The name Ezekiel means "God will strengthen". Ezekiel and his family were carried captive to Babylon in 597 B.C. when he was about 25 years old. He was called as a prophet 5 years later. He prophesied to the captives who dwelt by the River Chebar at Tel Abib. He identifies himself as a priest. He was married to a woman described as "the desire of his eyes" (don't we all want to be that to our hubby?!?). One of the saddest times in his life was the death of his wife, which was to match the grief of God at the sin of Jerusalem. He was commanded not to grieve her death. Ezekiel shows us how ugly and serious our sin really is. Our rebellion brings grief and hurt to God because our sins are actually against Him (the plain truth!!!).
The book of Ezekiel falls into 3 main divisions:
1) Judgment on the nation of Judah
2) Judgment on the surrounding nations
3) The future blessing of God's Covenant People
At the age of 30 (the age priests began to minister in the Temple). He couldn't serve in the Temple because he was in exile in Babylon. Ezekiel began having visions from God. He was called by God to be a prophet. God told him that He was sending him to speak to the nation of Israel. Ezekiel saw a hand reaching out to him holding a scroll. Both sides were covered with funeral songs and words of sorrow. God instructed Ezekiel to eat the scroll, then go and give the message to the people of Israel. Ezekiel opened his mouth and God fed him the scroll (this was such a touching picture in my mind...of our Lord feeding Ezekiel). Ezekiel described the scroll as tasting as sweet as honey in his mouth. God instructed Ezekiel not to be afraid of the people.
The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord's hold on me was strong."
Oh, how that applies to us today, too....often when I'm upset about something...and I take it to the Lord in prayer....I feel like He just lifts me up and away....and all the time He's holding onto me with His strong hand!!!
God told Ezekiel that when he received a message from Him that he was to warn the people immediately. Later he was instructed to go into his house and shut himself in and he would be tied with ropes so he couldn't go out among the people. God also made Ezekiel's tongue to stick to the roof of his mouth so he would be speechless. When God gave Ezekiel a message, he would loosen his tongue and let him speak.
Now...what if God did that to us today....and only let us speak what He put on our hearts to say....food for thought, huh?!?
God instructed Ezekiel to lay down on his left side and to place the sins of Israel on himself. He was to bear Israel's sins for 390 days - 1 day for each year of their sin. Then, he was to turn over and lie on his right side for 40 days - 1 day for each year of Judah's sin. The Lord tied him up with ropes so that he wouldn't be able to turn from side to side.
They will recognize how hurt I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for their idols.
We should all be aware of how our sins hurt our precious Lord. Just like we correct our children and grandchildren because we love them so dearly....God loves us even more and that's why we have to be reprimanded by Him!!!
Ezekiel's was given a vision from God of the sins being committed in the Temple. When God started the destruction of Jerusalem, it began with the seventy Temple leaders who were worshiping idols inside the Temple. These men thought because they were inside the Temple that they were hidden from God.
Don't you think there are a lot of people today who think they can "hide" in church? By going to church, it puts on an appearance of living right....but God sees our hearts and reads our minds!!!
I know what you are saying for I know every thought that comes into your minds.
These are such a sweet, sweet verses of scripture.
And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their strong, stubborn heart and will give them a tender, responsive heart. So they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people and I will be their God.
I want to leave you all with this verse....which pretty much sums up EVERYTHING!!!
I am the Lord!
If I say it, it will happen!!!
In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!