Ezekiel’s Tough Assignment

by Pastor Dave on April 10, 2012

Well fellow Journeyers, by now you are deeply into one of the more challenging reads in scripture – Ezekiel.  If you think it is tough to read, put yourself for a moment in Ezekiel’s shoes.  This dude had a tough assignment.  He was called to prophesy during a time of great international upheaval. The Assyrian empire was on the march, taking the world by storm, and Israel and Judah were in a centuries old decline into sin, immorality, and spiritual complacency that had reached epic proportions. They had become as sinful and wicked as the nations around them and in some cases had become even worse!

Ezekiel’s job is perhaps most clearly outlined in chapter 33.  Ezekiel was called to be a watchman.  The job of a watchman was to sit at the top of a city’s gate and warn the city if danger was approaching. That was Ezekiel’s job for not only for the Israelites, but for the surrounding nations as well. While reading chapter after chapter of sometimes graphic warnings of impending doom and punishment, it can be tempting to think, is the Older Testament God simply a God of judgment and wrath?  What happened to the NT God of grace and love? Did God Change? Absolutely not!

The Old Testament and New Testament God is the same God – a gracious savior and righteous judge.  God is saying through his prophets, particularly to the nation of Israel, if you continue to turn your back on me, and reject my love and my commands that give life, then I will leave you with the consequences of your sinful choices. I will remove my hand of protection and leave you to your own devices and you can see how that goes for you. The same is true with our lives individually and as a nation today.

A beautiful glimpse into the heart of the father is found in Ezekiel 33:11, “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.  Turn!  Turn from your evil ways!  Why will you die, O house of Israel?’” God is graciously offering them a last chance to turn, even begging them to return to him and receive His love, grace, protection and life.

Pastor Dave

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda April 11, 2012 at 12:39 am

Melanie and Pastor Dave….I’m trekking with you. Wonder why Ezekiel is called “Son of Man” like Jesus often called himself. Hmmm.
What motivates me to get through this reading is a strange facination of how Ezekiel times are quite similar to today in the USA (idolatry, bouts of depravity, you name it-we’re doing it ) …and the Lord’s silence and/or mercy right now. Or has He already spoken through Christ, Ezekiel and the other ancient prophets as “promises?” Makes me wanna read and read some more.

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Melanie Jongsma April 11, 2012 at 12:42 am

That’s a good point about “Son of Man”—I noticed that too. I appreciate the points you raise, Linda. Reading Ezekiel in community like this is much more engaging than reading it on my own!

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Charlotte turner April 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm

This is a book that really make you dig . And read over and over I thought I was alone. But I will read on because there are some pretty good nuggets in there. We just have to open up to see what God was really saying to Ezekiel. At that time.

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Melanie Jongsma April 15, 2012 at 1:10 am

I love that attitude, Charlotte!

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Melanie Jongsma April 11, 2012 at 12:11 am

To be honest, I have really been struggling to stay motivated through Ezekiel! So I appreciate this Journey note—it’s a reminder that I am not on the Journey alone! Thanks Pastor Dave.

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