Ezekiel 12:1-3, "Perhaps they will understand . . . "

by Matt Slick

"Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2“Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house. 3“Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile by day in their sight; even go into exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand though they are a rebellious house," (Ezek. 12:1-3).

God is not showing ignorance of the future.  He is displaying how He works through our time frame.  When God states "Perhaps they will understand...," it does not mean He is ignorant of the future.  It means God is communicating to us in a manner that we can understand.  In this case, God is beginning His judicial examination1 by which He might rightfully bring judgment against the lawbreakers.  It is not an arbitrary judgment that is coming, but one that is fairly administered after their rebellion has taken full force.  It is an anthropomorphic expression where God uses human terms and means to communicate to us.

Furthermore, God knows all things:  "...for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things," (1 John 3:20).  He knows what will ultimately happen, but for the sake of righteous judgment, He begins His judicial examination.

  • 1. Frame, John, No Other God: A Response to Open Theism, Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2001, p. 194-95.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.