Summary: We can choose to disobey the command of God but we cannot choose the consequences.

A priest among the captives.

Ezekiel 1:1 -- 3. 09/21/02

In the book of Leviticus, God gave to Moses the Commandments for the children to follow. Among those Commandments came the Sabbath for the land. The land was to enjoy a Sabbath. The land could be farmed six years but the seventh year was to be a Sabbath. The land was not to be plowed and farmed. If anything came up, it was for the beast and strangers to glean the grain but not to be planted the seventh year.

Like a lot of the Commandments of God, this command was ignored. They kept on planting, tilling and sewing. They kept on farming land. For 490 years they ignored this commandment.

Along with disobeying the command they faced the consequences. We can choose to disobey the command of God but we cannot choose the consequences. So, God raised up Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Israel was taken captive in Babylon. By the way, they were captive in Babylon for 70 years. If you divide 70 into 490, you find that the land of Israel enjoyed its Sabbath. They might have forgotten the command of God but God did not forget.

That is sort of the setting as we begin our study in the book of Ezekiel.

We will just sort of introduce the book tonight in the first three vs.

The first point I want to bring to your attention is EZEKIEL’S CALAMITY. Look at vs. 1.

Ezekiel was one of the first groups taken captive in Babylon. History tells us he was 25 years old and taken captive. For five years of people in captivity had no word from God. Even though they had no word from God, I just believe they remembered how badly they had treated prophets of God and how ignorant they word to ignore God’s Commandments. There are always those reminders to us when we deliberately go against the principles the Bible teaches.

Revi Zacharias tells the story of a young Christian in Vietnam. He writes, I was ministering in Vietnam in 1971 and one of my interpreters, a young Christian, translated for me to the American forces. We became very close as we traveled the countryside. Then I was to return home we never knew if our pass would ever cross again. Seventeen years later Zacharias received a telephone call from his interpreter. He tells the story. “Shortly after Vietnam fail I was imprisoned on acquisitions of helping the Americans. My jailer told me my Christianity was stupid and I was restricted to communist propaganda in France and Vietnamese. After weeks of that, I began to have doubts about my faith. Maybe I had been lied to. Maybe God doesn’t exist. So I determined that when I awoke the next day, I would not pray anymore or think of my faith.

The next morning I was assigned the chore of cleaning the prison bathroom. As I was doing so, my eye caught what seemed to be English print on a piece of paper. I picked it up, claimed it off and that night when all of the prisoners had gone to bed I begin to read it. It read, and we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God. For I am convinced that nothing shall separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. As

After reading that, I repented asked God to forgive me and this was the first night I had determined not pray.

We see not only Ezekiel’s calamity but also EZEKIEL’S CALL. Look at vs. 1 B. -- 2.

Wherever the children of God are scattered, they will find a teacher among them. In the land of Israel, those that had been left had Jeremiah with them. Now the captives down in Babylon had Ezekiel with them.

It was the fifth year of the captivity that Ezekiel saw the vision. That means that now he is 30 years old. Ezekiel was a priest, now at the age of 30, he could carry out the full priestly duties. They were given that privilege from ages 30 to 50.

He received the vision, evidently, on the Lord’s day, because we read in chapter 3:16 that at the end of seven days, which we supposed to be the next Lord’s day, the word of the Lord came to him again.

God puts honor upon his day even though the world may not. In doing so, we should be encouraged to attend the ministry of the Lord’s day. History tells us that God manifested himself on his day. John was given the great book of Revelation on the Lord’s day. Ezekiel may have been bound but the word of God wasn’t bound.

We see not only Ezekiel’s calamity, his call but also EZEKIEL’S COMMISSION.

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