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 chapter 8.
Where did the Spirit take Ezekiel in his vision (what city/which building)? (8:3) In 8:4 and its cross-references, where was the glory of God resting (“there” and “valley”)?
What is the general, overall point God is making to Ezekiel in chapter 8? (8:6,9) As you make your way through chapter 8, fill in the chart below listing each of the idols that had been brought into the temple, who was worshiping it, and any thoughts on how that idol represented opposition to God, why the people would have wanted to worship it, why they brought it into the temple, how it was being worshiped, etc.
Name/description of Idol Worshipers Thoughts/observations
What does it mean that God is a “jealous” (8:3.5) God? (Use your cross-references.) How is God’s jealousy for His name and His people an extension of and a demonstration of His holiness and His love for His people?
What is syncretism? Would you characterize what’s happening in chapter 8 as syncretism? Do you see a similar syncretism happening today in your own church or in the church at large? How is idolatry being brought into the church at large today? What are some elders (8:11- pastors, leaders, etc.) worshiping? Women (8:14)? Men (8:16)?
Sit quietly for a moment to ponder and feel the weight of the depth and blackness of the sin Israel was committing by worshiping false gods, and by doing so in God’s house where His glory rested.
3. Read chapter 9.
In your own words, give a brief “bullet point” summary of what happens in chapter 9.
What is God’s attitude and position toward Israel in this chapter? What consequence does He impose on them for their idolatry? (9:1) Compare and contrast where God’s glory is in 8:4 with 9:3. Why the change?
Why does “judgment begin at the household of God” with the elders? (9:6)
Compare chapter 9 with the Passover during the final plague in Egypt. Note the connections of idolatry, the mark, and the separation between those who received the judgment and those who did not. Now think ahead to the “final Passover,” the second coming of Christ. In the first Passover and Ezekiel 9 (9:4), who receives/displays the “mark”? Who will receive the “mark” prior to Jesus’ return? What role does idolatry play in the “final Passover”? How will Jesus separate those with the “mark” from those without it? Does anyone ever get put into the wrong group accidentally? How does this help you to feel more secure in your salvation and your eternity?
4. Read chapter 10.
What do the “burning coals” (10:2, 6-7) represent, as they are scattered across the city?
What happened to the glory of the Lord in this chapter? (10:4,18) Why was this so significant? Try to put yourself in both Ezekiel’s, and an average Israelite’s shoes at that time. What would God’s glory departing from the temple have meant to you? Could “God’s glory” depart from a church today if that church is practicing syncretism/idolatry? How?
Compare chapter 10 with your notes on the “whirling wheels” from lesson 2 (link above). Does chapter 10 help to clarify chapter 1? How? How does this demonstrate that “Scripture interprets Scripture”?
How would you summarize the main idea of chapters 8-10 in 2-3 sentences?
In what ways could chapters 8-10 apply to the church today? Since the Lord does not change, is He still just as wrathful over the desecration of His house and His people today as He was in Ezekiel’s time? How was that wrath for these sins expressed for regenerate believers who repent of these sins? How will God’s wrath over these sins be expressed toward the unrepentant? How does reading about God’s wrath toward idolatry in His house impact your view of the practices of your own church? Explain how this can be a spiritually healthy “fear of God”.
• Why was it necessary for God to show Ezekiel all of these things in chapters 8-10 rather than just telling him in words? Has God ever demonstrated the truth of His Word to you by “showing you”? Perhaps you’ve gotten a little inkling of what it means that He is our Father as you parent your own child. Maybe He has shown you that you can trust Him as He carried you through a difficult situation. Write about your experience and the biblical truths it demonstrated to you. Think about the concepts of “seeing is believing” and “believing is seeing” and how they relate to what you learned from your experience.
Suggested Memory Verse