Week #109; Wed, Jan 29: Ezekiel 33:1–37:28
Ezekiel 33, Ezekiel Is Israel’s Watchman
I. KEY TEXT: “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.'” (33:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” (33:6)
1. FINDINGS: The Lord God set up tasks for the watchman complete with severe consequences if not properly conducted.
2. CRITERIA: The watchmen cited above was tasked with Divine orders as cited above; today they have demanding standards for conduct too as we see below:
“The U.S. Marine Corps general orders describe the standards for which guard duty is to be currently conducted:
- To take charge of this post and all government property in view.
- To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
- To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
- To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guard house than my own.
- To quit my post only when properly relieved.
- To receive, obey and pass on to the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officer, Officer of the Day, Officers, and Non-Commissioned Officers of the guard only.
- To talk to no one except in the line of duty.
- To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
- To call the Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions.
- To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
- To be especially watchful at night, and, during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.”
3. CONDITION: “So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” (33:7-9)
4. CAUSE: The Lord God desired that the wicked be informed of pending disaster if they do not turn from their wickedness; Ezekiel was tasked to be a reliable messenger.
5. EFFECT: Failure to perform messenger duties for the Lord God results in dire consequences to the soul.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Memorize and faithfully execute the Lord God’s duties of watchman.
II. KEY TEXT: “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?'” (33:10)
A. INFERENCE: “Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?'” (33:11)
1. FINDINGS: The Lord God wants the wicked to turn from their evil ways.
2. CRITERIA: The Lord God will not condone wicked ways.
3. CONDITION: The Lord God is waiting while sending Ezekiel as a messenger with instruction to his people.
4. CAUSE: Failure for the people to accept harsh penalties for their transgressions and sins.
5. EFFECT: Turn from transgressions and sins or face death.
6. RECOMMENDATION: “And, when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he shall live by this. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.” (33:19-20) The people of Israel need to turn or burn. (Ps. 7:12-13 pertains)
Ezekiel 34, Prophecy Against the Shepherds of Israel
I. KEY TEXT: “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?” (34:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live, declares the Lord God, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.” (34:7-10)
1. FINDINGS: The shepherds of Israel have been feeding themselves rather than the sheep.
2. CRITERIA: No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.
3. CONDITION: The shepherds of Israel have been feeding themselves rather than the sheep.
4. CAUSE: The Lord God’s shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed his sheep.
5. EFFECT: I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.
6. RECOMMENDATION: The shepherds of the Lord God should feed his sheep and not themselves.
II. KEY TEXT: “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.” (34:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country.” (35:11-13)
1. FINDINGS: “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God.” (35:15)?
2. CRITERIA: The Lord God will take charge himself to restore his people.
3. CONDITION: “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.” (35:16)
4. CAUSE: The Lord God could not trust his shepherds of his sheep to tend his sheep with good care.
5. EFFECT: “I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.” (35:22-24)
6. RECOMMENDATION: David, the Lord God’s choice for one shepherd, should shepherd his sheep; showers of blessing to follow.
Ezekiel 35, Prophecy Against Mount Seir
I. KEY TEXT: “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, and say to it, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will make you a desolation and a waste. I will lay your cities waste, and you shall become a desolation, and you shall know that I am the Lord. Because you cherished perpetual enmity and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment, . . . ” (35:1-5)
A. INFERENCE: “. . . therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; because you did not hate bloodshed, therefore blood shall pursue you. I will make Mount Seir a waste and a desolation, and I will cut off form it all who come and go.” (35:6-8)
1. FINDINGS: Mount Seir cherished perpetual enmity and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment.
2. CRITERIA: Harmony with the Lord God and his people Israel.
3. CONDITION: “I have heard all the reviling that you uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate; they are given us to devour. And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it.” (35:12-13)
