Summary: The prophet is here ordered to represent to him and others by signs and drama that would be proper and powerful to strike the fancy and to affect the mind.
Ezekiel 4: 1 -- 8. 01/04/04
A few years ago some churches involved drama into their services. I think it works real fine. Now there are some in the churches that doesn’t like drama because they don’t want change. Change in the church services upset some they say we ought to do it as the Bible teaches. I like that. I think we ought to do ministry as it is written in the word of God. And the reason I like drama is because we find it in the Bible. And wouldn’t you know it, God is the one getting it together. You cannot read the first 8 vs. without seeing that God is making a case and using drama. Now what the prophet is to lie before him to see with the eye will affect the heart.
The prophet is here ordered to represent to him and others by signs and drama that would be proper and powerful to strike the fancy and to affect the mind.
Now we know through study that Israel was a rebellious people. They had been disobeying the laws and commands of God. Even though God’s prophets had warned them the consequences of their disobedience they continued doing so. We have a choice of whether we obey God’s principals laid before us in his word. If we choose to disobey, we do not have choice of our consequences.
Because of their disobedience some are in captivity in Babylon. There will be others taken also. God is going to give them reasons why they are taken into captivity.
Now most of us have heard it said actions speak louder than words. That is especially true in our texts. For one thing, Ezekiel cannot speak, so anything that God wants to say through him must be done through actions.
We want to look first of all at THE PICTURE. Look at verse 1.
It was at one time Jerusalem was honored while she kept her integrity that God had graven her upon the palms of his hands. You can read about that in Isaiah 49:16. Also the names of the tribes were engraved in precious stones on the breastplate of the high priest. Now the once faithful city has become a harlot, a worthless brick is thought good enough to put the picture of Jerusalem upon.
I want to tell you something folks; there is deceitfulness from sin that closes a person’s heart. All you have to do is to look no further than our own country today. There was a time when the call of God was very important in one’s life. A man took the call of God to preach God’s word serious. Some still do, but I am afraid that some just use that title for personal gain.
There was a time when the church of God was very important to the Christian. Many now are hard hearted because of sin. They don’t want to come to church it takes up their time.
There was a time when the canon of God, the Bible, was important. Now I’m afraid that television, and telephones are taking the time they used to be used to read and study God’s word. Jesus mentioned this but not in a positive way. Jesus said in the last days there would be a falling away. People are turning to all kinds of things today through humanism. People doing what is right in their own eyes.
We see not only the picture in our study but also THE PARTICULARS. Look at vs. 2 -- 6.
Ezekiel was ordered to build little forts against picture of the city, resembling the batteries raised by the besiegers. And iron pan was to be placed between the city and himself. This represented the Chaldeans would not give up, no matter the cost, until they conquered the land. It also represented the Jews would hold out till the last. Then he was ordered to lie on his side before it. Representing the Chaldeans armies surrounding the city not letting any out or in. He was to lie on his left side 390 days. Of course he did not continuously lie on his left side but sometime during the day for 390 days he did. The 390 days he did this, each day represented a year. For 390 years the Jews had gone against God’s laws and commands. It was a reminder that God hasn’t forgotten. 390 years is a long time but God remembered. This was also a reminder for them to repent and turn back to God.
God is long-suffering, but there is a limit to his patience. There will come a time when God will say that is enough.
We see finally THE PENALTY. Look at vs. 7,8.
When God says it is enough you can count on one thing, something is about to happen. Warren Wiserabe made a comment to which I agree. He said, “God would rather see his land devastated, the city of Jerusalem ruined, his temple destroyed, and his people killed and exiled, then to have them give such a false witness to the Gentile nations. Judgment begins with the people of God.”
God will one day and I believe soon, Judge our nation for our reproach upon his name.