Reminder: I know we’re handling a lot of Scripture each week, and if you’re deep diving into the passages, it’s easy to get behind. Don’t worry! Remember, this study is self-paced. Take your time and take as long as you need. Also, I always build “catch up weeks” into my studies, so, scattered throughout the course of the study, there will be a few weeks with no new lesson which you can use for catching up.
Questions to Consider
1. Review your notes from last week’s lesson and be reminded of the things that lead into, and set the stage for, this week’s passage.
2. Read 6:1-7.
“Who” does God have Ezekiel preaching to? (6:2,3) Did these inanimate objects need to “hear” the word of the Lord? Who did? What was God telling the people about what would happen on the mountains, hills, ravines, and valleys in 6:1-7?
What is the sin God is judging in 6:1-7? Find the words “altars,” “incense altars,” and “high places” in this passage. Were these used for worshiping God?
How would you characterize Israel’s sin of idolatry? Were most of the people faithful to the Lord, while a few briefly gave in to the temptation to worship idols, then repented and showed contrition when rebuked? Or, were most of the people rebellious, hard-hearted, and stubbornly unrepentant of their idolatry over an extended period of time? Does God respond to repentant sinners with the ferocity of wrath we have seen so far in Ezekiel, or does He reserve that wrath for unrepentant sinners?
3. Read 6:8-14
What was God’s purpose in keeping “some of you alive”? (8)
4. Read chapter 7.
Examine 7:6-7,12, and explain the difference between God’s eternal and immutable (unchanging) attribute of patience, and the exercise of His patience for a finite amount of time with particular people in certain circumstances. In Ezekiel, we are seeing the exercise of God’s patience with Israel nearing the end of its finite time. When is the next time in human history that we will see God’s exercise of patience with people come to an end?
What is the “beautiful ornament” of verse 20? What does God say will happen to it? (20-22)
5. List all of the specific ways in chapters 6-7 that God says He will kill people. Why does God repeat Himself about this? (If you have, or teach, children, think about how many times you have to repeat yourself to them, and why.)
Are there any phrases in chapters 6-7 that sound like they might refer to Israel repenting? What are they? As you look closely at these phrases and consider them within the broader context of chapters 6-7 and the theme of the book of Ezekiel, compare them to the godly grief and worldly grief over sin described in 2 Corinthians 7:10. Which type of grief, if any, over sin is Israel displaying?
How can a loving God express this kind of wrath against His own people? Explain how God’s wrath is an expression of, or complementary to, His love. How was the cross a simultaneous expression of God’s perfect wrath and perfect love?
6. Think about chapters 6-7 through the lens of 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
How is this passage profitable for us as 21st century Christians under the covenant of grace? How can God use it for teaching, reproof, etc., in your life? How does it help complete and equip you?
• Did you make your “And you/they shall know that I am the Lord” list from last week’s homework? Add the incidences of this phrase from this week’s lesson (6:7, 10, 13, 14 and 7:4, 9, 27), and write down who will know that He is the Lord, what will cause them to know He is the Lord, and why God wants them to know He is the Lord.
• Do some research on altars and high places, including an image (pictures) search. Consider the amount of work it would have taken the Israelites – with hand tools – to build multiple (note the plurals in 6:1-7) structures like this. Describe how all of this work was making provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
An idol doesn’t have to be a statue we physically bow down to, or build an altar to, and worship. We can idolize a person, money, a certain lifestyle, popularity, a favorite pastor or teacher, false teaching, our children, the perfect marriage, etc. An idol is anything you love, value, or lavish time, money, and effort on, more than the God of the Bible. Are there any idols in your life? In what ways do you “make provision for the flesh” (purposefully make room in your heart and life) for that idol? Over the next week, pray that God will reveal any sin of idolatry you are participating in and that He will help you repent and get rid of those idols.
Suggested Memory Verse