4. CAUSE: Mount Seir gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword because of their perpetual enmity.
5. EFFECT: The Lord God will prepare Mount Seir for blood and sword.
6. RECOMMENDATION: The Lord God will make the cities of Mount Seir a desolation and a waste.
Ezekiel 36, Prophecy to the Mountains of Israel
I. KEY TEXT: “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God: Because the enemy said of you, ‘Aha!” and, ‘The ancient heights have become our possession, ‘ therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God: Precisely because they made you desolate and crushed you from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you became the talk of evil gossip of the people, . . . ” (36:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “. . . therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God: Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, the ravines and the valleys, the desolate wastes and the deserted cities, which have become a prey and derision to the rest of the nations all around, therefore thus says the Lord God: Surely I have spoken in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave my land to themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, that they might make its pasturelands a prey. Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, Thus says the Lord God” Behold, I have spoken in my jealous wrath, because you have suffered the reproach of the nations. Therefore thus says the Lord God: I swear that the nations that are all around you shall themselves suffer reproach.” (36:4-7)
1. FINDINGS: The enemy nations all around said the ancient heights have become our possession.
2. CRITERIA: The Lord God said to the mountains of Israel, “behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.”
3. CONDITION: The mountains of Israel suffered the reproach and became prey and derision to the rest of the nations all around.
4. CAUSE: Contempt by the rest of the nations toward the mountains of Israel; intent to turn the land into pasture land to the nations all around.
5. EFFECT: The mountains of Israel, will soon come home from exile. The Lord God will “multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt. And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before.” (36:10-11)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Because the mountains of Israel suffered reproach by the nations all around, they themselves will suffer reproach.
II. KEY TEXT: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (36:25-27)
A. INFERENCE: It appears a heart transplant is planned for the people of Israel. Their heart was far away from the Lord God and resulted in exile. A new heart implant that is flesh, not stone is on the way. (36:26-27)
1. FINDINGS: The people of Israel need a new heart and spirit to comply with his statutes and his rules.
2. CRITERIA: The Lord God will give the people of Israel a heart of flesh that will enable them to walk in his statutes and obey his rules.
3. CONDITION: The Lord God is conducting a cleansing process on the people of Israel.
4. CAUSE: The people of Israel turned to idols and were exiled.
5. EFFECT: A new heart and spirit is needed for the people of Israel to provide the means for them to walk in his statutes and obey his rules.
6. RECOMMENDATION: A new heart and spirit needs to be included in preparation for the people of Israel to return home from exile and walk in the statutes and rules of the Lord God.
Ezekiel 37; The Valley of Dry Bones
I. KEY TEXT: “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know the I am the Lord.'” (37:1-6)
A. INFERENCE: “So, I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.’ So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.” (37:7-10)
1. FINDINGS: “Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. (37:11-12)
2. CRITERIA: The Lord God will give the people of Israel a heart of flesh that will enable them to walk in his statutes and obey his rules.
3. CONDITION: The restoration of the dry bones illustrates restoration of the people Israel from exile; they will have a new heart and spirit at their return. They will be able to then follow the statutes and rules of the Lord God.
4. CAUSE: The Lord God’s master plan for restoration of the people of Israel demonstrates how he will restore the present dry bones for our return to his perfect kingdom.
5. EFFECT: The Lord God will be their/our God as they/we are raised from their/our graves upon hearing and believing Ezekiel’s prophesy and when we hear and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Hear and believe the Lord God; be his people.
II. KEY TEXT: “The word of the Lord come to me: ‘Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. And when your people say to you, ‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’ say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, Thus says the Lord God; Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backsliding in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (37:15-23)
A. INFERENCE: “My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them, It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” (37:24-28)
1. FINDINGS: The Lord God is preparing his people to return from exile into one land and one people with David as their shepherd with his sanctuary in their midst forevermore.
2. CRITERIA: Surrender to the Lord God, claim a new heart and spirt to walk in his statutes and his rules with David as one leader.
3. CONDITION: Going home to their Lord God in Israel as his people.
4. CAUSE: The people of Israel and Judah defiled themselves with idols and detestable things backsliding until the Lord God used their enemies to take them captive as exiles.
5. EFFECT: Welcome home to one in the Lord God.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Welcome the chance to become one with all of Israel and one with the Lord God at the feet of his sanctuary forevermore.
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