The Latter Major Prophets – Ezekiel 22-24

The word of the Lord came to me:
“Son of man, will you judge her?  Will you judge this city of bloodshed?  Then confront her with all her detestable practices and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You city that brings on herself doom by shedding blood in her midst and defiles herself by making idols, you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed and have become defiled by the idols you have made.  You have brought your days to a close, and the end of your years has come.  Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries.  Those who are near and those who are far away will mock you, you infamous city, full of turmoil.
“‘See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood.  In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the foreigner and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.  You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths.  In you are slanderers who are bent on shedding blood; in you are those who eat at the mountain shrines and commit lewd acts.  In you are those who dishonor their father’s bed; in you are those who violate women during their period, when they are ceremonially unclean.  In you one man commits a detestable offense with his neighbor’s wife, another shamefully defiles his daughter-in-law, and another violates his sister, his own father’s daughter.  In you are people who accept bribes to shed blood; you take interest and make a profit from the poor.  You extort unjust gain from your neighbors.  And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign Lord.
“‘I will surely strike my hands together at the unjust gain you have made and at the blood you have shed in your midst.  Will your courage endure or your hands be strong in the day I deal with you?  I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.  I will disperse you among the nations and scatter you through the countries; and I will put an end to your uncleanness.  When you have been defiled in the eyes of the nations, you will know that I am the Lord.’”
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the people of Israel have become dross to me; all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace.  They are but the dross of silver.  Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into Jerusalem.  As silver, copper, iron, lead and tin are gathered into a furnace to be melted with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath and put you inside the city and melt you.  I will gather you and I will blow on you with my fiery wrath, and you will be melted inside her.  As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath on you.’”
Again the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the land, ‘You are a land that has not been cleansed or rained on in the day of wrath.’  There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her.  Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.  Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain.  Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations.  They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken.  The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice.
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.  So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

  • Ezekiel 22:1-31

Ezekiel 23:1-49 – Click the link HERE to read this at Biblegateway.com

In the ninth year, in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.  Tell this rebellious people a parable and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Put on the cooking pot; put it on
    and pour water into it.
Put into it the pieces of meat,
    all the choice pieces—the leg and the shoulder.
Fill it with the best of these bones;
    take the pick of the flock.
Pile wood beneath it for the bones;
    bring it to a boil
    and cook the bones in it.
“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Woe to the city of bloodshed,
    to the pot now encrusted,
    whose deposit will not go away!
Take the meat out piece by piece
    in whatever order it comes.
“‘For the blood she shed is in her midst:
    She poured it on the bare rock;
she did not pour it on the ground,
    where the dust would cover it.
To stir up wrath and take revenge
    I put her blood on the bare rock,
    so that it would not be covered.
“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Woe to the city of bloodshed!
    I, too, will pile the wood high.
So heap on the wood
    and kindle the fire.
Cook the meat well,
    mixing in the spices;
    and let the bones be charred.
Then set the empty pot on the coals
    till it becomes hot and its copper glows,
so that its impurities may be melted
    and its deposit burned away.
It has frustrated all efforts;
    its heavy deposit has not been removed,
    not even by fire.
“‘Now your impurity is lewdness.  Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until my wrath against you has subsided.
“‘I the Lord have spoken.  The time has come for me to act.  I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent.  You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes.  Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears.  Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead.  Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.”
So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died.  The next morning I did as I had been commanded.
Then the people asked me, “Won’t you tell us what these things have to do with us?  Why are you acting like this?”
So I said to them, “The word of the Lord came to me: Say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to desecrate my sanctuary—the stronghold in which you take pride, the delight of your eyes, the object of your affection.  The sons and daughters you left behind will fall by the sword.  And you will do as I have done.  You will not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.  You will keep your turbans on your heads and your sandals on your feet.  You will not mourn or weep but will waste away because of your sins and groan among yourselves.  Ezekiel will be a sign to you; you will do just as he has done.  When this happens, you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.’
“And you, son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes, their heart’s desire, and their sons and daughters as well — on that day a fugitive will come to tell you the news.  At that time your mouth will be opened; you will speak with him and will no longer be silent.  So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the Lord.”

  • Ezekiel 24:1-27

Noted Biblical Scholars, Teachers, and Preachers Comments

Ezekiel 22:1-16 ‘challenge to the prophet’: “The city is one in which reverence for life is gone, and attachment to idols has become popular.  Both the shedding of blood and idolatry foster guilt.  In the process, once mighty and glorious Jerusalem becomes an object of scorn and a laughingstock.
The princes of Israel are the various individuals who have reigned on the throne in Jerusalem.  As a lot, they are characterized as savage barbarians.  Power has become a fetish for them.  It has become a license to act insanely, even against those deserving highest respect.”

