David Pawson - Ezekiel Part 1
Thoughtful Thoughts 17 January 2020 Ezekiel Part 1 of 3
By breaking the book of Ezekiel into parts, you will find it becomes easier.
Here are some milestones in Ezekiel’s life. (Some dates may vary slightly and just remember that the “BC” dates work backward!)
Ezekiel was born around 623 BC, about 4 years after Jeremiah and by coming from the priestly line, he was well educated.
In 597 BC Babylon invaded and captured Jerusalem. Being in his mid-twenties, Ezekiel would have witnessed the whole thing.
1. Ezekiel’s 1st calling. He explained the punishment.
Shortly after hitting his 30th birthday, around 592 BC, Ezekiel was called by God to speak, which was the youngest point at which he was permitted to be recognized to undertake such duties. (Jesus too started His ministry aged 30.)
--- Chapters 1-24 covers the sermons of Ezekiel’s first calling. He explains the reasons for their predicament. (The religious leaders wouldn’t have explained that they were part of the problem.) So these chapters were his sermons preached between about 592 BC (ie after the first fall of Jerusalem in 597BC but before it fell a second time in 589 BC). He stopped preaching when his wife died.
2. Second Calling. He spoke of the past, present, and future.
a). Newly arrived refugees told Ezekiel that Jerusalem was not merely taken for a second time in 589 BC, but that this time it was totally destroyed. He asked when that happened, and learned that it was on the same day his wife died. That enabled Ezekiel to “feel” what God felt about losing the “apple of His eye”, and so deliver the message that God wanted him to preach, and in the way God wanted it preached. God had no choice but to withdraw from the people, on account of their wickedness.
b). From 586-585BC when Ezekiel was 47 or 48, he was called to preach again.
--- Chapters 25-39 cover this period of Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry when he describes the punishment on Israel’s enemies, and the people’s punishment but also eventual deliverance.
3. Third and final calling. He spoke of God’s long term future plan.
Somewhere between 570-567 BC, Ezekiel was called to preach for one more year when he was in his mid-fifties, which would have made him one of the elders.
--- Chapters 40-48 cover the sermons of Ezekiel’s third and final calling, which spoke of hope for the future. Ezekiel’s tomb is now a tourist attraction, which shows that we are studying history, which is why it is our picture this week.
Concluding Thoughts to Part 1 of our mini-series on Ezekiel.
Prophets went through a lot of pain to enable them to speak for God more meaningfully. For Ezekiel, it meant losing his wife, (quite apart from being taken into captivity.)
As a direct result of the punishment and God’s messenger’s explaining the reasons for it, the Jews learned their lesson, and from that day to this, never again went back to worshipping demons, pagan gods and idols. The days of Molech and child sacrifice were history. That much they really did learn, so it worked.
God had His servants stick with the people by being included in their exile so that the people were not left without a messenger of God. Others also became witnesses of the One true God to their captors. (Not for the first time either, because when the Israelites left Egypt, even some Egyptians joined the Israelites in the “Exodus”!)
As the book is quite long, a disciplined approach to Bible Study is necessary. This link may help some... https://www.bible.com/bible/1/EZK.1.KJV Some people may prefer listening to the book rather than reading it, but one way or the other Bible Study is essential. As one Bible reader said, “Ezekiel is like a silver mine;- you have to dig, but it’s worth it when you find the silver.” We will look at some of the silver in this silvermine, next time.
I’m John Dunning and that’s “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.
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