Ezekiel 7:8 & 9

"'I am about to pour out my wrath on you and spend my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices. I will not look on you with pity; I will not spare you. I will repay you for your conduct and for the detestable practices among you. Then you will know that it is I the Lord who strikes you.'" NIV translation

We see that not even the mercy of God can stop the eventual judgment for turning their backs on Him. We often hear about God's mercy but seldom hear about His justice. As we see here, His mercy has a season but His wrath does as well.

What is the purpose of God's judgment? It is so that the people will acknowledge Him for who He is and cause them to fear Him. This Godly fear has the power to produce repentance which is the first step to restoration.

Ezekiel 7:10 & 11

"'See, the day! See, it comes! Doom has burst forth, the rod has budded, arrogance has blossomed! Violence has arisen, a rod to punish the wicked. None of the people will be left, none of that crowd - none of their wealth, nothing of value.'" NIV translation

This verse calls to mind the budding of Aaron's staff that God used as a sign to the rebellious people (see Numbers 17). In that case, Aaron's rod produced almonds and throughout Scripture almonds are a reminder of God's watchfulness. In this case, the rod has produced arrogance which is at the heart of sin. The people did not believe that God would judge them because of the fact that they were the "chosen people". Here, the people are reminded that God sees the arrogance and that He has punished rebellion in the past. They are also reminded that the punishment is not based on one's standing in society as it will fall on the rich as well as the poor.