Session 3: Ezekiel 4-7
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.
- Play: Session 3 Video
In this section, Ezekiel begins his ministry 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.
Ezekiel’s preaching also involves dramatizations of the predicted destruction of the city.
First, he is told to build a model of the city and construct siege works against it.
Second, he is told to lay on his side for over a year and cook his food on cow dung! This represents the fear and anxiety with which the people will ration their food during the siege.
Third, he is told to shave his hair and beard and separate the hair into groups. The first portion of hair is to be burned in the model of the city. The second is to be scattered with a sword. The third is to be scattered to the wind. But he is told to tuck a few hairs in his pocket. These represent the ways the people will be harmed and scattered as a result of the destruction of the city.
If these dramatizations seem strange, the next portion of Ezekiel’s message doesn’t make it any less weird. He is told to prophecy against the mountains of Israel.
The mountains are a picture of the high places throughout Israel where altars had been built to false gods. They also connect with the prosperity and security the people had relied on instead of trusting God.
While these images are not immediately comforting to consider, we learn about the seriousness of sin and the reality of God’s discipline for his people. He had warned them many times against turning away from his law and depending on false. The time had come for them to experience the consequences of their choices.
Questions for Discussion/Reflection:
- How do you feel about the idea of God allowing his own holy city and temple to be destroyed because of the idolatry of his people?
- How does this section inform your understanding of God’s perspective on sin?
- What are ways that you might be tempted to minimize the seriousness of sin?
- What would you say to someone who finds these images of judgment impossible to mesh with the idea of a loving God?
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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.