April 20th - Chapter One to Three

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April 20th - Chapter One to Three

Post by James on Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:59 am

Here's what my study bible says about the book of Ezekiel.

The OT in general and the prophets in particular presuppose and teach God's sovereignty over all creation, over people and nations and the course of history. And nowhere in the Bible are God's initiative and control expressed more clearly and pervasively than in the book of Ezekiel.
God is free to judge, and he is equally free to be gracious. His stern judgments on Israel ultimately reflect his grace.

Starting from chapter two, Ezekiel receives his anointing as prophet. I think God addresses Ezekiel as "Son of man" to emphasize the comparison between God's sovereignty and man. The recurring theme is that the "Spirit came into Ezekiel" or the fact that the "hand of the LORD" was upon him (2:2, 3:12, 3:14, 3:22, 3:24). We see that God worked through Ezekiel even before Ezekiel had agreed to represent God as a prophet for the Israelites. Witnessing God's strength and power through Ezekiel is quite relieving as God will speak to whomever He wants, however He wants.
Ezekiel receives the role of a "watchman" (3:17) for Israel, that he will be accountable to other people's lives unless he warns them of their wicked ways. And the fact that he was told that he would be unable to talk unless God had spoken to him. This is extremely powerful, stating that as a prophet he wouldn't be able to utter any words unless God would have been speaking through him.

These three chapters of Ezekiel have opened my eyes to God's greatness and our weakness. That God's foolishness is still much wiser than man's wisdom. And 2:7 stating that he must speak God's words to the people of Israel regardless of their response is alittle bit interesting. It opens up a new thought that God will still proclaim His greatness and glory even though if nobody would turn back and accept Him.
This idea reminds me of 1 Peter 3:19-20 as Christ preached in spirits in prison, and He didn't go so that the unrepentant might be saved - but rather to proclaim His victory over death during the three days in hell.
Also I thought it was pretty cool that Ezekiel ate a scroll that God had given him, LOL


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Re: April 20th - Chapter One to Three

Post by teamc_jeremy on Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:29 am

Yo guys to be real with everyone I'm just going to post things that I'm truly thinking about or have learned while reading the chapters instead of responding with "Sunday school" answers like how I've previously done devos when we used to use the forum (empty answers with a mentality of "let's just get this done and out of the way").  
After reading chapter one I'm pretty confused to say the least.  Four four faced, four-winged, four sided, calf-legged, bronze-colored, yet human-like creatures?  I don't know exactly what I am supposed to take out of this but my initial reaction was something like "o.O", as I struggled to picture the creatures and their significance.  Maybe it's to show how we, as humans, can't fully comprehend God or heaven (as the creatures were from the visions of God and heaven given to Ezekiel)?  Are they described literally, as in the creatures actually exist in heaven as they are described, or are they simply symbolizing something?  What's the significance about the number four?  These are the questions in my mind after reading the first chapter.  Apart from that the message of God's glory/greatness was clear, as Ezekiel was given the image of an expanse of light with a human-like but fiery being sitting in a throne.


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Re: April 20th - Chapter One to Three

Post by StephenRYUUUU on Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:27 am

I'm finding the book of Ezekiel really good.  From reading the first three chapters, what I first observed and noticed was God is an Almighty God that human beings can not even come close to comprehend.  Second, the fear of God that made Ezekiel fall facedown, and third Ezekiel's obedience to God's commands (Though he was bitter).  

From the first chapter, God reveals some of the Kingdom of Heaven to Ezekiel.  He is able to witness and have a glimpse of the place in which God dwells.  And that thus brings in all those creatures.  The way Ezekiel describes this moment truly shows how God we can never comprehend God and that He is just so Almighty.  Reading how the creatures followed the Spirit's every move was interesting to me as it reminded me of how the followers of Christ follow the Spirit.  

The second and third chapter is God speaking to Ezekiel about what He wants him to do.  What I find really cool and interesting in the OT is how God directly speaks to His servants.  Ezekiel is in the presence of such an Almighty that he falls facedown and only when the Spirit comes in Him, is he able to face God.  God commands Ezekiel to proclaim His words to the Israelites.  But first, God sends him away to do proclaim His word with the people around him first, the exiles.  Picturing how the Spirit is carrying Ezekiel to the exiles while Ezekiel is being cranky and bitter is pretty jokes haha.  

Though Ezekiel says he was bitter, regardless of this, He followed God's commands.  This makes me think that he does not really want to do these things that God asks yet he is doing them.  Makes me think about the fear of the Lord.  Since God has revealed Himself and His almighty nature to Ezekiel, I wonder if Ezekiel acted out of real fear of God - acknowledging how Great He is and thus is scared of Him - which makes him do as he is told.  

Reflecting on these chapters and reading your responses really helps me understand it a lot more!  Especially in understanding more of God's character in these chapters.  In terms of God's commands to go speak His word to the Israelites, it truly does show His grace towards His people.  Yet, it also shows how He is able to judge them - whether the people accept or reject God's word, He still shows mercy and grace by giving them a chance.


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