Ezekiel Bible Study

Ezekiel ~ Lesson 4

 

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3

Read Ezekiel 6-7

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?


Homework

• 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

Ezekiel Bible Study

Ezekiel ~ Lesson 3

 

Previous Lessons: 1, 2

Read Ezekiel 3:16-5:17

Questions to Consider

1. Review your notes from last week’s lesson and be reminded of the things that transpired in 1:1-3:15 that lead into, and set the stage for, this week’s passage. According to 3:16, how long after the events of 1:1-3:15 do the events of 3:16ff take place?

2. Read 3:16-21. What was the purpose of a (literal) watchman in Ezekiel’s day? Explain God’s charge to Ezekiel in this passage. Who was he to warn, and what was he to warn them about? What would be the consequences for Ezekiel for not warning the people as God commanded? What would be the result for him if he did obey God’s command to warn them?

Are there any general principles we can draw from this passage about our responsibility to share the gospel with the lost? What about confronting sin in a fellow Christian or warning the church against false teachers? Are the consequences Ezekiel faced for warning/not warning the same for Christians warning/not warning against sin and unbelief? Which New Testament Scriptures can you think of that would seem to be in line with, or would indicate a difference from, 3:16-21 for Christians?

What does this passage teach us about God’s perspective on sin and repentance?

3. Read 3:22-27.

What does 3:23 refer back to (hint- use your cross-references)? How did it benefit Ezekiel (in ch.1 and ch.3) to experience God’s glory right before God called him to do something difficult? How does immersing ourselves in the glory of God through His Word, prayer, and worship prepare us to do the difficult things He calls us to do?

What did God do to Ezekiel in 3:26-27? If Ezekiel was supposed to speak God’s word to the people, why would God make him mute? Why might God withhold His word or His truths from people? (3:26-27)

4. Read Ezekiel 4:1-5:17*.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Old Testament battle concept of siege and what siegeworks would have looked like, do some research as you consider chapter 4 (especially 4:1-3). It will give you a better understanding of the illustrations God was asking Ezekiel to set up and carry out in this passage. Sketch out or visualize what Ezekiel’s little diorama in 4:1-3 would have looked like. What did the iron wall and Ezekiel turning his face toward it represent?

Explain the message God is conveying to His people in 4:4-8. Using cross-references, commentaries, your Bible’s study notes, etc., what do the 390 years and 40 years represent? How does Ezekiel symbolically “bearing the punishment” and “laying down” his life for his people’s sin point toward Christ literally bearing the punishment and laying down His life for His people’s sin?

What part of the siege was God warning about in 4:9-17? What did the illustration of the bread mean? (4:16-17) Explain the concept of “uncleanness” for the Israelites and how horrifying and humiliating this part of God’s judgment should have been to them. Compare Ezekiel’s aversion to uncleanness to Peter’s. How is the concept of uncleanness an illustration of the holiness of God and His aversion to sin?

What was God’s message to the people in 5:1-4? (5:10b,12)

How did Israel’s sin compare to the sin of the pagan nations around them? (5:5-7) Make a list of the words and phrases in 5:5-17 that impress upon you just how deadly serious God is about sin and how intense is His wrath against sinners. When you finish making your list, read back through it and consider this wrath that God poured out on Christ on the cross as well as His mercy and grace in salvation toward you, a sinner.

As we continue on in Ezekiel, we will see other instances of God instructing Ezekiel to communicate His message through illustrations, dioramas, or a dramatic presentation rather than through a sermon or other direct verbalization. Why might this be God’s preferred method of communication with His people in these instances?


Homework

*(Homework is usually optional, but I’d really like you to do this one.) Ezekiel 5:13 is the first of 72 times in the book of Ezekiel that we will see the phrase (or some variant of it), “And they shall know that I am the Lord.” As we study through Ezekiel, keep a running list of each time you see this phrase, 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.

