Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in Ezekiel 1-13 "Countdown to Exile" 3/5|
Chapter: Ezek 5
Passage: Ezek 5:5-12
A. Find Out:
1. How did the Lord view Jerusalem ? v.5
2. What had Jerusalem done? v.6,7
3. What was the Lord going to do? v.8
4. Why was He going to do it? v.9
5. What will actually happen? v.10,12
6. Again, why will this happen? v.11
1. What had been Jerusalem 's history?
2. What was her present state?
3. So what was going to happen?
You have to admit, there is no room for doubt left after reading this passage. It is ultra clear! No one will ever be able to say, “Well we didn't know. God didn't tell us”. They did! He did!
God had made Jerusalem something special. In His eyes it was the centre of the nations! But despite having been made so great, the inhabitants of Jerusalem turned away, again and again, from the Lord. They hadn't merely turned away; they had become worse than the ungodly nations. They had turned to idol worship in a bigger way than many of their neighbours - and that after having had such a history of encounters with the Living God! How incredible is that!
God cannot tolerate this any longer. He has warned and warned them. He can't go on doing it for ever. Right, He is going to remove His hand of protection and blessing, and instead His judgement will come. When the next invasion comes, understand it, it is the judgement of God. Jerusalem will be under siege, there will be the most terrible famine as they are shut off from food supplies, and then eventually they will fall and be destroyed. It is all quite clear! And this word is coming to the exiles! Jeremiah is bringing it inside Jerusalem , but God wants to turn the hearts of all His people, wherever they are. Understand it!
1. None of us has an excuse. God makes it clear to all of us!
2. We NEED the Cross of Christ to save us from our sins.
Chapter: Ezek 5
Passage: Ezek 5:13-17
A. Find Out:
1. What will happen and what will be known? v.13
2. What will the Lord make Jerusalem ? v.14,15a
3. Why will this happen? v.15b
4. How will this specifically happen? v.16
5. What specific forms will God's destruction take? v.17
1. How will the rest of the world eventually feel about Jerusalem ?
2. How is the Lord going to bring that about?
3. Why is He going to do that?
An awful passage! In a day when we mostly speak about the love of God, the anger of the Lord seems particularly terrible. This passage is filled with that anger. There is a time to be angry. When a people have had every ounce of the love of God poured on them and they turn away and throw it back in His face, and go and worship demons, that is something to be angry about! In a day when we try to be nice to all people and every person has a right to be what they want, say what they will, and act how they want, and it be accepted if not applauded, these words come as a particular shock. It is not all right, it is pure ungrateful sin and it cannot be tolerated!
When God has finished with this people, the world will look on and wonder - and some might even believe! Read Jeremiah to catch the state of Jerusalem after all this happened. The world went round the world: this is not a God to be messed with!!!! Destruction will come by famine in the city, by the sword when the enemy come in, by wild beasts when the security of the walls of Jerusalem is removed and the remaining destitute refugees are a prey. Sickness and plague will follow because of the putrid bodies left all over the place after the destruction. This is the graphic warning that came to Jerusalem - and was not heeded. As a consequence the destruction came with all the detail of the prophecy!
1. Never say that God doesn't warn us!
Chapter: Ezek 6
Passage: Ezek 6:1-10
A. Find Out:
1. Against where was Ezekiel to prophesy? v.1-3a
2. What was going to happen there? v.3b-5
3. Where also was it to happen? v.6
4. Who will escape death? v.8
5. What will happen there? v.9
6. With what final outcome? v.10
1. What particularly was the Lord going to move against?
2. How would He do it?
3. Yet why will there be a saved remnant?
This passage starts with “The word of the Lord came to me” indicating a fresh word that came at a different moment from what had gone before. This word has a particular focus. In the previous communication the Lord had mentioned the idols of Israel (5:9) but the main emphasis had been on the form of destruction that was coming on Jerusalem . This word now turns our eyes on what had been happening on the hills of Israel .
Up in the hills “high places” had been established, places of idol worship. You find them mentioned again and again throughout the history of the kings of Israel and Judah . It was against this false and foolish worship that the Lord was coming. This had been the cause of allowing the demonic and Satan to preside over the life of Israel . Worshipping idols allows the enemy to come in and take authority, so now the Lord was going to bring a physical enemy to come in and take authority, and they would bring physical destruction, as Satan had brought spiritual destruction (however nowhere is he given credit because it is the people's folly that opened the door to this).
Yet there will be a few saved, in exile, and there they will come to their senses, there they will realise the awful truth. Again and again in Scripture we find warnings of judgement if the word is not heeded, but there is always hope given for a faithful remnant.
1. Worshipping idols opens the door to demonic oppression and rule.
2. When there is no hope, the Lord destroys; only then.
Chapter: Ezek 6
Passage: Ezek 6:11-14
A. Find Out:
1. What is Ezekiel to do? v.11a
2. What will happen to Israel and why? v.11b
3. In what way will people die, and where? v.12
4. Where specifically, also, will people die? v.13
5. How extensive will the destruction be? v.14
1. What are the given reasons for the destruction?
2. What are the forms the destruction will take?
3. What will the end result be?
One theologian has said, “What is amazing is that we all aren't immediately destroyed”. The truth is that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23 ) and we all deserve to die. It is purely God's mercy and grace that leave any of us saved.
