The image of the sword runs strongly through Ezekiel 21 and unfortunately it doesn't look like the Israelites will be spared from God's anger. If you are into counting the number of times a word is used in a passage, then you will see that Ezekiel uses it a lot - 14 times in this one chapter alone. The message is clear - God is not happy with Israel's unfaithfulness and he asks Ezekiel to use the image of the SWORD to make his point loud and clear.
There is however a glimmer of hope in v.27 that ties in with our Lenten theme and draws our attention to the Messiah. Ezekiel says:
I will surely destroy the kingdom.
And it will not be restored until the one appears
who has the right to judge it.
Then I will hand it over to him.
The reason I find this to be 'hopeful' is because, even though pain and punishment will be dished out, there will also be healing and restoration. Both of these promises are fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. And so this is the invitation we are waiting for - to turn to Christ and to trust our brokenness and failures to him, because he has already born our punishment for us.
Living in Grace