Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ezekiel: Seeing Things

Ezekiel: Seeing Things Ezekiel 33:1-20, 37:1-14, Matthew 5:1-12 What do you see? I asked this of the congregation as we gathered on Sunday. There were a variety of interesting responses. It is an interesting question that can be intepreted a few different ways? What do you see? Ezekiel was the prophet whose ministry was one of seeing things for God. He was a Prophet and priest, the only prophet to have both offices. He prophesied in part during the exile He used 4 modes: oracles, visions, symbolic actions and prophesy His visions included: the Opening chariot scene, a trip to Jerusalem, the valley of dry bones, a restored temple Ezekiel is famous for his Symbolic actions: Eating the scroll, shaving his head The book is divided into three sections: Judgment Upon Israel 1-24 Ezekiel called The Day of the Lord God’s glory departs the temple Judgment and how it looks Judgment Upon the World 25-32 Restoration of Israel 33-48 Hope for Israel A New Temple There are several Paradoxes, as identified by Bullock in Old Testament Prophetic Books: God turns his face from his people, he will not hide his face anymore (7:22, 39:29) God’s glory leaves the temple, a new temple is described Land will be judged, land will be reclaimed by people Israel breaks covenant, an everlasting covenant established Bad shepherds/the Good Shepherd Judgment Upon Israel: found in 33:1-20 Two things that stand out in this passage are the demand of God's call upon the watchmen, and the warning to not rest on your laurels. Hope for Israel: 37:1-14 “Yet when they could hear and when the prophet could speak, the word of salvation was as graciously astonishing as the word of judgment had been terrifyingly devastating” They shall know that I am the Lord. Matthew: Shows us How People Know the Lord through Christ's teaching. What did Jesus see? the beatitudes Ezekiel’s Message for You & I We need to be careful and remember Ezekiel's words: Judgment upon Israel, world and hope for Israel. This message should not be ignored by believers today. Definition of judgment: a formal opinion by careful weighing of matters and testing of premises. The Bible warns us against judging others. The definition helps us in this warning. Why are we not to judge? Because we don't have all the information to test the premises. Judging is basically an uncareful weighing of matters without testing of premises. But God is able to judge justly and correctly, because God knows everything. He is holy, powerful, and careful (as well as caring). What do you see? Today, I hope you see justice, peace and love. And if you see injustice, chaos and hate, that you work to overcome it in the power of Jesus.

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