TODAY’S READING: EZEKIEL 6-11
God judges Israel for their idolatry (Chapter Six); The severity of God’s judgment (Chapter Seven); Vision of Jerusalem’s sin (Chapter Eight); Vision of God’s judgment on Jerusalem (Chapter Nine); Vision of the cherubim and God’s glory (Chapter Ten); Israel is warned about the false security of Jerusalem (Chapter Eleven).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
The Book of Ezekiel contains an important “title” and a prominent reoccurring phrase. The title “Son of Man” is attributed to Ezekiel ninety-three times. This title appears a total of one hundred ninety-three times in the Bible. The prophet Daniel attributes the title to the coming Messiah in Daniel 7:13. The title appears eighty-four times in the New Testament in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. As seen in their reaction to the title in the Gospel of Luke, the Jews understood that this title has messianic implications.
“And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.” – Luke 22:66-71
Ezekiel, a prophet and priest, will prove to be a type of the Lord Jesus Christ in that he will minister to the nation of Israel during the time of exile, just as Jesus Christ will minister to Israel during the tribulation. It is also true that the period of judgment and restoration pictured in Ezekiel foreshadows the judgment and restoration of Israel during the tribulation and the millennial reign of Christ.
The phrase, “know that I am the LORD” appears seventy-seven times in the Bible. The phrase appears sixty-three times in the Book of Ezekiel and appears first in Ezekiel 6:7. Israel had forgotten who God was. Israel had continually turned to idolatry (6:4, 8:5-16) and had replaced God with man-made images. Israel had also been trusting in their wealth (7:19) and in the walls of Jerusalem (11:3) for security. Through their exile, judgment, and eventual restoration, God’s purpose is to remind Israel that He is the Lord. What a reminder to us that our security should not rest in our material resources or self-made “walls.” Our true security must be in the only One who can really keep us safe – God!
Ezekiel’s visions of God’s judgment are precise and severe. Israel’s idolatry had begun at God’s Temple causing God to remove His presence (8:6). It is at God’s Temple where judgment will begin (9:6). This is a reminder to the believer of where the war for worship will take place. Throughout the entire Old Testament, Satan desired to destroy the place where God’s glory dwelt. Satan was successful during the exile when Babylon, under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar, burns the Temple in 586 BC. The temple is later rebuilt only to be destroyed again by Rome in 70 AD. This serves as a warning that our enemy wants to destroy the place where God currently dwells – us! The enemy desires that we would turn to other gods (idolatry) through covetousness. The enemy desires that we would turn away from God in an effort to find security and safety in temporal riches and wrong relationships. Just as God instructed that judgment begin at His sanctuary (9:6), we must evaluate our!
temple (our heart) to see if we have forgotten who God is.
God appears to Ezekiel for the third time at the beginning of chapter 10 (1:4, 3:23, 10:1). It is during this encounter that God reveals to Ezekiel that Israel would one day be restored (11:17-20). This final restoration will usher in the millennial reign of Christ. Even in the midst of tribulation, God promises deliverance.
SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”:
7:7 – “The day of trouble is near.”
7:10 – “Behold the day.”
7:12 – “The day draweth near.”
7:19 – “The day of wrath of the LORD.”
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As the ONE MAN CLOTHED WITH LINEN – Ezek. 9:2 (Rev. 1:13).