October 19, 2019
In study one we saw some of God’s people had been deported to Babylon where they were a minority in a foreign land. They were exiled from their promised land, driven out of Zion the city of God & cut off from the Temple, the place of the presence of God.
They had a loss of place, a loss of purpose, a loss of perspective, a loss of pride & a loss of peace.
Among them was God’s prophet Ezekiel. The Lord gave Ezekiel 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)
In study one we saw that God showed Ezekiel He was with His people where ever they were. Even in a foreign land that He was in control and working out His purposes regardless of how things seemed. Therefore they could trust in and rely on Him.
2. Study Two.
God showed Ezekiel visions of His impending judgement. Because of their sin/unbelief Israel had positioned God as their adversary. God had warned them through His prophets again and again and yet they still turned away from Him to follow after other (man-made) gods.
Read Ezekiel 5:7-9. What do we see here about Israel’s walk with God?
As a result what did God say He would do the nation of Israel? Ezekiel 5:11-17.
What does Jeremiah 26:4-11 tell us about the false sense of security the Jews in Jerusalem had?
Why does sin position God against those who commit it? Ephesians 2:1-3, John 3:18, 36. Colossians 3:6. What is God’s view of sin?
What does Revelation 20:11-15 tell us about what will happen to all people at the end of time? What will be the result? Who will be the exception?
What do you say to people who make light of ‘The lake of fire’ or ‘talk of hell’, etc?
Discuss George’s words:
Someone might say, “Give me a break, we’re in 2019, we’ve moved on from Lake of Fire stuff, & talk of Hell”. The problem with this thinking is that God hasn’t moved on from “Lake of Fire stuff”! The God who gets to decide about “Lake of Fire stuff” is the God of Ezekiel’s visions.
What Ezekiel saw was the curtain drawn aside to reveal the spiritual realm which co-exists with the material reality in which we live. Ezekiel was not alone in seeing & experiencing this co-existent spiritual & material reality. Jacob saw it, so did Abraham, Moses, the Elders of Israel at Horeb, Elijah & Elisha, Solomon at the Temple dedication, a prophet Micaiah ben Imlah in1 Kings 22:19, Isaiah, Daniel, Habakkuk, Peter/James/John at the Transfiguration, Jesus, Paul, Stephen & Apostle John.
Ezekiel’s vision began with a tornado & ended with a throne. The vision of God, Ezekiel saw in Ezekiel 1, appeared again, 14 months later as we read in Ezekiel 10. In Ezekiel 1, the Glory of God is approaching; In Ezekiel 10, the Glory of God is departing. Ezekiel 10:1, 15-22. The arrival & departure of the Glory of God heralded the coming & effect of Judgement.
How does God feel about His impending judgement? Discuss Ezekiel 33:11, 2 Peter 3:9.
What ended happening to Jerusalem, the city of God and the Temple? Ezekiel 33:21, Jeremiah 52:1-30
3. God’s Solution for Man’s Sin.
What did the following say?
• Hosea? Hosea 14:1-2
• John the Baptist, Matthew 3:1-2.
• Jesus, Matthew 4:17.
What does it mean ‘to repent?’ How can someone be confident they have?
Consider George’s words:
• v30, “Turn from your sin” go another way,
• v31, “rid yourself of your sin” – this is a decisive throwing away (if substance abuse is your sin, purge your cupboards; if pornography, bin the images you’ve stashed)
• Removing & rejecting all that associates you with your sin.
What did Jesus’ disciples say to their fellow Jews at Pentecost they needed to do and what would be the results? Acts 2:38.
What did Paul say about those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Saviour? Romans 8:1.
4. God Gives a Vision of Hope.
God’s discipline and punishment of the Children of Israel was for a set period of time. What was His promise in Jeremiah 29:10-14?
5. Next study.
In Study three we pursue how God gave Ezekiel the vision of the ‘Valley of Dry Bones’ to show that he planned to resurrect His fallen people.