Ezekiel – A prophets journey

Ezekiel begins with much confusing imagery and distortion. Much is abstract and vague.

Ezekiel 1:4 I looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself; and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire

Ezekiel 1:5 out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures.

Ezekiel 1:7 their feet were straight feet, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass.

Ezekiel 1:8 they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and all four had their faces and their wings.

Ezekiel 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire and like the appearance of lamps; it went up and down among the living creatures, and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

Ezekiel 1:14 And the living creatures ran and returned, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.

Ezekiel 1:18 As for their rims, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rims were full of eyes round about the four.

Through the haze, distortion and confusion, the clarity of Gods word cuts through.

Ezekiel 1:28 I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of One who spoke.

Ezekiel 2:2 And the Spirit entered into me when He spoke unto me, and set me upon my feet, so that I heard Him who spoke unto me.

Ezekiel 2:8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee. Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house. Open thy mouth, and eat what I give thee.”

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword.

God conveys strength of will to the prophet

Ezekiel 3:8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

Ezekiel 3:9 As an adamant, harder than flint, have I made thy forehead. Fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.”

You can’t eat gold. If you are wealthy robbers will come to plunder your wealth. Envy and temptation to steal will be sown.

Ezekiel 7:19 “‘They will throw their silver into the streets,
and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean.
Their silver and gold
will not be able to deliver them
in the day of the Lord’s wrath.
It will not satisfy their hunger
or fill their stomachs,
for it has caused them to stumble into sin.
Ezekiel 7:20 They took pride in their beautiful jewelry
and used it to make their detestable idols.
They made it into vile images;
therefore I will make it a thing unclean for them.
Ezekiel 7:21 I will give their wealth as plunder to foreigners
and as loot to the wicked of the earth,
who will defile it.
Ezekiel 7:22 I will turn my face away from the people,
and robbers will desecrate the place I treasure.
They will enter it
and will defile it.

Ezekiel is shown the blatant hypocrisy and idolatry in the temple.

Ezekiel 8:6 And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing—the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable.”

Ezekiel 8:7 Then he brought me to the entrance to the court. I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall.
Ezekiel 8:8 He said to me, “Son of man, now dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there.

Ezekiel 8:9 And he said to me, “Go in and see the wicked and detestable things they are doing here.”
Ezekiel 8:10 So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and unclean animals and all the idols of Israel.
Ezekiel 8:11 In front of them stood seventy elders of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them. Each had a censer in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising.

Ezekiel 8:12 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’”
Ezekiel 8:13 Again, he said, “You will see them doing things that are even more detestable.”

A call to righteousness.

Ezekiel 18:5 “Suppose there is a righteous man
who does what is just and right.
Ezekiel 18:6 He does not eat at the mountain shrines
or look to the idols of Israel.
He does not defile his neighbor’s wife
or have sexual relations with a woman during her period.
Ezekiel 18:7 He does not oppress anyone,
but returns what he took in pledge for a loan.
He does not commit robbery
but gives his food to the hungry
and provides clothing for the naked.
Ezekiel 18:8 He does not lend to them at interest
or take a profit from them.
He withholds his hand from doing wrong
and judges fairly between two parties.
Ezekiel 18:9 He follows my decrees
and faithfully keeps my laws.
That man is righteous;
he will surely live,
declares the Sovereign Lord.