Introduction and Overview
The book of Ezekiel is a challenging book of the Bible to study for various reasons (length, timing, type of literature), but includes timeless truths about God’s character, God’s priorities, God’s way of dealing with his people, and how God’s people should respond to him. In this first session, Mike Ackerman covers the historical situation and big themes of the book.
In the second session, we cover chapters 1-3 of Ezekiel and learn about Ezekiel the person, as well as his vision and commissioning.
In this section, Ezekiel begins his ministry by preaching to the people of Israel. His primary message is a prediction of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 36 gives a brief narrative description of the events predicted by Ezekiel.
In this section Ezekiel is transported in a vision to the city of Jerusalem where he sees the idolatry that is occurring there. This gives us more detail as to the nature of God’s disapproval of the people, but it also helps us to grapple with the nature of idolatry and how it can creep into our own hearts.
In this section, Ezekiel continues his predictions of the coming destruction of Jerusalem. We learn that Ezekiel is not the only person at this time claiming to have a message from God. There are others who “prophecy out of their own imagination” (Ezekiel 13:2) and are guided by “their own spirit” (Ezekiel 13:3). This section also reveals God's response to people for their sins of idolatry.
This session covers the most poignant element of Ezekiel’s prophecies about people’s idolatry and disregard for God’s will. Their unfaithfulness is portrayed as adultery and prostitution. We also find a glimmer of hope that God will eventually restore his people and show grace to the repentant. (Remember, the Bible is rated R. Some themes in this segment may be inappropriate for young audiences.)
This section of the book of Ezekiel is an interlude of sorts since Ezekiel’s mouth is “closed” until the destruction of Jerusalem in terms of his prophecies to Israel. This section contains prophecies to the nations surrounding Israel, their offenses and some lessons from God’s rebuke of these nations.
In this section, the predicted destruction of Jerusalem takes place. But right after this takes place, God begins to speak through Ezekiel promising to restore his people to their homeland and rebuild his temple.
In this section, Ezekiel is given a vision of the resurrection of dry bones. This vision points to the restoration of Israel and new life that is possible through the Spirit of God.
In this section Ezekiel is taken on another visionary journey to Jerusalem. But this time it is to tour the future temple of God! It is an awe-inspiring vision of God dwelling with his people.
The final two chapters of the book of Ezekiel are a continuation of Ezekiel’s visionary tour of the new temple. The focal point is a river flowing out from the threshold of the temple. This water flowing from the temple points ahead to Jesus and the life he grants to believers.