A BRIEF LOOK AT THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL
While Jeremiah spoke to the people still living in Judah (the southern kingdom of Israel, including Jerusalem), Ezekiel, his younger contemporary, prophesied to those already exiled in Babylon. After announcing God’s judgment, Ezekiel concludes with the promise that God will one day breathe new life into dead bones. In other words, God will someday restore his people back into the land of Israel and He will bless his people once again.
Ezekiel saw a vision that revealed God’s absolute moral perfection. God was spiritually and morally superior to members of Israel’s corrupt and compromising society. Ezekiel wrote to let the people know that God in his holiness was also present in Babylon, not just in Jerusalem. Because God is morally perfect, he can help us live above our tendency to compromise with this world. When we focus on his greatness, he gives us the power to overcome sin and to reflect his holiness.
Israel had sinned, and God’s punishment came. The fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile were used by God to correct the rebels and draw them back from their sinful way of life. Ezekiel warned them that not only was the nation responsible for sin but each individual was also accountable to God. We cannot excuse ourselves from our responsibilities before God. We are accountable to God for our choices. Rather than neglect him, we must recognize sin for what it is, rebellion against God, and choose to follow him instead.
Ezekiel consoles the people by telling them that the day will come when God will restore those who turn from sin. God will be their King and shepherd. He will give his people a new heart to worship him, and he will establish a new government and a new Temple. The certainty of future restoration encourages believers in times of trial. But we must be faithful to God because we love him, not merely for what he can do for us. Is our faith in him or merely in our future benefits?
Ezekiel condemned the shepherds (unfaithful priests and leaders), who led the people astray. By contrast, he served as a caring shepherd and a faithful watchman to warn the people about their sin. One day God’s perfect shepherd, the Messiah, will lead his people. Yeshua is our perfect leader. If we truly want him to lead us, our devotion must be more than talk. If we are given the responsibility of leading others, we must take care of them even if it means sacrificing personal pleasure, happiness, time, or money. We are responsible for those we lead.
An angel gave Ezekiel a vision of the Temple in great detail. God’s holy presence had departed from Israel and the Temple because of sin. The building of a future Temple portrays the return of God’s glory and presence. God will cleanse his people and restore true worship. All of God’s promises will be fulfilled under the rule of the Messiah. The faithful followers will be restored to perfect fellowship with God and with one another. To be prepared for this time, we must focus on God. We do this through regular worship. Through worship we learn about God’s holiness and the changes we must make in how we live.
SUMMARY OF EZEKIEL’S VISIONS
The Book of Ezekiel consists mainly of three prophetic subjects: prophecies for Israel’s future destruction, prophecies for the surrounding gentile nations’ future destruction, and prophecies for the restoration of Israel and the Messianic Kingdom Age. His message was the most spiritual of the prophets because he saw dramatic visions of God.
Following an account of his call to the prophetical office, Ezekiel utters words of denunciation against the Jews, warning them of the coming certain destruction of Jerusalem, in opposition to the words of the false prophets. The symbolical acts, by which the extremities to which Jerusalem would be reduced reveals his intimate acquaintance with the Levitical legis
Ezekiel reveals prophecies for the destruction of various surrounding nations: against the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Edomites, the Philistines, Tyre and Sidon, and against Egypt. Ezekiel releases prophecies for the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. He mentions the restoration and triumphs of Israel before and during Messiah’s kingdom Age on Earth. He mentions the Messianic times, and the establishment and prosperity of God’s kingdom.
Biblical Mysteries; Donald P. Ryan, Ph.D; 2000. The Bible; Jim Bell and Stan Cambell; 1999. The Complete Guide to the Bible; Stephen M. Miller; 2007. The Hand Writing of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2000. The Signature of God; Dr. Grant Jeffrey; 2010. The Septuagint With Apocrypha: English; Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton; 1851. Bible Prophecies; 2013. The Book of Ezekiel; J Vernon McGee; 1988.