October 26, 2019
The Lord gave Ezekiel His prophet visions in order to communicate through him to the Children of Israel.
These visions were in 4 categories
• A Vision of God – What is God Like? (Chap1 & 10)
• A Vision of Judgement – When God is Your Adversary! (Chap 6 & 7, 14, 23, 25-32)
• A Vision of Restoration – Death Precedes Life!(Chap 37)
• A Vision of Renewal – A Future That’s Coming (Chap 43)
The children of Israel though repeatedly warned by God of the consequences of turning away from Him and worshipping other gods ignored God. Therefore God punished them through the Babylonians. They were largely either killed or exiled to Babylon. They lost all that was important to them.
Even though God had to punish their sin He through Ezekiel gave them hope that one day He would return them to their home land again.
2. Israel’s Restoration.
Read Ezekiel 36:1-22 and discussed the following:
• Ezekiel 36:1-7. God’s ‘jealous anger (that) burned against the nations’ which treated the land of Israel as an object of ‘mocking and slander.’ Ezekiel 36:5.
• Ezekiel 36:8-15, 33-38. What did God promise to do?
• What does God say regarding His concerns about His “Holy Name?” Ezekiel 36:20, 21, 22, 23.
• What point did God make clear in Ezekiel 36:22, 32?
• What is it that God wanted all people to know? Ezekiel 36:11, 23, 36, 38.
See also God’s dealings with Israel and Pharaoh over 700 years earlier eg: Exodus 6:7, 10:2, 14:18. Why do you think this was/is important?
• What picture does God paint which reflects His heart’s desire as to how He really wanted to bless His chosen people if only they would walk in His ways? Ezekiel 36:28, 30, 33-38, eg: ‘Garden of Eden’ v.35.
What does the above tell us who are alive now about what God still desires in His people today? Is there a difference in the way God blesses now compared to then? Eg: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Ephesians 1:3-8.
3. A Valley of Dry Bones.
Read Ezekiel 37:1-14.
Imagine, discuss and try to describe what the valley must have looked like to Ezekiel as God led him all around among the bones.
What does the phrase ‘….they were completely dried out’ tell us about the condition of the bones?
As you read about the vision and saw God’s restoring life to dead bones what did it remind you of/what thoughts came to mind regarding His creative power at work?
We read elsewhere in God’s Word how when Jesus returns the dead will be raised back to life to appear before Him at the judgement. Revelation 20:12. See also the resurrection of the dead of those who have put their faith in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
What was the purpose of the vision, Ezekiel 37:11-14? Discuss how this vision is a fulfillment of Ezekiel 36, especially Ezekiel 37:14 of Ezekiel 36:23-29a.
Keeping in mind the title of this study “Death precedes Life” discuss Jesus’ words in John 12:24-26.
Read the following as a summary:
This vision illustrates the promise of Chapter 36-new life and a nation restored, both physically and spiritually. The dry bones are a picture of the Jews in captivity-scattered and dead. The two pieces of wood (Ezekiel 37:15-17) represent the union of the entire nation of Israel that had been divided into the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel after Solomon. The scattered exiles of both Israel and Judah would be released from the ‘graves’ of exile and one day regathered in their homeland, with the Messiah as their leader. This vision has yet to be fulfilled. Ezekiel felt he was speaking to the dead as he preached to the exiles because they rarely responded to his message. But these bones responded! And just as God brought life to these dead bones, he would bring life again to His spiritually dead people. Taken from ‘Life Application Study Bible.’
Has there been anything in particular which God has impressed on you through this study or series so far? Eg: ‘How seriously God sees sin and His judgement of it’ or ‘God’s graciousness in wanting to restore His people regardless of their worthiness or not,’ or ‘God‘s faithfulness in doing all He said He would do, good and bad,’ or something else?
Share with others in your group.