Ezekiel 8-11

God’s Wrath or God’s Plan

Ezekiel is with the exiles in Babylon. They have been taken from Jerusalem where the temple was located. To them the temple was their connection to God. They were apparently feeling like God had rejected them since they were singled out for exile while those who remained in Jerusalem were saying that God had given them Jerusalem as their possession. Ezekiel 11:15

Actually, just the opposite was true.

God took Ezekiel in a vision to Jerusalem. There he saw firsthand the idolatry that was taking place and the wickedness that was hidden in the heart of the religious rulers. God also showed Ezekiel that judgment was about to take place but first God had to put a mark on the forehead of those who are grieving over the sins the people are committing. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 NASB

When the third invasion of Nebuchadnezzar came and the city and temple were destroyed, the people with the mark were spared from the wrath even though destruction was all around them. Jeremiah was one of those who were spared.

As we progress through these chapters we realize that the spiritual condition of the nation is where the judgment begins. With the religious rulers following the ways of the nations around them the glory of the Lord departed the Most Holy place of the temple and stopped at the threshold of the temple. From there the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold to the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house. Finally the glory of the Lord left the city and stood over the mountain east of the city. As the glory of the Lord departed the city so did His hand of protection. The people have not noticed that God has left them to their own devices. Since they have turned to idolatry they will have to rely on their idols to save them.

As we saw in an earlier study there was the belief that Jerusalem would be safe from invasion because the Temple of the Lord was located there. To the exiles in Babylon they felt like they had lost their connection and protection from God because they were not close to the temple. God was showing Ezekiel that the temple was just a building. God desires the relationship that results from honoring and valuing the covenant made between the people and God. Simply stated, the covenant was that God would be their God and they would be His people. There is no place for idolatry in this covenant, even when the temple is treated as an idol. Those who wander from that covenant also wander from God’s protection

Ezekiel is worried about who will survive. God declares to him that from the people who are with him in exile He will bring out a remnant to be His people. From what God has shown him, Ezekiel needed to understand that the exiles are his ministry. Jerusalem and the temple will be destroyed but God has a plan and Ezekiel has a major role in God’s plan. God is calling Ezekiel into service. Ezekiel thought that he would be a priest but God has a different plan for him.

God has a plan and like Ezekiel, the Church has a major role in His plan.  God’s wisdom is far greater than our wisdom. His ways are much higher than our ways. God is God and we the Church, are God’s servants. We need to develop eyes to see what God is doing and ears to hear His direction. Our ministry may not look like anything we had planned.  I know. The last thing I thought I would ever be doing is what I am doing to serve God today. God called and I fought that call for a year until I finally surrendered and let God have His way. I had a lot to learn but God is faithful. Truly, Paul was right when he said, God can do far beyond anything we can ask or imagine. God will take us as far as we will let Him take us. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that God has a plan for each of His children. Stick close to God and you will never regret that decision.

Keep your relationship with God strong and healthy.

Pastor Dave