Verse of the Week: V14 “Then said I, Ah Lord God! Behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth.”
1. 390 Years (V1-5)
V4 “Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.”
God spoke to prophet Ezekiel that He would punish Israel, the Northern Kingdom, for 390 years for their sins by commanding Ezekiel to lie on his left side for 390 days, each day representing a year. Imagine Ezekiel lying on his side for 390 days or more than a year. This was how obedient Ezekiel was yet the people of Israel were disobedient to God.
V5 “For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.”
2. 40 Years (V6-8)
V6 “And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.”
If there was one obedient man in the entire world he must be Ezekiel! Not only he laid on his left side for 390 days, this time he had to lie on his right side for 40 days for the sins of Judah, the Southern Kingdom.
3. Eternity (V9-17)
V14 “Then said I, Ah Lord God! Behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth.”
And if lying for 430 days were not enough, God commanded Ezekiel to eat defiled bread he had never eaten before. Ezekiel was willing to obey God no matter how inconvenient and how difficult life was. He knew that he would rather suffer on earth and enjoy eternity with God in heaven than to enjoy on earth and suffer eternity in hell without God. Ezekiel was a type of Christ who was obedient to death, even the cruel death of the cross.
“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Prayer of the Week
Dearest God, please help me to be obedient to You even if it costs my life.
Verse of the Week: V17 “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.”
1. People’s Watchman (V1-14)
V3 “And He said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.’
The people’s prophets or watchmen, those who seek to be popular with people, gave the good news that God would soon deliver the people of Israel from their slavery under the wicked Babylonians. These people’s prophets were false prophets sent by the Devil. Ezekiel, the true prophet sent by God, gave the people the bad news that God would not deliver them until 70 years of hard labour and suffering. The people could not take the bad news and they cursed Ezekiel, and God had to encourage him by giving the roll, God’s Word, to eat and to taste that indeed God’s Word was as sweet as honey in his soul.
V7 “But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.”
2. God’s Watchman (V15-21)
V17 “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.”
God called Ezekiel as His watchman to warn the people of Israel the impending judgment of God if they refuse to repent of their sins. It was also a warning to Ezekiel not to neglect his duty as a watchman otherwise the blood of the people shall be in his hand. Christians are to preach the Gospel of Christ that the Son of God became the Son of man so that the sons of man can become the sons of God. It is not just the duty of the pastors to share the Gospel but every Christian, every son of God, must share the Gospel.
3. God’s Glory (V22-27)
V23 “Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.”
Time and again, Ezekiel was very discouraged and depressed as the people refused to repent. However, God’s glory encouraged Ezekiel to keep on, keeping on, no matter how discouraged and depressed he was. It is not easy to live as a holy Christian in the world of unholy unbelievers. The Devil is continually seducing and tempting men that they reject the Gospel and mock and scorn Christians who are living for God’s glory.
Prayer of the Week
Dearest God, please help me to be Your watchman to share the Gospel that the Son of God becomes the Son of man so that the sons of man become the sons of God.
Verse of the Week: V6 “And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou doest dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellions house.”
1. The Rebel (V1-3)
V3 “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against Me: they and their fathers have transgressed against Me, even unto this very day.”
Prophet Ezekiel preached and warned the people of Israel that God’s judgment shall be upon them unless they repent of their sins. Yet the people refused to repent and continued to rebel against God. It was a tragic day for the people of Israel who were supposed to be the people of God yet they became rebels. The people who hurt God most are the professing Christians who worship God every Sunday but live like a devil the rest of the week. It is easy to be a professing Christian but hardest to be a true Christian of God.
2. The Rude (V4-8)
V4 “For they are impudent children and stiffhearted, I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.”
The people of Israel were not only rebels but were rude and stubborn. They were so bent to do evil that they would kill prophet Ezekiel than to listen to his preaching and warning of God’s impending judgment. How could Ezekiel not be afraid of these evil people who threatened to kill him? But praise God, the Lord who calls Him, shall protect Him.
V6 “And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou doest dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.”
3. The Roll (V9-10)
V9 “And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;”
Ezekiel saw a scroll of a book with severe warnings and judgments of God because of the rebellion of the people of Israel. There shall be lamentations, mourning and troubles everywhere as the people of Israel reaped the consequences of their sins and rebellion.
V10 “And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.”
Prayer of the Week
Dearest God, please grant me the courage to obey You in spite of fierce opposition.
Verse of the Week: V1 “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.”
1. The Visions Of God (V1-14)
V1 “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.”
Ezekiel, the priest from the tribe of Levite, and now a prisoner of Babylon, had the privilege of seeing the visions of God with the messages of warning the people of Israel of the impending calamities, telling them of the future restoration of Israel and foretelling them of the coming of the Messiah. He also saw the prophecy of the first coming of the Messiah in the form of four living creatures which had the face of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle which actually were the four gospels where the gospel of Matthew was symbolized by the lion, the gospel of Mark was symbolized by the ox, the gospel of Luke was symbolized by the man and the gospel of John was symbolized by the eagle.
V10 “As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.”
2. The Voice Of God (V15-25)
V24 “And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.”
Beside the visions of God, Ezekiel also heard the voice of God confirming his visions and telling him of all the prophecies that would be fulfilled in the future.
3. The Glory Of God (V26-28)
V28 “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”
When Ezekiel saw the glory of God, it was like seeing the beautiful rainbow after the shower of rain. When man sees God, they will immediately fell to the ground because of the beauty, holiness and brightness of God. Let us humbly worship God and serve Him as the day will come when we shall see God in all His beauty, holiness and brightness and we shall fall upon our faces and know that He is indeed worthy of all our worship.
Prayer of the Week
Dearest God, please help me to worship You with all humility and holiness.
Verse of the Week: V19 “Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; Thy throne from generation to generation.”
1. Persecuted Without Peace (V1-14)
V5 “Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest.”
The people of Israel sinned against God yet they never expect that they would reap the devastating and destructive consequences of their sins and wickedness. They thought they were the people of God and could get away with their sins. Little did they expect God would send the mighty Egyptians and the Assyrians to attack and destroy them. Many were killed and those who survived were brought to Babylon and persecuted as slaves without peace and rest, as they toiled day and night under the wicked Babylonians.
V6 “We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.”
2. Dance Without Delight (V15-16)
V15 “The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.”
The people of God remembered the time when they danced with delight and joy as they celebrated the completion of the holy temple of God. However, as time passed, they failed to completely trust and obey God, and now they were in a foreign land and their dance had turned into mourning. Instead of reigning as princes of the King of heaven and earth, their crowns had fallen from their heads and they were under God’s fiery judgment.
V16 “The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!”
3. Forsaken Without Forgotten (V17-22)
V19 “Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; Thy throne from generation to generation.”
The children of God were forsaken by God for 70 long years as they labored as slaves in the land of Babylon. Though they were forsaken and rejected by God yet they were never forgotten by God. No matter how far the people of God strayed away from Him, no matter how wicked their sins were, no matter how they changed their attitude towards Him, God remains the same and reigns forever. Remember, God shall always bless and keep His children if we repent our sins, turn from our wicked ways, and trust and obey Him, and we shall reign with Him now and forever.
V20 “Wherefore dost Thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time?”
Prayer of the Week
Dearest God, please help me to stay close to You and reign with You now and forever.