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. How does chapter 11 connect back to chapters 8-10? Recall and describe Israel’s sin from chapter 8-9, and carry that into chapter 11.
2. Read chapter 11.
Who were the people Ezekiel saw in 11:1, and what were they guilty of (11:2-3)? What did God tell Ezekiel to do? (11:4)
How did God execute these princes (11:1) differently than He executed the elders of the temple and the people of the city? (11:6-12) Why was their judgment and execution different? (11:12) Explain the biblical principle that those in positions of authority and power over God’s people bear a greater responsibility before God to know Him, follow Him, and lead His people in His ways. Read 2 Samuel 24:10-14 and compare the elders and the people falling into the hand of God versus the princes falling into the hand of man. Which did David say was better, and why? How does that concept apply to the different executions we see here in Ezekiel?
You may want to go back to Lesson 1 (link above) and refresh your memory about Ezekiel’s situation and residence at this time. Remember, Ezekiel has already been taken captive, and is writing, during and after the second wave of the exile, and prior to the third and final wave. He looks back from exile in Babylon to all of the people still in Jerusalem whom God is putting to death (or soon will) and who does Ezekiel think is the “remnant” of God’s people in 11:13? How does God answer Ezekiel’s question in 11:13, correcting him and reassuring him? (11:14-21) Who does God say is really the remnant of His people? Is there any comparison here to the “exiled” or “scattered” (11:16-17) church – genuinely regenerated Christians, not just people who call themselves Christians and places that call themselves churches – today? When will God finally gather the remnant of His people back together?
How does 11:14-21 illustrate both the human action of repentance and God’s actions in our repentance?
Compare the movement of the glory of the Lord in 11:22-23 to its movement in previous chapters. Why does God’s glory keep moving around? Is it getting closer to or farther from the people in Jerusalem?
3. Read chapter 12.
Describe the little drama God has Ezekiel play out for his fellow exiles in 12:1-7. What was the message God was trying to get across to the people? (12:8-16) Why did God again have Ezekiel act out this scenario for the people instead of telling them in words? Did they get it? (12:9)
Describe the little drama God has Ezekiel play out for his fellow exiles in 12:17-20. What was the message God was trying to get across to the people? (12:19-20)
Explain in your own words what God is saying in 12:21-28. Compare 12:22 to 2 Peter 3:4. What did the people mean when they repeated this cliche or proverb? Why was it important to God that these Israelites, already in exile, know that He was about to virtually destroy Jerusalem, and soon?
In Old Testament times, the common understanding of gods – throughout the nations – was that certain gods were attached to a certain people group or “resided” within the borders of a certain nation. This idea may have entered Israel’s thinking as well about their own God, and might partly explain why they didn’t want to believe the things Ezekiel was saying about Jerusalem – God’s “dwelling place”. Explain how Ezekiel’s prophecies to the exiles in chapter 12 should have helped the people to remember that God is limitless, that He is God over all the universe and all people everywhere, and that His power can’t be contained by national borders, indeed, not even by the highest heaven.
• Did you make your “And you/they shall know that I am the Lord” list from lesson 3’s homework? Add the incidences of this phrase from this week’s lesson (11:10, 12, 12:15, 16, 20), 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.
Suggested Memory Verse