  • Walter A. Elwell, editor, Baker Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 22:4-13 ‘become guilty’: “At least seventeen kinds of sin appear in this indictment of Jerusalem’s blood guiltiness, with more in verses 25—29.  The only restraint on their evil was the limits of their ability to sin.  They did all the evil they could, and shedding blood seemed to be the most popular.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 22:14 ‘destruction by fire’: “Do you remember the many times that the Lord has prophesied through Ezekiel that the land will be burned with fire?  In this very chapter, the Lord says: ‘I, the LORD, have spoken, and will do it’.  (Ezekiel 22:14)  … He (Nebuchadnezzar) burned the house of the Lord and the king ‘s house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great, he burned with fire.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 22:17-21 ‘as in refining silver’: “The process of refining silver described in the verses above is still used today.  Silver is usually found combined with other materials and must be ‘smelled’ to be separated.  Here is an explanation of smelting from the Encyclopedia Britannica:  ‘Separation of gold or silver from impurities by melting the impure metal in a cupel (a flat, porous dish made of refractory, or high temperature-resistant material) and then directing a blast of hot air on it in a special furnace.  The impurities, including lead, copper, tin, and other unwanted metals, are oxidized and partly vaporized.’”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 22:22-31 ‘rebuking the land and leadership’: “Here the prophet rebukes successively the land (v. 24); princes (v. 25); priests (v. 26); officials (v. 27); prophets (v. 28); and the people of the land (v. 29).  These are the ‘heavyweights’ of the community, people with political, religious, and financial muscle.  Nowhere in this list does Ezekiel confront aliens, children, slaves, or widows.  Three groups in the list represent laity (princes, officials, people of the land).  Two represent clerics (priests, prophets).  It is one thing to have the political hierarchy go askew, but when it is joined by the religious hierarchy, then all hopes for the preservation of a conscience in society are dashed.  Instead of being loyal to their calling, they place popularity ahead of obedience.  The authority of “thus saith the Lord” has been quietly laid to rest.
What makes this so exasperating is that God is unable to find among these groups one individual who, taking his life in his hands, will shout at the top of his lungs: ‘In God’s name and for God’s sake, stop!’ What Ezekiel once said only of the prophets (13:6) he now extends to all the ‘who’s who’ in Jerusalem.  To many, silence is the best policy.

