Session 1: 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.
- Play: Session 1 Video
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.
The period of history covered in the book of Ezekiel is from about 593 B.C. to 571 B.C. Ezekiel the prophet, and many of the other major leaders and influential people in Israel, had also been taken to Babylon, but the city of Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed.
Much of the book of Ezekiel predicts the destruction of Jerusalem, but it also speaks of its eventual rebuilding.
Big Themes of the Book
Seriousness of Sin – God takes the idolatry and injustice of the people of Israel and surrounding nations seriously. Through this we are reminded that God is always watching and will eventually bring justice to the world.
The Presence of God – For the people of God during Ezekiel’s time, God’s presence was equated with the temple in Jerusalem. But being taken from the city and that temple being destroyed could make people ask the question, “Where is God?”
The Heart – While God gave his people commands in the Old Testament Law, in various ways the book of Ezekiel reminds us that God’s priority is a heart that is devoted to him, eager to do what is good. God promises his people he will give them a new heart.
Future Restoration – The book of Ezekiel points ahead to a future rebuilt city with a temple. And while the city of Jerusalem was rebuilt and a new temple constructed in the Old Testament time, there are hints in the book of Ezekiel about the ultimate restoration God will bring for the world at the end of time.
Knowledge of God – The key phrase in the book of Ezekiel is, “And then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Questions for Discussion/Reflection:
- What are some of your expectations or preconceptions of the book of Ezekiel?
- How are some of the big themes of this book relevant to your own situation in life?
- When you think about the end of the world, what sort of feelings emerge?
- What are some ways in which you want God to give you a “new heart”?
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The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.