Book Overviews · Ezekiel

Ezekiel Overview

Ezekiel.  Have you ever read it?   We will read Ezekiel for over 2 weeks so I think it is pretty important for me to set the scenario. I think you will find it fascinating (of course, God wrote it).  Many of you know I have waited anxiously for this book.

We read about the 3 sieges (is that the word I am looking for?) on the Jewish people that bring Judah into Babylonian captivity.  There were 3 distinct moments where they were invaded and taken into captivity.  We read about them from the perspective of Jeremiah, who was in Jerusalem to see all 3 events over the course of 40 years.  Now read about it from the inside, from a first person perspective.

King Josiah, remember him? He was a good king.  He found the Book of the Law in the temple when he was repairing it.  He read it and wept when he saw how far his country had gotten from the Lord.  He began a reformation and yes, people began to walk in the ways of the Lord; celebrating Passover, worshiping in the temple, following the Commandments.  Well, Josiah was killed by the Egyptian Pharaoh, Neco at Megiddo.  Four years later Neco was then defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, leaving Babylon as the world power.

Lesson 5 Captivity, Return & Years of Silence - ppt downloadJeremiah was preaching during all this for 40 years , and surely had contemporaries ready to follow in his footsteps.  Ezekiel was about 18 yrs old when Nebuchadnezzar took the first group of captives.  Among that group was a familiar name, Daniel.  Daniel was exiled at the age of 15 (with his friends Hananuah, Mishael, and Azariah) , while his friend Ezekiel was left behind.  During this time Jeremiah was bringing the message to the people to repent…but they did not.

For 10 years, life continued the same, Judah continued to sin.  Then King Johoiakim, king of Judah,  rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and he dies.  Jehoiachin became king and once again Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem this time taking 10,000 captive, and this time Ezekiel was included.  Ezekiel was a few years away from becoming a priest (age 30 eligibility).  When he did turn 30, Ezekiel has a vision.

SO we have 3 men all living at the same time:

  • Jeremiah was at Jerusalem with the Jews during all three stages of the exile, preaching and warning them to repent
  • Ezekiel, who lived with the exiles in Babylon, bringing them a message of hope
  • Daniel, who God put him to  live with the Rulers in the court.

timeline for ezekiel and daniel - Saferbrowser Yahoo Image Search Results |  Life timeline, Hebrew bible, Daniel

One thing I want you to keep in mind.  Other evil nations were wiped out by the Lord.  Judah however was not, they  was in captivity.  The difference is significant, God loves His people that He punished them in captivity as a form of correction, through their punishment they would come to know the Lord.  And they did.

Lamentations

Lamentations 3:37-5:22

I didn’t write a post yesterday after my headache went away because the comments on it were better than anything I could have written, so go back and read them.

Lamentations

Chapter 1: View-The city from an outside view

Chapter 2: Inside view

Chapter 3: God’s view

Chapter 4: Overall view

Chapter 5: Future view: The prayer


In Matthew 16:13 Jesus was mistaken for Jeremiah.  Why?  Because they had one thing in common…their hearts were hurting for the people he loved.

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”


Chapter one:  We know that before this Lament Jeremiah mentioned Babylon as the instrument for judgement 164 times!  How many times will Jeremiah mention Babylon in Lamentations?   ZERO.  Babylon was just the instrument.

The Lord has brought her grief
    because of her many sins.
Her children have gone into exile,
    captive before the foe.

  • Jeremiah first viewed Jerusalem’s destruction as an outsider looking in.
    • Verses 1-7 describe the extent of the desolation
    • verses 8-11 its cause.

(verse 1-7 broke my heart!)


Chapter 2:

17: The Lord has done what he planned;
    he has fulfilled his word,
    which he decreed long ago.

Before entering the Promised Land, God gave them a warning.  If you want to read it click here.  It is astonishing to see the fulfillment of it.

Verse 11-19 contains five pictures of Jerusalem’s condition Notice the change from the third person, in the previous section, to the first person
in this one.

One verse that stopped me to reflect on was:

14 The visions of your prophets
    were false and worthless;
they did not expose your sin
    to ward off your captivity.
The prophecies they gave you
    were false and misleading.

I thought of it historically of course thinking about all the false prophets at the time speaking on their own behalf,  but then I started to think about when we minister to people (especially friends), and tell them what they want to hear.  Not Truth at times.  Trust me I am not talking about beating someone up with scripture, because I see that done by the self-righteous all the time, BUT I am talking about sharing doctrine or truth when needed.


Chapter 3:

So there I was with my pen circling the common words: “He” and “I” when suddenly I came to:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

HOW MANY SONGS CAME OUT OF THAT??  What song came to mind?? If you let me know I can post the video in comments.

Alright, this is an amazing chapter.  Here is the truth…I wanted to skip Lamentations just from writing the overview I thought to myself….”another weepy book” but Lamentations chapter 3 rocks!!

31 For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.

Rather than me copying all of chapter 3, click here and start at verse 22 and reread it.


Chapter 4: Most of chapter 4 was ugly to read and I had a hard time pushing off thoughts of my day yesterday.  Several things happened throughout the day that made me step back and look at the world we are in.  Long story short-I worked the gate at our football game.  My job: to tell anyone entering that it was TSSAA rules that they enter with a mask.  I had no idea what I was in for with this task.  It is a rule.  The defiance came from the ones that thought the rule did not apply to them…The actual leaders: the coaches or TSSAA members.  “Ummmm I am a coach”- “Yes, sir but it is a requirement” (shouldn’t the leaders model followiung the rule?) Nope, they refused or went to a different gate to get in.  The second was the youth.  I was in a stand off with several of them.  When they knew they weren’t getting passed me they would put it on a part of their body and  things like “I have it on, it doesn’t say face” or they would put it on, cross over the entrance, take it off (but made sure I saw it out of sheer disrespect.  After the game I made the mistake of checking my email to find a parent email-in ALL caps ripping me apart on a false accusation from their child.  The parent completely disregarding the rules of my class or possible facts regarding the situation.  I struggled last night with the idea of this fits into the Bible completely.  What is the Lord going to do with us??  But Chapter 4 ends in HOPE.  So I have to cling to that.


Chapter 5:Chapter 5 has the same structure as chapter 3.  I read tons of research on the structures of these poems- 3 and 5 follow the Hebrew Alphabet and 1,2,4 are acrostic however I was looking for the lessons not necessarily the structure, but feel free to dig into it on your own…pretty neat stuff.

I heard my voice instead of Jeremiah as he “reminded God”-as if He needs reminding!  But this is a prayer and our conversations with God are supposed to be transparent.  In the end I read:

19 You, Lord, reign forever;
    your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why do you always forget us?
    Why do you forsake us so long?
21 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return;
    renew our days as of old
22 unless you have utterly rejected us
    and are angry with us beyond measure.

I immediately thought, because this is an election year- The candidate that says this at a convention has my vote.  So maybe one will….


  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Joel
  • Daniel
  • Ezra
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Esther
  • Nehemiah
  • Malachi