Summary: The cost of following God, Jesus Christ, could cost everything. Anyone can come to the altar and say a prayer. Anyone can cry out to Jesus and call upon Him. But will anyone be willing to forsake everything they have for Christ?
WHY WE CONTINUE TO STUDY ON EZEKIEL
1. It helps us to see our sins more clearly.
The fact that God called Ezekiel to be a watchman tells us a lot of what we need to know. God noticed that the people did not truly see what they were doing that was so wrong and they needed someone to hold them accountable and point their sins out to them. Ezekiel repeatedly holds up a mirror to Israel so that they can see their idolatry (e.g., chs. 8, 14, 16), their pride (e.g., ch. 19), their misplaced hopes (e.g., ch. 17), their self-righteousness (e.g., ch. 18), and their unfaithfulness (e.g., ch. 23). God uses Ezekiel to help us to see what we are truly doing and who we really are—a sinful, disobedient people.
2. It helps people to see God’s plan.
We are going to see a little bit more about things, but so far we have seen God bring destruction on His people because of their disobedience. He repeatedly has warned them, and now He is going to completely destroy them. Eventually though, we are going to see God bring them back to life. He will eventually restore Israel and make a new covenant with them. Sometimes, we see God ‘take away things in our lives’ and we fail to realize He is going to restore it in multitude if we are obedient to Him.
3. It helps people to see that there is hope for the suffering.
Despite the fact that Ezekiel shows us that God abandoned the temple, God continually lets the people know that He is with them. “Though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone” (11:16). Hope is found not in our circumstances, our feelings, or our efforts, but in the confidence that God is with his people, for what Ezekiel prophesied, Jesus Christ fulfilled: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mat 28:20)
2 Kings 25:1-21 (NASB) Nebuchadnezzar Besieges Jerusalem
25 Now in the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, camped against it and built a siege wall all around [a]it.
Jeremiah 39:1 (NASB) Jerusalem Captured
39 [a]Now when Jerusalem was captured [b]in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it;
Jeremiah 52 1-4 (NASB) The Fall of Jerusalem
52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was [a]Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord like all that Jehoiakim had done. 3 For through the anger of the Lord this came about in Jerusalem and Judah until He cast them out from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 4 Now it came about in the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, camped against it and built a siege wall all around [b]it.
Ezekiel 24 New International Version (NIV)
Jerusalem as a Cooking Pot
24 In the ninth year, in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.
1. God pointed this date out multiple times to multiple prophets as a way to make know the destruction that would take place
a. This was a nation changing and life changing date
ii. 12/07/41 (Pearl Harbor)
iii. 11/22/63 (JFK)
b. Zechariah 8:19 (NASB)-- 9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and [o]cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.’
i. God told them to set aside this date and fast as a way to remember this day
2. This was the day of the final siege, conquest, and destruction of Jerusalem
In verses 3-5, God lets it be known to Ezekiel and has him pass it on to the people that Jerusalem will become a cooking pot with all the choice pieces—the leg and shoulders. Sounds good? Except these choice pieces and the bones are from humans. This was God’s punishment to the city for the innocent lives that had been repeatedly taken, the corruption, the inhumane ways they all treated each other. Because of their impurities, God would totally destroy them until His wrath was complete. He would make sure that it was so devastating that everyone in the land and outside of the land would see and know what was happening.