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. Chapter 17
Read 17:1-10- Think back through what we’ve read in Ezekiel so far. What are some of the various methods God has used to get His message across to His people? Which method is He using now? (17:2) What does God say is His purpose in using parables? Have you noticed as we’ve been studying Ezekiel that God usually explains what He meant by the parable He told, or the diorama or drama Ezekiel enacted?
Read 17:11-15- Explain in your own words what the parable meant. (Don’t forget to use your cross-references.) What should “the royal offspring” (17:13) of Jerusalem (use your cross-references to find out who this was) have done instead of making a covenant with the king of Babylon or attempting to secure military help from Egypt?
Read 17:16-21- What will be the consequences for “the royal offspring” (17:13) for breaking his oath and covenant with the king of Babylon? Look carefully at 19-20. Who does God say he has actually sinned against by breaking the oath and covenant? Why? (Hint: Think about swearing an oath, even in a court of law today. Who do you swear by?) Compare what God says here to David’s assessment of his own sin in Psalm 51.
Explain why all sin and wrongdoing is, at its foundation, rebellion against God.
Read 17:22-24- What does this passage point ahead to? Explore the tree motif.
3. Read chapter 18.
Explain 18:4 in your own words.
In 18:5-18, God presents two different father/son scenarios. Briefly summarize the character of the father, the character of the son, and the consequences for the actions of each in the following sections:
Father Son Consequences (father) Consequences (son)
In 18:21-32, explain the heart of God toward sinners. Does God delight or take joy in exercising His wrath against sinners? What is His posture toward sinners? How does this passage explain repentance and God’s forgiveness of sin? How does it showcase God’s mercy toward sinners?
Chapter 18 talks a great deal about people’s wicked or righteous behavior. Is this chapter teaching works righteousness (that we can earn right standing with God by our good behavior or obeying His laws)? How do you know – based on specific Scriptures and the fact that the Bible doesn’t contradict itself – that it is not? What is the spiritual motivation for the righteous behavior described in chapter 18?
Is 18:24 saying that a person can lose her salvation? How do you know – based on specific Scriptures and the fact that the Bible doesn’t contradict itself – that it is not?
How does 18:21-32 show that God’s way of reckoning sin and righteousness is just and Israel’s way is unjust?
Imagine you’re one of the few faithful Israelites during this time. You love the Lord and do your best to obey Him. How would chapter 18 comfort you and reassure you as you keep hearing these messages of God’s impending wrath?
4. Read chapter 19.
Read through this chapter examining all of the cross-references. Who are the people alluded to in this chapter? What are the historical events alluded to in this chapter? Summarize in your own words what this chapter is referring to.
What is a lamentation, and why would it have been appropriate for the people to lament over the events of this chapter?
Have you ever lamented over your sin? Explain why, for Christians, lament should always lead to repentance and gratitude for God’s forgiveness.
• Add 17:21,24 to your “And you/they shall know that I am the Lord” list. 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.
• How would you use the principles in chapter 18 to explain to a friend why things like generational curses, reparations for slavery, systemic racism, “I’m a Christian because my parents are faithful church members,” etc., are unbiblical? Why is it important to God that we know that He holds every person responsible to Him individually for our sin, and that He applies Christ’s righteousness to us individually when we repent and place our faith in Him? How does this reflect God’s attribute of justice?
Suggested Memory Verse