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 20:1-44. Outline the main “bullet points” of what is happening in this passage:
3. In 20:5-29, God takes the elders of Israel who have come to inquire of Him via Ezekiel (20:1) on a “stroll down memory lane”. Summarize each of the historical events God reminds them of:
Do you notice a pattern, or cycle, to the interactions between God and His people?
God does _______.
Israel does _______.
God’s anger is kindled.
God does _______.
How does this pattern fit each of the events above?
Do you notice any recurring actions or reactions/responses on the part of God or Israel in these passages? Explain.
What are the three main sins of Israel that God highlights in these passages? (20:16) Why does Israel commit the same sins over and over again? Do you find yourself committing the same sins again and again? Why?
In 20:8-9, 13b-14, and 21b-22, what is God’s initial posture toward Israel’s sin? But then what does He actually do? Why? Was God showing mercy to Israel because they “deserved” it? What does it mean that God acted the way He did “for the sake of His name”? What kind of reputation did God want to have in the eyes of the pagan nations surrounding Israel? Why?
One of the heretical teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation is that God is hamstrung by our actions. Like, if we have all of our spiritual ducks in a row, God is obligated to do what we want Him to do, as though He had no choice in the matter. Explain how the inverse in this passage (Israel sins, so God is obligated to punish them, but, instead, shows them mercy for His name’s sake) disproves this idea. Aside from God’s promises, do our actions absolutely determine God’s actions in a given situation? Why not?
4. In 20:30-44, God turns from His recitation of history to presently addressing the elders of Israel who have come to inquire of Him. Explain why He says they may not inquire of Him. (20:30-31) Compare 20:30-44 with 20:4-29. What is the point of comparison God is trying to drive home to these elders? (20:36) How does this fit with the cliche “Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”? In what ways have you learned from your past experiences with sin so that you will not repeat those sins?
5. Read 20:45-21:7
To what does God tell Ezekiel to prophesy in 20:46 and 21:2? Why would God tell him to prophesy against geographical locations instead of people? What does He mean by doing so?
Meditate on 21:6-7 for a moment- how should Ezekiel’s response inform the way we regard those who are lost and facing God’s judgment in Hell? How could this kind of regard for the lost impact our evangelism?
6. Read 21:8-32
Consider God’s “father-child” relationship with Israel. What does it mean that Israel has “despised the rod” (21:10b, 13)? Since they despised the rod, they will receive the ________. What does the sword (21:9-17) represent?
Whose “sword” will God use to exercise His wrath against Israel? (21:18) Who else is God using their sword against? (21:20). When God tells Ezekiel to “mark a way” and “make a signpost” for the sword (21:19-20), what does that tell you about His attitude regarding the Babylonians laying siege to Israel and the Ammonites? What will be the outcome for Israel? (21:24-27) For the Ammonites? (21:28-32)
7. Compare God’s discipline of Israel in these two chapters with God’s discipline of Christians. What are some similarities and/or differences you see? What do these chapters teach us about sin, God’s discipline of His children, His wrath against sin, and His desire that His sinning children be reconciled to Him?
• Add 20:12, 20, 26, 38, 42, 44, 21:5, 16, 22 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.
• Ezekiel 21:32 says of the Ammonites: “You shall be no more remembered, for I the Lord have spoken.” In some instances, God has said this kind of thing about a certain people group or nation, and, to this day, no historical or archaeological evidence of their existence can be found outside of Scripture. Do a little research. Has any historical or archaeological evidence been found for the Ammonites?
Suggested Memory Verse