  • Walter A. Elwell, editor, Baker Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 23:2-4 ‘two women’: “This chapter describes the spiritual infidelity of Israel and Judah, pictured as two sisters, to convey the gravity of sin in Judah.  ‘One mother’ refers to the united kingdom, while ‘two women’ refers to the divided kingdom.  Oholah, meaning ‘Her own tabernacle,’ as she had her separate dwelling-place apart from the temple, represents Samaria.  In the northern kingdom, Jeroboam had set up worship, which God rejected.  Oholibah, “My tabernacle is in her,” represents Jerusalem, where God did establish worship.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 23:11-21 ‘more corrupt’: “Cf. 16:47. The focus is Judah’s (the southern kingdom) craving for Babylonian idolatry that alienated her from God.  Judah learned nothing from lsrael’s punishment (v. 13).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 23:32-42 ‘drink of your sister’s cup’: “Judah was to experience the ‘cup’ of God’s judgment as Samaria had in 722 B.C. (cf. 23:46—49).  Often the idea of drinking a cup is symbolic of receiving God’s wrath (cf. Ps. 75:8; Is. 51:17-22; Jer. 25:15—29; Matt. 20:22).  The prophet detailed a shameful summary of God’s case against the nation—a double arraignment calling for judgment.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 23 ‘summary’: “The Lord desires and deserves our complete devotion but we wander away so often.  The people of Israel, the kings, priests, and so-called prophets, pursued their passion to be like other nations rather than to be set apart as a chosen people.   Once again the Word of the Lord came to Ezekiel in a graphic manner to condemn the lifestyles of the Israelites.
The sins of the cities of Samaria and Jerusalem were pointed out through the vivid parable of the two sisters.  And then the Lord explained His own parable in straightforward terms so that the sin and its penalty could be clearly understood.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 24 ‘introduction’: “The climax of the prophecy of the Lord arrives in [Ezekiel 24].  The dates given are crucial.  The description of the city of Jerusalem is the final declaration of the reason for judgment.  After Ezekiel 24, we will see prophecies regarding judgment on other nations, and then we will see prophecies regarding the restoration of the land of Israel and prophecies regarding worship during the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Millennial Kingdom.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 24:1 ‘compare dates –with 2 Kings 25:1’: “Could this be any more clear?  The dates given in Ezekiel and in 2 Kings are identical.  Even though the books were written by different human authors, the true author of Scripture, the Lord, has kept His facts and dates straight and consistent.  May this cause you to grow in your faith and trust of the Word of the Lord.
“I love what J. Vernon McGee says about this passage:
“’There was no television in that day to let Ezekiel know what was happening.  There was no satellite to convey this message from Jerusalem to Babylon.  The only way he could get this message was by God revealing it to him.’’ ”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 24:6-7 ‘woe to the bloody city … her blood’: “Jerusalem’s populace was guilty of bloody corruption, which was pictured by the boiled scum or rust in the pot (cf. 22:2).  The city’s blood (a general symbol of sin) was blatantly open, not hidden, as depicted by exposure on top of a rock.  When blood was not covered with dust, the law was violated (Lev. 17:13).  God’s vengeance would come by Babylon’s army.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Ezekiel 24:13 ‘premeditation – guilty as charged’: “The Lord points His finger at the guilty city, the responsible people, and declares that their wickedness was no accident, but that in their filthiness was lewdness (Ezekiel 24:13).
“In today’s court systems, the penalty for crimes is more severe when evidence exists for premeditation of the crime.  The people of Israel embraced, planned, and defended their idolatry and rebellion against the Lord.  There was no other way for the Israelites to be purged, or cleansed from their sins, but by the fire of the wrath of the Lord.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 24:14 ‘given hope’: “Our Lord is the Most Holy God.  The One and Only.  He alone is righteous and pure.  All of His actions are perfect.  Every person ever created deserves the same judgment that the Israelites received because everyone at some point in his or her life has ignored or rebelled against the Lord.
“But the Israelites were given hope.  They were given the promise of a new heart and a new spirit.  They were given the promise of returning to the Lord and knowing Him.  And the same is true for you.  The Lord sent His Son Jesus to endure the death that we all deserved.  At the cross, we each have the opportunity to be cleansed from all our filthiness, even that which was carried out intentionally.  At the cross, we each have the opportunity to be spared from the judgment of the Lord.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 24:15-27 ‘the siege begins’: “[This Scripture] is full of emotion – held in check.  The pain is overwhelming but must remain unexpressed.  On this day in Ezekiel ’s life, the Lord ’s judgment on the nation of Israel has begun.  All that He has declared will happen is happening.  Nebuchadnezzar has begun his attack against the city of Jerusalem.
“The people are now trapped inside the city walls.  Fear is spreading and famine is soon to follow.  Then the sword and the fire.  And death.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 24:19 ‘Ezekiel’s wife died’: “Ezekiel’s wife died.  His heart was bleeding, but he received orders from his divine Master that he should not mourn, or weep, or make any sign of mourning whatever.  It was a strange command, but he obeyed it.  The people understood that Ezekiel was a prophet to them in all he did; his actions did not only concern himself.  He was a teacher not only by his words but also by his actions so the people gathered around him and wondered what his actions had to do with them.  He soon explained to them that before long they also would lose by sword, pestilence, and famine the dearest they had, and they would not be able to have any mourning for the dead.  They would be in such a state of distress that the dead would die unlamented, the living having enough to do to mourn over their own personal sorrows.  It was a terrible lesson and it was terribly taught.  Now just as Ezekiel at his Lord’s command did many strange things entirely with a view to other people, we must remember that many things we do have some relation to others.  As long as we are here, we can never so isolate ourselves as to become absolutely independent of our surroundings.  And it is often well, when we note the behavior of other people, to say to somebody, if not to them, as the people did to Ezekiel, ‘Won’t you tell us what these things you are doing mean for us?’”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from his sermon notes

Ezekiel 24:18 ‘grief’: “I am grieving now for Ezekiel and the death of his dear wife.  In heaven, all tears will be wiped away, so I don‘t expect to grieve with him then, but I hope to show my incredible respect to him for his complete obedience to the Lord at what was probably the most difficult sacrifice anyone has ever had to make.  Have you heard the stories of missionaries whose sons and daughters or husbands and wives have died tragically on the mission field?  They have been required to make extreme sacrifices, but they have been allowed to express their grief as those around them watched.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

Ezekiel 24 ‘summary’: “From the 5th year of captivity until the 12th year of captivity, Ezekiel had been ‘mute,’ by the Lord ’s definition: he was unable to speak anything except what the Lord gave him to say.  The messages that Ezekiel had been given to preach and demonstrate to the exiles were all messages of judgment.
“And now that judgment has come upon Jerusalem.  The destruction which had been prophesied was taking place.  Ezekiel will soon be able to speak freely, but not yet.  In the years that will pass as Jerusalem is completely destroyed, Ezekiel will open his mouth with more messages from the Lord that announce the destruction of all the nations that have come against Israel.  The reason for it all will be declared over and over again.”

