Ezekiel the Prophet

Today we begin our reading of the book of Ezekiel - the prophet of captivity. 


Ezekiel the Prophet

Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Daniel are the prophets of the captivity. While Jeremiah did his teaching in Judah, both Ezekiel and Daniel were in Babylon. Daniel had been taken with the first group of people in 606 B.C. while Ezekiel came later with the second group in 597 B.C.

The basic message of both Jeremiah and Ezekiel was the same: Judah will be destroyed by Babylon and the people will live 70 years in captivity before they are returned to their homeland.

Ezekiel's messages are basically arranged in chronological order. Chapters 1-24 deal with the coming judgment of God upon Judah and its destruction by Babylon.  Chapters 25-32 are a series of Oracles against the surrounding nations. Unlike Jeremiah and Isaiah though, Ezekiel does not include Babylon in this list of nations to be judged. The last chapters, 33-48, are the message of the return and restoration that Judah would see.

Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel faced the same prospect:  'failure'. God warned Ezekiel like He had warned Jeremiah that the people were hard headed and rebellious and would not listen to him. God warned Ezekiel that his commission was to preach and warn. As with Jeremiah, Ezekiel would face many hardships in his life of preaching. As with Jeremiah, Ezekiel was not commissioned to change the people and save them from judgment but rather to pronounce the judgment of God upon their sins. He did not fail in this!

Ezekiel was an interesting prophet. He had lots of visions and he acted out many of his lessons. I would suggest that you look for the following reoccurring themes in his teaching:

1) The glory of the LORD.

2) The Holiness of the LORD   (holy or holiness appears in almost 50 verses).

3) Then you will know that I am the LORD  (almost 70 times!).

4) The word of the LORD came to me   (almost 50 times).

The underlying problem that was bringing the destruction of Judah was their faulty thinking about God. Let Ezekiel teach you about God's holiness and glory. Let Ezekiel impress you with the wrath of God against ungodliness. Let Ezekiel show you that the God is the LORD. Let Ezekiel impress you with God's faithfulness with His covenants that He makes AND that He expects His people to be faithful to such covenants.