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Ezekiel 32:1-10 - Homilies By W. Clarkson

God's teaching in history.

As the prophet continues his utterance in the same strain, our thought is directed to the same class of truths, and we learn—

I. THAT GREAT SINNERS ARE GREAT TROUBLERS . Egypt was a young lion among the nations, fierce, dangerous, dreaded ( Ezekiel 32:2 ). It was a crocodile in the river, "breaking forth," " troubling the waters," and "fouling" them ( Ezekiel 32:2 ). Great cities like Rome and Sparta, powerful kingdoms like Assyria anti Egypt, strong men like Scylla and Napoleon, have been sad troublers of their time. They have been invaders of territory, destroyers of institutions, disturbers of domestic life. And whenever strength is found dissociated from Christian principle and the Christian spirit, there must always be grave danger of trouble. To propound their own notions, to contrive their own comfort, to extend their own influence, unprincipled or selfish men will use their strength to disturb their neighbors' peace, reckless of the good they are undoing and of the misery and mischief they are causing.

II. THAT THEY FIND THEMSELVES DEFEATED IN THE END . God spreads out his net ( Ezekiel 32:3 ), and the raging animal, the powerful fish, is taken in it. In the height of their power great nations and strong men imagine themselves to be absolutely secure, and they laugh at the designs of their enemies. But they do not know what forces are at work either within or around them; and they do not calculate that there is One who is working above them and against them. And as surely as the night follows the day, the hour of darkness will come to those who use the light of heaven to abuse their privileges and to wrong their fellow-men. Defeat and calamity await them. And sometimes it will be found—

III. THAT PALPABLE DISCOMFITURE SUCCEEDS DEFEAT . This great dragon of the deep could not be buried out of sight; its carcass was "upon the green field," "laid upon the mountains," and "filling the valleys," even" watering the laud with its blood" ( Ezekiel 32:4-6 ). It could not be hidden; the ruin of the once proud kingdom should be

"Gross as a mountain, open, palpable."

Every eye should see it, every tongue should talk about it. Let men who are now prominent in power take heed lest they should become conspicuous for shame and for destitution, lest the name that is now on the lip of praise should be branded with dishonor. Unrighteousness, impurity, and selfish cruelty, when they have run their guilty and wretched course, will be held up before the eyes of men to receive the execration they deserve. The false divinity of today will be the fiend of tomorrow.

IV. THAT THE DISCOMFITURE OF ONE MAY MEAN THE CONFUSION OF MANY . When Egypt's light went out, the world immediately around it would be in darkness; all those who were walking in its light would be utterly benighted and confused ( Ezekiel 32:7 , Ezekiel 32:8 ). If we live in no better and no more enduring light than that of a very strong but unprincipled power, we may prepare for utter darkness before long. Our light will be extinguished; we shall lose our guide, and grope our way miserably. Well it is for those who choose the Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, that in the beams of his Divine truth they may rejoice all the day, may do their life-work, may "have light at eventide," and may be ready for a still brighter and everlasting morning under other skies.—C.

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