Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Studies in Ezekiel 1-13 "Countdown to Exile" 5/5|
Chs. 12 & 13
Chapter: Ezek 12
Passage: Ezek 12:1-16
A. Find Out:
1. How did the Lord describe Israel ? v.1,2
2. What was Ezekiel told to do? v.3-7
3. Who did the Lord say this referred to? v.8-10
4. What did the Lord say Ezekiel was? v.11
5. What did the Lord say would happen at Jerusalem ? v.12-14
6. What did the Lord say overall would happen? v.15,16
1. Among whom was Ezekiel living?
2. Who was this latest prophecy about?
3. Why, therefore, do you think this word came to him there?
We don't know when this word came to Ezekiel but we are now looking at a fresh word that came to him. Again the Lord tells him to act out a prophecy so that the people among whom he lives will see and understand what the Lord is saying.
Ezekiel is to pack up like he is going on a journey and he is to burrow his way through a wall. When the watchers ask what he is doing, he is to tell them that he is portraying what will be happening in Jerusalem . Zedekiah (who Ezekiel never refers to as king, possibly because throughout he was only a puppet king there by permission of Babylon ) will seek to flee Jerusalem but will be caught and taken into Babylon . In 2 Kings 25:4-7 we find a very specific record of the exact fulfilment of this prophecy, even to noting that they put out his eyes and then took him to Babylon where he died, thus fulfilling exactly Ezekiel's word in v.13.
Again there is also a reference to a remnant that will be saved. God's intention is never just to wipe out, but to deal with the sin in such a way that it is removed leaving a healthy remnant. Why does God say this in the place of exile? Because they are the remnant and they are to understand, when they hear what has happened in Jerusalem, that this is no accident of history but the purpose of God being worked out.
1. God will destroy sin. Make sure you have none. (1 Jn 5:18)
2. God saves a righteous remnant. Make sure you are it.
Chapter: Ezek 12
Passage: Ezek 12:17-28
A. Find Out:
1. How is Ezekiel then to act? v.18
2. What is he to say this portrays? v.19,20
3. What had the people been saying? v.22
4. What is the Lord's answer to this? v.23-25
5. What also had the people been saying? v.27
6. So what was the Lord's answer to this? v.28
1. What is the point of the first word? v.17-20
2. What is the point of the second word? v.21-25
3. What is the point of the third word? v.26-28
Three times in this passage we have read “The word of the Lord came”. In each case there is a sense of a specific message rather than a picture prophecy.
In the first one, Ezekiel is instructed to act in a particular way again, as a visual aid to the word being communicated. He is to communicate the anxiety that will come upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This will be because of the things that God is bringing on that land.
In the second word the Lord rebukes the feeling that has been going around Israel - these prophetic words never come to anything. Oh yes they will, declares the Lord, they will come very soon. Just because the Lord in His mercy had held off utterly destroying Jerusalem, as He had been warning again and again, they should not think it will never happen. It will!
In the third word, some of the people had not been saying it will never happen, but they had been saying it won't happen for a long time, i.e. probably not in their time so they can relax! Not so, says the Lord again, it is about to happen and it will happen to you. These are the two ways of foolish thinking that all men are prone to.
Chapter: Ezek 13
Passage: Ezek 13:1-12
A. Find Out:
1. Against whom was Ezekiel now to speak? v.2
2. What had they been saying? v.10
3. What did the Lord say about what they had been prophesying? v.3,6,7
4. What should they have been doing? v.5
5. So what did the Lord say about them? v.8,9
6. What will happen to their prophecies? v.11,12
1. What had the prophets been prophesying?
2. What should they have been doing?
3. So what would happen?
A messenger from God has a duty to get it right! So-called prophets in Israel had been prophesying that peace would come. That was NOT what was on God's mind for Israel, therefore that was false prophecy.
Look, says the Lord, Israel is in a mess, it's like their walls or boundaries have been broken down that distinguish them from other nations, and all you do is wander around among the ruins like jackals on the prowl. As those who are supposed to hear from God, you should be in there building up the walls, making it clear that Israel should be a distinguishable people, speaking the truth and calling the people back to God. That's what you SHOULD have been doing!
So what will the Lord do? He will disgrace the prophets so they will be excluded from the counsel of the leaders of Israel . How will He do that? Very simple! It's as if the prophets have been white washing the situation and making it look good, so God will simply come along and bring His judgement so all of these wrong words will get washed away and be seen to be worthless and untrue. Indeed when the “wall” that separates Israel from all other nations is removed the people won't even remember or be concerned to ask, “Where was what you said?”, they will be too concerned with what is happening to them.
