolism (NIV Study Bible)