Summary: Despite greater privileges and blessings from God, many of us struggle to honor God and remain faithful to Him. We seem to take His Grace for granted. There will come a time when we will be held accountable to Him for our choices, and only a remnant who stay faithful until the end will be saved.
Remember in Chapter 4, God had Ezekiel draw the town out on paper and lay siege against it to show the people they would be destroyed. He then had Ezekiel put an iron skillet between himself and the town to show he was not going to look upon the town. He then had Ezekiel lay on his side representing the sins of Israel and Judah.
The razor is the sword of the enemy which God is going to use to humiliate His people because of their disobedience. Shaving to the prophet was humiliating. Under Levitical law, priests were not allowed to “cut the corners” of their beard (no goatees, no chinstrap, no mutton chops, no neckbeard, no ducktail, etc.). Ezekiel was not only a prophet, but he was also a priest. This means that for him to shave his beard, this was a clear sign to everyone that something was wrong. Something was very wrong. They were about to be humiliated militarily by the Babylonians.
The 3 groups of hair (VS 2-4)…
1. 1/3 people are killed in battle
2. 1/3 perish by famine
3. 1/3 scattered among the gentiles
4. THE SMALL NUMBER THAT ARE IN THE PROPHET’S SKIRT ARE THOSE WHO ARE PRESERVED (Verse 3)
This was all done to show that the people in Jerusalem were acting more wickedly than the surrounding nations, despite their greater privileges and blessings from God.
IT WOULD BE PRETTY BAD FOR GOD TO SAY THAT THE HEATHENS ARE ACTING BETTER THAN THE CHOSEN. Kind of like if the non-churched have better morals than the churched. It was bad enough that God even said He was against His own people.
There is not much in the way of ‘Gospel’ in chapter 5, but the one thing that we need to remember and focus on, is that GOD WILL LEAVE A REMNANT.
REMNANT—what is left after a catastrophe; that which remains of an original body or substance.
THE BIBLE MENTIONS A REMNANT OF PEOPLE MULTIPLE TIMES…
1) Survivors of any catastrophe (Noah and The Flood; Lot survived Sodom).
2) A group of non-Israelite survivors ("the remnant of Edom," Amos 9:12).
3) Israelite survivors of the Assyrian invasion in 721-718 BC .
4) Jewish survivors of the Babylonian invasion in 585 BC .
5) The remnant of Jews who returned to Judah from Babylon.
6) The remainder of physical Israelites and Jews after the Great Tribulation.
7) The remnant of converted sons of God in the last days.
Romans 9:27 (AMP)--And Isaiah calls out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is only the remnant [a small believing minority] that will be saved [from God’s judgment];
The remnant are a people of unshakable integrity. Zephaniah 3:13--"The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down and none shall make them afraid."
Matthew 7:13-14-- 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE REMNANT
What is the doctrine of the Remnant? It is simply this; that in our blind, fallen, sinful world of mankind, at any given time, the vast overwhelming majority is lost. And by lost, I do not mean they have missed their way or come short of the mark or are less that they wanted to be or fail to fulfill their dreams. By lost I mean, alienated from God and an enemy to Him, without pardon, without life, without hope. What does the doctrine of the Remnant mean? “Remnant,’ means a small fragment, a surviving trace. It means that some-thing yet remains when the larger body is somewhere else. The Romans 9:27 text deals with Israel, but it sets forth clearly the doctrine as applying to the entire human race as well as the Church. This was true among the nations before Abraham; it was true of Israel after Abraham; and it is true of the Church since Pentecost. I am alarmed because it has been true since Pentecost that such a vast number of people who call themselves Christians-the overwhelming majority-are nominal, and only a remnant is saved (acalltotheremnant.com).
Isaiah 1:9-- “Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah”
Let’s take the church that we have right here. Using Ezekiel as an example. Let’s separate the church into thirds. One third of you have died from famine. One third of you has died from battle. One third of you are going to be scattered. Now, we will take some of the scattered (we can use the OT tithe as a reference point) and we will call these folks ‘THE REMNANT.”