2. False prophecies will be revealed for what they are.
Chapter: Ezek 13
Passage: Ezek 13:13-23
A. Find Out:
1. What, again, does the Lord say he will do? v.13-16
2. Who next is Ezekiel to speak against? v.17
3. What had they been doing? v.18,19a
4. What had been wrong in what they had done? v.19b
5. What is the Lord going to do? v.20,21,23
6. Why? v.22
1. What do verses 13-16 reiterate?
2. What impression is given of the way the women prophesied?
3. What was wrong in what they had been saying?
The first part of today's passage simply reiterates what we saw yesterday. The “wall” that separated Israel from all other nations, the truth of who they were, a covenant people, would be swept away by the Lord, together with all the false words of peace that had been spoken over them.
Then he turns his attention to the women who had been prophesying in Jerusalem . It seems more as if they were seers rather than prophetesses and, even more, it seems as if they were using occult powers (using magic charms) and hiring themselves out to people (v.19) for words of comfort. As such they incur the wrath of God.
Note what the Lord says they have been doing: they have spoken lies so that those who should have been judged by the word of God were, in fact, made to feel comfortable. Not only that, the words they spoke brought concern and anguish to the righteous and had disheartened them.
Because of all this, the Lord says He is going to deal severely with them. Those who set themselves up as purveyors of the truth are held seriously responsible by the Lord. That's why James (Jas 3:1) warned against being a teacher. Those who lead in any way that involves the word of God, have a particularly high responsibility to ensure that what they bring is the truth from the heart of God.
1. Teachers of the word have a high responsibility.
2. Prophets have a particularly high responsibility.
In this final group of 4 studies we have seen the Lord speaking against:
What is amazing about all this is that Ezekiel is in exile and he is receiving prophecies about those back in Jerusalem who feel secure.
First there is the royal household in Jerusalem and the people they lead. Again the prophecy comes first as an acted out parable followed by a word of explanation. The prince there will end up in Babylon, blinded (v.13c), and will die there (see 2 Kings 25:7). His supporters will be scattered. Moreover the word comes from the Lord not to feel secure saying that His words never come about – this word will be fulfilled soon!
Then it is the turn of those who were prophesying security to come under the Lord's scrutiny. They had said peace was their destiny but instead destruction will come. There were also women using magic charms who also encouraged unrighteousness. God will deal with them. From the wider prophecies of destruction, the Lord has focussed on these two groups who are in positions of responsibility and have not lived up to their responsibilities and are therefore answerable to God.
1. The Lord holds those in authority accountable.
2. The Lord holds those who say they are spiritual guides accountable.
Worship the Lord. Bow before Him. Honour Him.
1. "Vision & Preparation" Ezek 1 – 3
2. " Visual Aid Prophecy" Ezekiel 4 & 5
3. "The Imminent Judgement" Ezekiel 5-7
4. "The Vision of Jerusalem " Ezekiel 8-11
5. "Prince & Prophets Condemned" Ezekiel 12 & 13
As we come to the end of these studies in the early chapters of Ezekiel, the following may be some of the things we may wish to consider further:
1. The Revelation of God.
More than anywhere else in Scripture, apart from the book of Revelation, we find descriptions of the presence and glory of God. The primary thing to note about it is the ‘otherness' of it all. When Ezekiel tries to describe what he has seen, he constantly has to use words such as ‘like' because he cannot actually describe it. Every part of such revelations were ‘in the Spirit' and so with a materialistic human mind he is trying to describe spirit things – and that is really beyond him. What we do grasp through the descriptions given, is that there is a clear structure or order to the way God moves and those who move with Him, and that His moving involves great power that cannot be resisted. These visions of the divine presence shake us and remind us not to be too familiar with God – He is holy, He is different, He is awesome! He is worthy of our worship. Let's give it.
2. The Person of Ezekiel
The very fact of Ezekiel is amazing. He is an exile living hundreds of miles away from his homeland, living in the land of his captors, and yet he is still a divine messenger. The more you think about this the more amazing it seems. Why should God give prophetic messages for Jerusalem to a man many, many miles away? There may be a variety of answers.
The first may be that by doing this the Lord is keeping contact with His people in the alien land. It is as if he is saying, “I'm still here, I'm still with you, I'm still God!” The fact that He is God does not rely on geography!
Second, Jeremiah had been prophesying from within Jerusalem and so now it is as if a confirming word is coming from outside the Jerusalem situation. The word would eventually get back to Jerusalem that this prophet was speaking about them from the midst of exile. Whereas they could try to silence Jeremiah, Ezekiel was way beyond their reach.
Third, why shouldn't he? In a sense, does it matter who God speaks to about His people? Does location or situation matter? It is God declaring His will! Around those years He did it through Jeremiah in Jerusalem, Ezekiel in exile in Babylon, and Daniel from within the royal palace of Babylon.
It doesn't matter the location. The question is simply, is there a person there who knows the Lord, listens to Him and is not afraid to speak out? Hullo?