Strange Traditions

In the previous study we began to look at the vision of Ezekiel that began during a visit of the elders to his home. We saw that the vision took him to Jerusalem and to the temple complex, there to discover the elders of Israel defiling the place and praying to idols. Our reading continues from this point.

Again, he said, ‘You will see them doing things that are even more detestable.’
Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord, and I saw a woman sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz. He said to me, ‘Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this.’
He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs towards the temple of the Lord and their faces towards the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.
He said to me, ‘Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually arouse my anger? Look at them putting the branch to their nose! Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them.’
Ezekiel 8:13-18

Continue reading “Strange Traditions”

The Tragedy of Idolatry

We have just began to look at the beginning of the second prophetic task of Ezekiel, and in particular thinking of the reactions of his fellow citizens – and also the leadership team. They were still coming to terms with the weirdness of the year and a half long task that Ezekiel had performed, and now he lost consciousness while they were visiting him.

We have Ezekiel’s report that he was taken, in spirit, to Jerusalem. Specifically he was taken to the north gate of the inner court where the ‘idol that provokes to jealousy’ was situated. Ezekiel 8:5-12: Continue reading “The Tragedy of Idolatry”

Styles Of Leadership

In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came on me there. I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man. From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair or my head. The spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood. And there before me was the glory of the God of Israel, as in the vision I had seen in the plain.
Ezekiel 8:1-4

I think that there are some things here that can make some conventional Christians a bit nervous… Continue reading “Styles Of Leadership”

Weirdo or Wonder?

In the previous study we completed the examination of the first prophetic task of Ezekiel the prophet. It was a very negative message about judgement, yet we were not to take from this the idea of a god who is quick to be angry at the sins of men and women. He had been patient for 390 years, and so the judgement was very much a last resort.

It is important to see these kinds of details, because it is important for us when learning about the nature of god. Continue reading “Weirdo or Wonder?”

Move Onwards From The Beginning

We have been looking at the last part of Ezekiel’s first prophetic messages, the prophecies against the besieged city of Jerusalem. The siege that was not going to end well. It is not comfortable or easy reading, and there seems a lot of repetition of the same negative and frightening aspects. And yet, within these words are many positive things to learn about our God and about ourselves. Continue reading “Move Onwards From The Beginning”

This Selfish World

We have been looking at the last part of the first task of Ezekiel the prophet. This is the visual representation of the siege of Jerusalem, while demonstrating the patience of the Lord for 390 years. The prophecy in words tells how things will not end happily, and yet there are positive messages that we can take and learn from.

We continue this by reading Ezekiel 7:10-13: Continue reading “This Selfish World”

Work For Your Dreams

We have been looking at the first ‘official’ task of Ezekiel – the prophecy against Jerusalem and the final destruction of all that remained of the nation of Israel. As we have already seen, this was prophesied even before there was such a nation, because Moses prophesied that this would happen. And, as we shall read again in today’s scripture, this was not only words and threats. God made these things happen and it is now a matter of recorded history. Continue reading “Work For Your Dreams”

What Are Your Idols?

We have been studying the words of God given to Ezekiel in relation to his first ‘official’ act as prophet to the Israelites. This first prophecy is particularly against Jerusalem, the last remaining free city of the Israelites. It was under siege and the prophecy told that it would not end well. There was talk of only one third surviving, but they would be chased by the sword, and killed in the places where they worshipped their idols. And yet, a remnant would survive… Continue reading “What Are Your Idols?”