Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in Ezekiel 1-13 "Countdown to Exile" 2/5|
Chapter: Ezek 4
Passage: Ezek 4:1-8
A. Find Out:
1. What was the first part of Ezekiel's visual aid? v.1
2. Then what was he to do around it? v.2
3. What was the next thing he had to do with it? v.3
4. What was he next to do and why? v.4,5
5. What was he to do after that? v.6,7
6. What did the Lord say He would do? v.8
1. What do you think v.1-3 are portraying?
2. What do you think Ezekiel's actions in v.4-6 are representing?
3. What do you think people would have thought seeing all this?
Prophets are often visual aids, by what they have to do and by their very lives. Ezekiel has first to set up a visual aid, probably somewhere just outside his front door where everyone passing would be able to see it. It is quiet clear that it is a picture of Jerusalem , a city under siege, and a city separated from God. The siege has not yet come but when it does and the exiles hear about it, they will know that this is the work of God, and not just a random act of history.
Having set up this visual aid, Ezekiel is then to lie down alongside it and prophesy over it when people come along. He is to do that for a long period as a picture of Israel 's sin, and then a shorter period in respect of Judah 's sin. It is difficult to assess what the numbers are supposed to refer to as far as their duration is concerned but we are told in the passage why Ezekiel is doing it for these periods. The Lord Himself says He will help Ezekiel achieve these acts, possibly bringing either a firm determination to him to achieve it or even perhaps a paralysis that keeps him there.
Whatever it is, Ezekiel is there as a clear teaching figure for the Jews living there. They would be constantly reminded of what God was saying as He is gradually changing their understanding. Perhaps it is as much for the future remembrance as for the present.
1. God seeks to bring understanding to His people.
2. God works on a long-term basis that is sure and thorough.
Chapter: Ezek 4
Passage: Ezek 4:9-17
A. Find Out:
1. What was Ezekiel to eat, and when? v.9
2. How was he to go about it? v.10,11
3. How was he to cook it and why? v.12,13
4. Why did Ezekiel object? v.14
5. So what did the Lord allow? v.15
6. What did the Lord tell Ezekiel would happen? v.16,17
1. What two situations does this passage apply to?
2. What does it say about the quality and quantity of food available?
3. Why do you think the Lord was giving Ezekiel this picture?
Yesterday we saw how Ezekiel was to set up a visual aid of the coming siege of Jerusalem . Now he is required to act it out and enter into it, in respect of his food. Throughout his time of acting out this visual aid he is to eat a limited diet, in carefully rationed portions and using the most primitive of cooking provisions. This is what it is going to be like for the inhabitants of Jerusalem during the siege and afterwards when they are scattered among the nations.
Note two other things: first the courage of Ezekiel to challenge the Lord's instructions on the grounds of uncleanness and the Lord's acceptance of his challenge. The Lord is gracious to His servants.
Second, why was the Lord telling a man in exile to do this? Why not a man in Jerusalem? Well he was telling His man in Jerusalem . Jeremiah was prophesying to the king and the inhabitants. Daniel was prophesying to the Babylonian court, so that only left the Jews in exile to be spoken to. God was making sure EVERYONE involved was hearing from Him. Three prophets all speaking God's word into the various groups involved with the nation of God at this time. How amazing!
Chapter: Ezek 5
Passage: Ezek 5:1-4
A. Find Out:
1. What was Ezekiel to do next? v.1a
2. What was he to do with it? v.1b,2a,b
3. What was that to partly signify? v.2c
4. Yet what was he to do with a few strands? v.3
5. And then what was he to do with a few of those? v.4
1. Note again the first three things Ezekiel was to do with his cut hair?
2. What do you think that signified?
3. What do you think what he did with remainder signified?
The visual aid continues. There is a picture of a siege of Jerusalem with God's face turned against it, a picture of restricted rationing, and now a picture of what will happen at the end of the siege.
Again, note, this is all very visual, able to be seen by passers by. He is first to shave his head, and that will start people thinking. Then he is to take scales and weigh out the hair into three portions. Again that will stop passers by and make them wonder. Then he is to take a third of it and put it on the tablet of clay representing Jerusalem and burn it. That obviously means some will die in Jerusalem as the siege ends. The next third he is to put on the floor around the city and strike it with a sword. That obviously means a number will be killed when they flee from the city. The final third he is simply to throw up into the air and be blown away by the wind. Obviously the remainder will flee and will be dispersed around the world, no longer an identifiable nation.
But there is still a remnant, a few hairs he is to put in his own coat. He represents God as he brings the judgement in the picture, so these few hairs represent a faithful few who will be saved, yet some of those will yet not be saved. You need to read the closing chapters of Jeremiah to see how this was all exactly fulfilled.
1. God conveys His plans through His prophets (Amos 3:7)
In this second group of just 3 studies we have seen the Lord instructing Ezekiel to establish a living visual aid prophecy:
This is an amazing prophecy of condemnation against Jerusalem that comes in the form of an acted-out parable. The message is unmistakable in that there is a clay model of Jerusalem with siege ramps around it. Ezekiel's activity for the next 430 days will raise comment and the message will be clear. It is accentuated by his bizarre eating throughout that time – sparse food cooked over animal dung! At the end of that time he is to take his hair – which presumably will have grown very long by then – shave it and further act out the parable using it. Throughout the time he is to prophesy over the model (4:7), and thus the Lord makes very clear His feelings about Jerusalem that must be the basis for that long-term prophesying, as revealed in chapters 5 to 7. The point about these instructions is that they will make Ezekiel the subject of much discussion both here and right back to Jerusalem, where the word has to go. Amazing!
1. God gives clear warning against ongoing sin.
2. Our failure to listen or heed, is no excuse.
3. God's warning is to give us opportunity to repent & be saved.
Thank the Lord for His grace and mercy that has reached out to you and brought salvation through Jesus.
PART 3 : " The Imminent Judgement"
In this next Part we will see a series of words from the Lord that spell out His condemnation of Israel. Although somewhat heavy, observe the different aspects of these words.