This takes place a few years after the Babylonian’s first attack on Jerusalem. They didn’t destroy the city, but they took many of their people off into Babylon as exiles. Ezekiel (who would have been a priest if he was still in Jerusalem) is among them.
Ezekiel sees the glory of the Lord (in physical form) before him and God instructs him to communicate a warning to the Israelites. Because of their idolatry and sin, destruction will befall Jerusalem. He was to communicate this prophetic warning through symbolic street acting, which symbolized Jerusalem’s destruction and the consequences of their defeat. And God told Ezekiel they would not listen to him.
BibleProject. (2016, July 3). [Ezekiel Illustration]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-CIPu1nko8
What is the key verse? Why?
Ezekiel 3:17-18 NIV
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.
And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God, whether they hear or refuse to hear.”
Ezekiel was commanded by God to go to the people and warn them, if you do not obey the will of God it will end in your destruction (whether in this life or the next).
How does what you read change your vision of God?
These chapters of Ezekiel remind me that God always fulfills his promises. If you do the will of God you will receive your due reward. If you do not, you will receive justice instead of God’s mercy.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
This reminds me that we are incredibly blessed to know the will of God and have it spoken plainly to us. To be honest, if I had grown up in Ezekiel’s time I probably would’ve just seen him as some crazy guy on the street like everyone else. And my lack of understanding would have brought about continued rebellion and my own destruction (just like the Israelites).
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
This challenges me to more frequently speak God’s truth to others, despite the fact that they may not listen to it.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
I see Jesus in the last part of the key verse…”that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.”
I feel so lucky to be under a new covenant with Jesus. Where his blood covers over all of my sins, and I don’t have to worry about falling short of the first covenant laws. As long as I seek God’s will with a repentant heart I will receive his forgiveness.
I hope this helps you see the bible with new vision!