Session 5: Ezekiel 12-15
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.
- Play: Session 5 Video
Back from his visionary journey to Jerusalem, Ezekiel continues his dramatized predictions of the coming destruction of Jerusalem. First, God tells Ezekiel to pack up his things and make a public departure to symbolize how the people in Jerusalem will be forced to leave the city. Many will be scattered, but some will testify throughout the nations about what had happened. Second, Ezekiel is told to tremble as he eats and drinks. Similar to his earlier enactment involving food, this symbolizes the anxiety the people will experience because of their separation from God.
It is in this section that 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).
Perhaps surprisingly the message of the false prophets is “peace” when there isn’t peace. Essentially they are saying that everything is fine the way it is. In contrast to Ezekiel’s message of warning because of the people’s disobedience, these prophets say that there isn’t anything wrong. So Ezekiel is told to prophecy against these prophets for giving false hope to the people. In 2 Timothy 4:3 Paul warns that in a similar dynamic can take place in our own era. “To suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
While it is uncomfortable to face our mistakes head-on, that is the path to restoration with God. In Ezekiel 14:5 God describes his loving discipline of his people: “I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.” God wants his people to find true flourishing, not false peace, which only comes from him.
In Ezekiel 15, Jerusalem is pictured as a vine that does not bear fruit. In John 15:1 Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” When we go our own way, it leads to fruitlessness. But when we put our faith in Jesus, we will bear much fruit to the glory of God.
Questions for Discussion/Reflection:
- The false prophets during Ezekiel’s time preach a false peace, rather than helping the people of God come to grips with their rebellion. What are ways you might be tempted to deny, deflect, or distract from true repentance?
- Both Ezekiel 15 and John 15 speak of how fruitless a life apart from God is. How can you see this in your own life prior to faith in Jesus?
- Jesus is the true vine and all who remain in him will truly flourish. While this may not always look like an easy, successful life in the ways we might naturally think of it, what does a godly, fruitful life look like?
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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.