We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded solely by your direct support. Please consider supporting this project.

What is the significance of Ezekiel 12:1–3?

The Lord has Ezekiel symbolically enact Israel’s exile as a warning and remarks, “Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house” (vs. 3).

Though Israel repeatedly surprised God by their persistent rebellion, he nevertheless continued to hold out hope and thus to strive with them to participate in a covenant relationship with him. He thus gives Ezekiel an object lesson to carry out, hoping that “perhaps” this approach might succeed.

If everything about the future is settled and thus all future free decisions are certain to God, however, neither the “perhaps” of this verse nor the hope it is predicated on makes sense. God would have been completely certain all along that this object lesson was going to fail (because it did). Indeed, one wonders why the Lord would even waste Ezekiel’s time (while telling him he thinks it might work!) if he was absolutely certain it didn’t stand a chance.

In the open view of creation the verse is allowed to say what it seems to plainly say. God had Ezekiel go through this dramatic sermon because God genuinely thought it might work in bringing the people around to God. People are free, however, and unfortunately they sometimes used their freedom to thwart God’s plan for them.

Category:
Tags: ,
Topics:
Verse:

Related Reading

How do you respond to Acts 2:23 and 4:28?

Question: Acts 2:23 and 4:28 tell us that wicked people crucified Jesus just as God predestined them to do. If this wicked act could be predestined, why couldn’t every other wicked act be predestined? Doesn’t this refute your theory that human acts can’t be free if they are either predestined or foreknown? Answer: In Acts…

Q&A: If Salvation Depends on our Free Choice, How are we Saved by Grace?

As a companion to today’s testimony and the link to Greg’s thoughts on Romans 9, we thought it would be helpful to post this Q&A on salvation by grace within the Open View of the future. Enjoy! Question: I’m an Arminian-turned-Calvinist, and the thing that turned me was the realization that if salvation hinges on whether…

How do you respond to Isaiah 44:28–45:1?

This passage is one of the most persuasive evidences of divine foreknowledge in the Bible. The verse proclaims the Lord as the one “who says to Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and he shall carry out all my purpose’; and who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be rebuilt,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall…

How do you respond to Isaiah 14:24, 27?

The Lord of hosts has sworn: As I have designed, so shall it be; and as I have planned, so shall it come to pass… For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who will annul it? his hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? The fact that Scripture frequently speaks of…

How can we determine what is and is not “open” about the future?

Question: You believe that the future is partly open. You’re writing has pretty much convinced me this is true, but I’ve still got some serious questions about it. For example, how does anyone determine what part is open and what part is not? If we can’t determine what is and is not open, isn’t the…

How Calvinism Misses the Point About Salvation

Calvinists sometimes argue that various passages in John teach that the Father chooses and then “draws” certain people to Christ. Those who are “drawn” certainly come to Christ (John 6:37) while all who are not drawn remain in their sin. For example, John portrays Jesus as repeatedly teaching that “no one can come to me…