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Ezekiel 32:2-3 - Homiletics

The lion in a net.

Pharaoh is compared both to a young lien and to a whale. The young lion has left his mark at the watering-place of the cattle. Therefore a net is spread for him, and he is entrapped.

I. THE GREATEST ERE UNDER THE POWER OF GOD . The lion is the king of beasts; the whale is the greatest sea-monster. Yet both are under the power of their Creator. Kings are subject to God. Successful rich men have not grown out of his reach. Men of great intellect are not able to outwit Heaven. The raging of the wicked will not save them. They may roar like lions; they may plunge like whales; but they cannot escape God's net and hook. We are all entirely in the hands of God. It is a miserable thing that this thought should inspire terror, a happy thing when it only encourages confidence. The lions, fierce and strong as they are, cannot save themselves from the net; but the most helpless lambs of the flock are safe under their shepherd's care. It is better to be God's feeblest sheep than as the mightiest lions of the forest in opposition to God.

II. GOD CANNOT ENDURE THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION . The lion ravages the flock; even when he is not doing this deadly work, he is represented as fouling the rivers. He is in all respects a mischief-maker. Then his lordly mien will not protect him. The great heathen empires incurred the wrath of Heaven for their rapacious destructiveness. If a man is injuring his fellow-men in body or soul, he will be treated by God as a beast of prey, hunted and netted and destroyed.

III. SIN MUST BE RESTRAINED . The lion is caught in a net. There he may rage and roar to his heart's content, but he can do no more mischief. The best treatment of evil is to change the lion into the lamb. This is Christ's method. The wild demoniac sits at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. But men will not always yield to the influence of Christ. They cannot then be left at large forever. There are two nets—a gospel net ( Matthew 13:47 ) and a net of judgment. The latter is for those who have escaped the meshes of the former.

IV. SINNERS MAY BE ENTRAPPED UNAWARES . The lion would not enter the net knowingly. "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird" ( Proverbs 1:17 ). But the net is hidden, and it ensnares its victim before he is aware of his danger. Souls are entrapped by their own sins. They fall into danger before they observe it. We cannot say that sin will go on unchecked and unpunished simply because we do not perceive any immediate signs of Divine interference. God has his hidden nets, fine as gossamer thread, strong as steel.

V. THE WORLD CONCURS IN THE OVERTHROW OF EVIL - DOERS . All the peoples help to ensnare the lion. The nations assist at the down-casting of Egypt. The selfish, cruel man may be thronged with flatterers in his prosperity. In his adversity he will be equally thronged with revengeful victims. It is a terrible thing to prepare hatred for the day of calamity. No fate excites less commiseration than that of a proud, selfish, heartless soul.

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