Therefore there are times in history when God does move in destructive power, bringing active judgement. The religious leader who says “I don't believe God would do that sort of thing” simply hasn't read his Bible. God is a God of wrath and judgement, for sin is an awful thing and needs destroying if not dealt with after continuous warnings.
The Lord is clear here about the coming destruction. First, the reasons for it: The people of Israel have totally sold themselves over to idol worship; they who were supposed to be a light to the nations, now are the worst of examples. Second, the means: some will die by sword, some by famine and some by plague. Note where they will die: in the very places where they have worshipped their idols. Finally, the outcome: all will know that this has been the hand of the Lord. There will be no foolish leaders saying this was just accident. All will know this was God! He is the Holy One of Israel and will not share His name or be associated with those who have sold out to the powers of darkness.
1. God is a God of grace and mercy for those who will repent.
Chapter: Ezek 7
Passage: Ezek 7:1-14
A. Find Out:
1. What has come and why? v.1-3
2. What will the Lord not do, what will He do and to what end? v.4
3. What has come and why? v.5-8
4. What will the Lord not do, what will He do and to what end? v.9
5. What have now come to fruition? v.10,11
6. What will no longer happen and why? v.12-14
1. What is the repeated order of v.1-4 and then v.5-9?
2. How do verses 10-14 progress on?
3. What sense are you left with after these verses?
This is a new and separate word from the Lord (v.1), yet it repeats what Ezekiel has already heard from the Lord. The message comes again and again so there is no missing it. Very often when God brings a prophetic word, He brings it again and again because He knows we are slow to take it in, but take it in we will - eventually!
This word is like the Lord closing the book on Israel . It is as if He says, “Right, that's it, no more, enough, it's finished! This is very much a “now” word. The judgement is coming - now! Their idol worship had carried on (v.3,4), despite all the Lord had said, so don't expect pity from the Lord that results in them being spared. No, it has gone beyond that.
The Lord is now going to deal with this idolatry in the most severe way. When you have a cancer, you don't be nice to it; you cut it out because you know that to leave it will cause utter destruction of the body. Similarly the Lord is therefore going to cut this cancerous growth (idolatry) right out of the land. The only way to do that is to remove the people, and the only way to do that is bring in an invading army to destroy Jerusalem and take a remnant into exile where they can be treated and used to grow new “cells” who will eventually be able to be put back in the land to start again! Judgement is not the end. The Lord plans long-term.
1. Does our blindness make us soft on sin? It will kill us! Repent!
Chapter: Ezek 7
Passage: Ezek 7:15-27
A. Find Out:
1. What will be the end of various people? v.15,16
2. How will people feel? v.17,18
3. What did they feel about possessions & so what will happen? v.19-22
4. What will the Lord do and why? v.23,24
5. What will people want but what will they get? v.25,26
6. Who will respond how & how will God deal with them? v.27
1. What wrong does God speak about here?
2. What descriptions of the coming judgement are given?
3. How will people hope for one thing but get another?
The descriptions of what is coming in the immediate future continue to be repeated. Death by plague, famine and the sword is reiterated. Anyone who manages to escape the city and flee to the hills will have no strength. In the city as these things come, those who had been proud and relied upon their wealth will realise that it is all worthless, it cannot help them now. Their money will not buy them food or security. They had used it to make idols, so now the Lord will make it worthless. While they are shut up within the city with the enemy outside, money will be meaningless. They will want peace, they will suddenly want to hear the word of the Lord through the prophet, or teaching through the priest, but it will be too late!
There is a sense in all this of a mighty God presiding over the destruction of a puny and foolish people. They had been utterly deceived. They thought they were secure, they thought they could get away with rejecting God, and they thought everything would just carry on as normal - they were wrong! Almighty God has focused His attention on them and is bringing an invader to fulfil His purposes. There is no way that this can be turned back (except possibly, mass repentance). This is GOING to happen, understand it! There is a certainty about the Lord's intent in this prophecy that cannot be misconstrued!
1. God's purpose WILL prevail (Prov 19:21 , Isa 46:10)
RECAP - "The Imminent Judgment" - Ezekiel 5-7
In this third group of 6 studies we have seen the Lord declaring His judgement over Israel :
These prophecies first explain the last part of the enactment as God's destruction on Israel, but then go on to detail their sin and His intentions against them. This is God giving very serious and final warnings that must be giving Israel a last chance to repent. We omit the ‘Lessons' from this Recap and simply ask you to read again the detail of these chapters and catch the terribleness of them, bearing in mind our knowledge of the Babylonian siege of Israel and Jerusalem in five years time from these words of warning from God.
Worship the Lord who is holy. Acknowledge His greatness.
PART 4 : " The Vision of Jerusalem "
The next four chapters, you will see, are all one vision given about Jerusalem. In them Ezekiel is given insight into the idolatry of Jerusalem and then sees the divine plans for destroying the apostate unbelievers. We will also see the glory of the Lord departing the temple, indicating God leaving this place in preparation for the coming invader.