The Shepherd’s Love - Lesson 44
Ezekiel - A "watchman" for God
Ezekiel 1 - 37
Ezekiel 36:26 or 27 or Isaiah 50:7
Ezekiel was among the thousands of Judeans deported to Babylon after King Jehoiachin finally surrendered to King Nebuchadnezzar. While this faithful prophet is best known for his chapters (3 and 33) on the role and responsibilities of a watchman, his personal life shows us the obedience of a disciple willing to lay down His life for God and His people
Father, teach me to follow you more faithfully. Let Ezekiel's life and message deepen my faith and commitment to trust and follow you through agonizing times. Thank You, precious Lord and King!
1. Read Ezekiel 1:1-3. Where was Ezekiel when "the heavens were opened and (he) saw visions of God"?
2. Read Ezekiel 2-3:12.
A. As you study Ezekiel's call and commission, what do you learn about God?
B. How did God prepare Ezekiel for the confrontation ahead?
C. (Personal) Read Isaiah 50:7. What do the examples from Ezekiel and Isaiah mean to you from a practical point of view? Have you set your face like flint? How would you do that?
3. Read Ezekiel 3:12-22 together with 33:1-20.
A. As you read 3:15-16, consider what might have been taking place in the hearts of Ezekiel and of the people during the seven days. When and why might God want you to wait before speaking or acting?
B. What is the main responsibility of a watchman?
C. God's love, even for the wicked, is vividly expressed in 33:8-11 and 15-16.
1. What does God long to see happen?
2. What does He promise the wicked?
3. If the watchman refuses to speak God's message, what would happen?
D. What awesome facts do you learn about the righteous man in 33:12-13?
E. In 33:17-20 we see the tendency of man to judge God according to man's thoughts and standard. How do the following verses help you better understand reverence and submission to God?
4. Read Ezekiel 4. Here Ezekiel is asked to demonstrate, by his own life, the devastation of Jerusalem and the years of exile both of Israel and Judah.
A. How many days did Ezekiel lie on each side, and what did each side represent?
B. God always knows our needs. What provision did He make for Ezekiel to insure the successful communication of His message?
5. Read Ezekiel 4. What message is repeated more than 50 times in the book of Ezekiel? (See verses 5:13, 6:10 and 13, 7:4, 9, 27) What does this emphasis tell you about God?
6. Read Ezekiel 10. In Joel, we saw that God had shut up the rain. By His sovereign will, there would be no fruit for wine, grain for bread or olive trees for incense oil. Animals would perish for lack of food and water. God would no longer provide the sacrifices needed for the continuing operation of the temple.
Now, in Ezekiel, we see God's glory finally depart from the temple. What message did God speak to you as your read this chapter? (Consider the sinfulness of man and the holiness of God.)
7. Read Ezekiel 11:14-25. Describe the eternal covenant as it is expressed here. (Notice God's love and care in verse 16)
8. Read Ezekiel 12:1-19
A. Through Ezekiel's action described in verses 3-7, what message did God communicate to His people?
B. According to Jeremiah 39:6-10, how was the prophecy of verses 11-16 fulfilled?
C. In reading verses 9-18, which verses do you find most meaningful? Why?
9. Read Ezekiel 24:16-27. Seeing what God asks of His faithful servant, we may be tempted to ask "Why? -- Why would God require this, too,?" But our God is sovereign and He knows well the good that will come from His plan. He doesn't promise us ease and prosperity. But He does offer His gracious sufficiency and comfort in every trial -- and an eternal reward far greater than we can possibly understand in this finite life. From His eternal perspective, our lives on earth are but a moment compared tot he everlasting joy we will know with Him forever. (For reassurance of His faithfulness, see Romans 8:18 and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
A. What was Ezekiel's response to the death of his precious wife?
B. What message did God communicate to His people through Ezekiel's obedience?
10. Read Ezekiel 36:17-36.
A. What is the meaning and significance of His holy name?
B. (Personal) What does the world learn about the name of Jesus through your life?
C. Again God's eternal covenant is affirmed. What does God promise here?
11. Read Ezekiel 37. (Optional) Were you encouraged in any way by the message of "the dry bones"? Why or why not?
12. Summarize what you have learned about God's ways with His people. What needed to be purged from their lives before they could honor God and be called by His name? How did He use suffering and loss to bring them to Himself? Do you see the same process in your own life?
SUGGESTED HYMN: O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Next: Daniel - Reigning in Captivity