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Ezek. 47-48

2/4/10 Ezekiel sees a river coming from under the threshold of the temple, which faces east. This, of course, is the river that flows from the throne of God in Revelation. It travels across the inner court apparently to the south side of the altar. And it seems to be very shallow.

His guide takes him out of the north gate to outside of the temple wall and leads him to the east side of the outer wall where the river exits, continuing just south of the east gate. The river is still only ankle deep, then within a thousand cubits becomes knee deep, then waist deep, then over his head. It flows to the Dead Sea and purified the water there and turns the desert into a garden.

Fruit trees grow along the river and like the tree of life in Revelation it bears fruit every month, and its leaves are for healing.

The next part of the passage sections off where the tribes will live and points out that any aliens are to be included as native-born Israelites. The tribe they belong to is determined by where they live.

Finally, Ezekiel describes the city itself, located just south of the temple. Fitting the same description of the New Jerusalem it has three gates on each side for all twelve tribes. And it will be called “The Lord is There.” It is the capital of earth.

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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Ezek. 2:8-3:15

12/16/09 God warned Ezekiel to listen and obey God’s words to him and not be rebellious himself by refusing to obey. Then in symbolic fashion common to prophets he was given to eat a scroll written front and back.

Usually papyrus scrolls were only written on one side, so this was unusual, possibly symbolizing that nothing could be added (cf Rev. 22:18).

So Ezekiel opened his mouth and was fed the scroll. It was sweet. It was a wonderful experience he had with God. But it was to have it’s own bitterness, because immediately Ezekiel was told to take the message that was now a part of himself to his own people. The message would be rejected so it would have been far easier to take it to a people he didn’t know or care so much about. But this was not God’s call to him. He wasn’t to be a cross-cultural missionary. He was to go to his own rebellious people who would not listen.

This call for Ezekiel was deeply troubling. Yet God equipped him for the task. He hardened his forehead, probably symbolizing his mind, and his face. He would have to face some tough stuff from his people, but God made him able to handle it. It seems that Ezekiel wasn’t so impervious that he was able to ever stop relying on God for strength, but he was equipped nevertheless.

There would be plenty of reason to be afraid, but he need not be, God assured him.

V. 10, Ezekiel was to take into his inner parts God’s message. In other words he would understand in all of it’s severity the word of God to his people. Then he was to go and faithfully deliver to them the word of God.

V. 12, Suddenly the Spirit lifted up Ezekiel and removed him from the presence of God where he had been taken in spirit and brought him back to his own people by Chebar.

V. 14, Ezekiel’s reaction to his new calling was that he was “embittered in the rage of my spirit.” Evidently, like many other prophets, Ezekiel was not entirely pleased with his call. He was angry and didn’t want to obey. Instead, he wanted to rebel just as he had been warned not to do.

The call of God is not often, if ever, a fun thing. At least not in a war situation, which is what we’re in. Ezekiel was so appalled that he simply sat for seven full days, much to the disturbance of the exiled Jews there in Babylon. Yet the hand of God was strong upon Ezekiel.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Ezek. 2:1-7

12/15/09 Ezekiel, who has fallen on his face at the vision, is commanded to stand. Then the Spirit (breath or wind) enters him and gives him the strength to obey, and stands him on his feet to receive his orders. He receives the title Son of Man. It will be a constant reminder to him of his weakness and dependence upon God. God then tells Ezekiel he is sending him on what will seem like a hopeless mission. He will deliver messages from God to people who will not listen or appreciate them or the messenger. It’s necessary for God to prepare Ezekiel for rejection and lack of apparent success.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Ezek. 1:1-28

12/14/09 V. 1-3, Ezekiel writes from captivity to his people back in Judah, who have not yet been taken into exile. Chapters 1-24 are warnings to them. The last 15 chapters are words of hope to them after being exiled themselves. When Ezekiel refers to the 30th year it is likely that this is his own age, which is the age a priest would begin his ministry at the temple, but Ezekiel had no temple to minister in.

V. 4-28, The vision: The prophetic ministry seems always to being with a vision from God commissioning someone to task. Ezekiel saw a windstorm driving toward him a cloud. In that cloud he saw among the flashing of lightning four human-like creatures with four faces, four wings, and feet like calves. With them were four wheels full of eyes. And they all moved in fire. Above them was an expanse that looked like ice, which was a roof for the creatures and a floor for a throne above them. The throne was sapphire, blue stone, and was encircled by a rainbow. An indescribable being sat on the throne, glorious and blinding.

Ezekiel was trying to compare what he saw to things known, but language was inadequate. The creatures were not human, but kind of looked like that. They didn’t have the hooves of calves but it kind of looked like that. They weren’t actually wheels, but resembled that. The expanse looked a bit like ice. We don’t have an exact picture, merely an approximation. God himself is not seen, only his glory, and that is virtually indescribable.

Mesopotamian imagery in paganism actually has similar-looking beings to the four creatures. God was speaking to Ezekiel in his own references.

In this vision we find all the elements of the sanctuary: cherubim, God between and above the cherubim, upon his chariot-throne moving on something like wheels. God has come from the temple in Jerusalem to meet with Ezekiel. It must have been a comfort to Ezekiel that God was mobile and not limited to just the temple.

I wonder at the symbolism specifically of the creatures and the wheels moving in any direction without turning. Could this be symbolic of God’s ever-changing changelessness? God is constantly adapting to situations while never changing his ultimate purposes. “In him is no shadow (hint?) of turning.” All of this is what Ezekiel saw in the vision. Next comes what he heard.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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