• Are you familiar with Ezekiel 4:9 Bread? Explain why their use of this Scripture is out of context for marketing their bread. Did God tell Ezekiel to make his bread from a combination of grains “to ensure unrivaled honest nutrition and pure, delicious flavors”? Think about the context of chapter 4 as you answer. Are you sinning if you eat this bread just because you happen to like it?


Suggested Memory Verse

 

Ezekiel Bible Study

Ezekiel ~ Lesson 2

Welcome, ladies! I’m so glad you’re here! I have received a lot of questions about the study that were answered in last week’s introductory lesson. Please do not skip Lesson 1 (link below). Not only will it answer any questions you may have about the study itself, but if you want to study Ezekiel properly, you must do the background work contained in Lesson 1.

 

Previous Lessons: 1

Read Ezekiel 1:1-3:15

Questions to Consider

1. Review your notes from last week’s introductory lesson. What are some things to keep in mind as you begin to study the text of Ezekiel today? Drawing from your notes and 1:1-3, imagine you’re a playwright and write the setting for the “script” of Ezekiel. Which phrases in verses 1 and 3 connect us to 2 Timothy 3:16?

2. Read 1:4-28. Does this passage remind you of any other biblical passages? Which ones, and why? Read through all of the cross-references and footnotes in this passage as well as any study Bible notes or commentaries you like on this passage in order to gain as good an understanding of it as you can. Why do prophetic visions of Heaven and the spiritual realm (apocalyptic passages) always seem so hard to understand? Is it OK if we read these passages and, despite our best efforts, don’t completely grasp all of the symbolism? Do you think Ezekiel understood everything he was shown?

What does 1:28b say that the main idea of 1:4-28a is? What was Ezekiel’s response to seeing the glory of God? (1:28b) How did being overwhelmed by God’s glory put Ezekiel in the right frame of mind and heart to receive and proclaim the message God subsequently gave him? (1:28b-2:2)

3. Read chapters 2-3.

Using your concordance, search the term “son of man“. Ignoring false results (ex: “son of Manasseh”), what are the main ways this term is used? How many times is Ezekiel called “son of man”? What other major Bible character is called the Son of Man? What is the difference between the reference to Ezekiel as “son of man” and Christ’s title “the Son of Man“?

To whom is God sending Ezekiel (2:3, 3:11), and why (2:4,7, 3:4,11)? How will Israel respond?(3:7) How would the pagans have responded if God had sent Ezekiel to them instead? (3:4-7) Explain the shame it should bring to God’s people – in Ezekiel’s day and today – when lost people respond to the preaching of God’s Word in repentance and faith, and those who claim to be His people do not.

Compare God’s charge to Ezekiel to speak His word to His people “whether they hear or refuse to hear” to God’s charge to pastors to preach the Word to His people “in season and out of season” in 2 Timothy 4:1-2.

Explain the metaphor of Ezekiel eating the scroll in 2:8-3:3. How does this apply to us as Christians today?

Why was it bad for Israel to be “hard headed” but good for Ezekiel to be “hard headed”? (3:7-9) Explain why a pastor, or any Christian, needs to be “hard headed” (yet soft-hearted) when dealing with Believers (or false converts) who are disobedient to God’s Word.


Homework

•If you’re artistic, illustrate part or all of the scene in 1:4-28.

•Are you familiar with the “heavenly tourism” books like Heaven Is for Real or 90 Minutes in Heaven that were popular a few years back? Read some of the descriptions of “Heaven” found in these books and compare them with Ezekiel’s, Daniel’s, and Revelation’s descriptions of heavenly scenes. How do they compare?

•From what I can tell, this church has horribly unbiblical theology, so don’t follow them or their beliefs, but I loved their choir’s rendition of Ezekiel Saw the Wheel. Listen carefully to the lyrics (or Google them). How closely do they match up to Ezekiel 1:4-28 and/or other passages of Scripture?


Suggested Memory Verse