  • Elizabeth Bagwell Ficken, that you may know the Lord, an in-depth study of Ezekiel
  • For more information go to https://elizabethficken.com

My Thoughts

The scholars and authors that have been quoted above speak of the specific people who are singled out in Ezekiel 22.  The two that are hardest hit are the princes and priests.  As for the people, they cannot use the monkey see – monkey do defense.  All are guilty.

Throughout the chapter, the recurring theme is the shedding of blood.  But for the priests to sacrifice children to a false god, they need the prince’s approval, and they need the willing agreement with the child’s parents.  The easy parallel to this today is the abortion issue.  Add to this that many young couples are deciding to not have children.  In many places in the world the population is shrinking to the point of fears that some governments may not be able to sustain themselves in the long run due to the population shrinkage.  But even facing that scenario, they are not backing off from abortion.

But the picture in Ezekiel 22 is that one person will gladly kill another person if the price is right.  It seems that at this point in history, Judah, and specifically Jerusalem, is totally lawless.

Yet, in the lists of sins that are horrible due to shedding blood and other detestable things, God sprinkles some that to most people may be minor.  They were not taking care of widows.  They were abusing foreigners.  They took advantage of the poor.  They openly disrespected their parents.

Wait!  What?  In a list of grievous sins like robbery, extortion, incest, murder, and idolatry involving child sacrifice, God is just as upset with the moral decay, the decay in family values, and ignoring the simple act of helping those who cannot help themselves – the showing love, one to another – that kind of stuff.

For it is those things that we lose, and the entire world has lost in this day and age, that lead to the murder rates increasing – and the murder rates are increasing.

Elizabeth Ficken used an encyclopedia to describe the skimming of the dross, but I spent nearly twenty years in the metals industry.  Most dross is the impurities, oxides of such metals, but when they are pure metals, one will be heavier than another.  That requires a steady hand to decant one from the other, skimming the impurities off, then pouring off the lighter metals, and then pouring off the wanted metal without going too far – all at temperatures over 1000F.  Aluminum melts at 660C or 1200F.  The key is that all this work is done at extremely hot temperatures where the careless silversmith becomes crippled in a flash.  To use this as a means to describe a purification process for our very souls, the people could relate easily to the pain involved to be refined in such a manner.

In Ezekiel 23, I look ahead to the reflection questions.  Here we have a chapter near the middle of Ezekiel and not far from the middle of the Bible that much of civilized society might skim over or even skip.  I can understand not having a discussion with children on the topic until they are mature enough, but we skip such discussion at our peril.

Bill Cosby, whether wrongfully accused or not, may not be a good role model, but he said in one of his comedy routines that it took him 35 years to learn how to kiss a girl right (referring to not wanting to eat the sexual organs of certain animals that are considered delicacies).  I have often thought of that, especially as I am very close to twice that age, and I wonder if I know how to kiss a girl right even now.

But why?  My mother had the belief that any discussion of gender specific body parts, bodily functions, even public displays of affection (other than the distasteful wedding ceremony) was SIN.  I had urinary infections, and my Dad had to deal with it, and we could never discuss it – ever.  That had nothing to do with sexual functions – long before that started changing.  There were so many taboo subjects; it is no wonder that girlie magazines became my greatest source of ‘knowledge,’ and that left everything twisted.

I think we should have sermons on Ezekiel 23 and Sunday school lessons and once everyone cools their beet red faces, we might see the vivid imagery that God was going for.  God wanted His people to be as uncomfortable as He was in seeing what was going on.  Sure, we could use a tame subject matter that did not make people uncomfortable, but we have far too many of those Sunday school lessons and sermons.  Why bother at that point?

Then, Elizabeth Ficken’s argument about Ezekiel 24:1 is beautiful.  God inspired writers in two different countries to identify the date when the siege started with no messenger to run from one to the other – much farther away than a marathon.

The siege has now begun.  Preparation is too late.  As they say in hurricane warnings, the time to prepare is over.  The time to evacuate is over.  Go to the safest spot you can get to and hunker down for a long grueling ride.

Now, the exiles hearing the dreaded news that the false prophets said would never happen, they begin to mourn, but the unthinkable happens to Ezekiel.  His wife dies and God forbids him to mourn.  As Elizabeth Ficken said above, maybe one of the hardest things that God asked of Ezekiel.  I had known people that could be stone faced, and I am well-trained at being stone faced.  My wife is concerned that my brother, then my father, then my mother all died within three months, and I have yet to shed a tear, but I went through the trappings of mourning.  I wore the appropriate clothing.  I attended the funerals.  I said goodbye to cousins that I may never see again.  But Ezekiel was not even allowed those comforting things to do.  In such times, just having something that had to be done could take your mind off the loss, but Ezekiel had nothing.  And this was an object lesson, a tough object lesson, to the exiles that they deserved what they got, so no crying now.

And back to Ezekiel 22, anyone could have done like Abraham did over Sodom, getting the total of righteous people down to only ten, but the city was still destroyed.  Jerusalem had no advocate to argue with God.  They had no righteous person who could stand in the breach and protect the city.

Some Serendipitous Reflections

“1. [Of the] lists of sins {in this chapter], which would bring the most derision from your neighbors or co-workers or fellow churchgoers?  Which sins are common to those people?  Do you think they are more guilty, or less guilty, than Israel?  Why?  Unless things change, what do you think God will do with your nation?
“2. Which sins on the two lists embarrass you?  Did you see your name anywhere in the Jerusalem Tabloid?  Are you suing for libel?  Or are you guilty as charged?  If the charge is true, how will you be tried: (a) in “People’s Court”? (b) As a war criminal for “crimes against humanity”? (c) In the jurisdiction of your church?
“3. In either case, what sentence will God likely hand out?  What or who could possibly stay God’s hand of judgment?
“4. How would you answer the ad in the classified section for the person God is looking for to stand in the gap?  Do you know anyone else who’s qualified to ‘stand in the gap’?  What can you do to be more of a person ‘in the gap’?
“1. Have you ever heard a sermon on this passage?  Why are ministers reluctant to talk about ‘promiscuous sex’ in public?  Then why do you think God uses such a disgusting story with such revolting language?  How would you make the language of Ezekiel 23 more palatable to your Sunday school class?
“2. Do you ever get disgusted by sin?  Yours or someone else’s?  Why is that?  What makes you both calloused toward sin and sensitive to sin?
“3. Is there anything about your personal life or your nation’s life which would come under the scrutiny of Ezekiel‘s indiscreet prophecy?  What is it about the game of international politics that God is so dead set against it?
“4. If Ezekiel were your country’s minister of foreign relations, what would he have to say about what‘s going on today?
“5. What would you do it you were one of the ‘mob’ or ‘terrorist’ groups under the direction of Ezekiel?  Could you go through with your assignment?  Why or why not?
“1. Why does God warn about his punishments beforehand?  What does he hope will happen?
“2. Are you feeling the heat anywhere?  ls God warning you about anything?  If you are on God’s hot seat or in his cooking pot, what does he want you to do about that?
“3. As for the corruption of city government officials in your area, what are some ‘backburner issues’ which Ezekiel might be prompting you to bring to the front burner and ‘pile on the wood’?
“1. Of all that God calls Ezekiel to do, what do you think is the hardest?  Why?
“2. If obeying God sometimes made Ezekiel suffer, what about us?  By obeying God, can you hope to escape Ezekiel’s loss?  Or is your situation fundamentally different?  How so?
“3. How can you cultivate ‘his heart’s desire’?”

  • Lyman Coleman, et al, The NIV Serendipity Bible for Study Groups

There are four sets of questions, one for each chapter and a second set of questions for Ezekiel 24.

The first two questions speak of two lists of sins (princes and priests), but the chapter abounds with sins.  These questions in theory would be tantalizing questions in a group setting, but they could be equally embarrassing and possibly actionable in a court of law.  For personal reflection, these are excellent, but in a group setting, the group leader needs to know the group.

In the third set of questions, the reference to a city government that is corrupt in question 3 could be changed to national, state, city, community, etc.  While the city government in Ezekiel 24 was looking toward Jerusalem, Jerusalem was the capitol city of Judah and the place where people in surrounding cities did business.

If you like these Thursday morning Bible studies, but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Thursday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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