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06 June 22, 2014, Ezekiel 2 24, When Tragedy Hits Home


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06 June 22, 2014, Ezekiel 2 24, When Tragedy Hits Home

  1. 1. WHEN YOUR WORLD CRUMBLES EZEKIEL CHAPTERS 2-24 June 22, 2014 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI USA Malachi 3:10 10 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.” Let Freedom Ring Concert & Block Party Sunday, June 29 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM THURSDAY NIGHT TOGETHER FOR MEDIAN AND SENIOR ADULTS THURSDAY, JULY 10 6:30 P.M.-8:00 P.M.
  2. 2. John Maxwell Presenting: “A Fish Tale” CLC 3rd FLOOR AUDITORIUM $8.00 per ticket Catered Meal Tickets MUST be purchased in advance! What’s the number one thing? The Glory of God!
  3. 3. 1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. J. Vernon McGee’s Thru the Bible d8d519585dbe/mza_8884854500008393311.255x255-75.jpg A Prophet for our Time: Ezekiel by Chuck Missler Ray Stedman
  4. 4. Warren Wiersbe The Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) - Old Testament  The Book of Ezekiel has the most logical arrangement of any of the prophetic books.  It contains three sections, each of which addresses a different subject matter. Chapters 1–24 concern the fall of Jerusalem. Chapters 25–39 contain a series of oracles addressed to foreign nations. In the second section, the future of Israel (its restoration which started in 1948) is contrasted with that of the foreign nations. The third section, Chapters 40–48, presents a plan for rebuilding the Temple and reorganizing the restored state of Israel (during the end times). The theme of the book of Ezekiel is the final restoration of Israel.
  5. 5. Of the many fascinating Scriptural descriptions of heavenly things in Ezekiel's vision, the one in chapters 1 and 10 is by far the most stunning and complex. The description of the throne of God is full of the splendor of flashing light, so brilliant that the details are minutely revealed, but so dazzling that they are not clearly seen. Who, but the sovereign Lord, could have a throne like a chariot and move as quickly as He pleased? No matter what message God gave him to preach, or what opposition arose from the people, Ezekiel would be encouraged and strengthened because he had seen the mighty throne of God in the midst of the fiery trial and had seen the glory of God! The old saying, “Be careful what you wish for – you may get it” is certainly true in the case of most people’s desire for a prophet – a TRUE prophet of God, that is.
  6. 6. Many people claim the title of prophet who elicit a large following because they promote a message that people want to hear rather than what they need to hear. True prophets of God come only in times of extreme spiritual distress and generally as God’s last resort after people have rejected all other forms of His Word.  Once you understand the calling of a true prophet of God, you will never wish to see one.  It would mean you’re in so much trouble, that it may be too late. In chapters 2-9, Ezekiel moves quickly into prophecies at great length that have to do with the failure of man (they had gotten themselves into deep trouble). We are struck again by the glory of the Lord in chapter 3 which is one of the key elements in Ezekiel (3:12, 23; 8:4; 9:3; 10:4, 18-19; 11:22-23; 39:21; 43:2, 4-5; 44:4). This first section of Ezekiel (chapters 1-24) is a sad era in the history of Israel. The Glory of the Lord had led Israel out of Egypt. Then the Glory of the Lord had appeared to Moses, in the burning bush on Mt. Sinai (Ex 3:3-4).  The very presence of God appeared to them in a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.  God had nurtured Israel in the wilderness, providing food and water. Four hundred years after Israel took possession of the land, they were instructed to build a House for the presence of God in Jerusalem.
  7. 7.'s%20Temple.jpg  Solomon completed this Temple in 960 B.C.  The presence of God, the Glory of the Lord, affirmed and blessed the House, by filling it with His presence. 1 Kings 8:10-11 NKJV 10 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. Ezekiel chapters 8-11 reveals how the presence of God, leaves His Temple, Solomon’s Temple, because of the sins taking place. Before He leaves, Ezekiel is brought to the Temple to witness why God’s presence is leaving the Temple. He witnesses the idolatry taking place in secret and how the nation’s leaders worshipped abominations in the Temple. Ezekiel testified to what the nation’s leaders were doing in secret, thinking God did not know.
  8. 8. God asks Ezekiel in 8:12: 12 Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’” The prophet will watch God's glory leave the temple and go over the Mount of Olives, and he will also see it return to the Kingdom Temple. God allows Ezekiel to see the events in the spiritual realms as He calls His angelic “Guards” to slay the idolaters in the city (Ezekiel 9). This action is later fulfilled when the armies of Babylon destroy the city and slay its inhabitants in 586 B.C. In Ezekiel 11:13b, after witnessing the slaughter and judgment in the spiritual realms, Ezekiel asks God, "Ah, Lord God! Will You make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?" Ezekiel 11:16b NKJV 16b Thus says the Lord God: “I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries (Babylon) where they have gone.” Even though the Temple was about to be destroyed by the armies of Babylon, God Himself would be a “little sanctuary” to the captives in Babylon.
  9. 9. Because of Israel's sins, the glory left the temple; but God's promise is that one day the city of Jerusalem and the temple will be blessed by the glorious presence of the Lord once again. The city will be called "Jehovah Shammah—the Lord is there"(Ezek 48:35). The greatest reward a person can ever have is the presence of the Lord! We are to practice that presence now, moment by moment (through prayer). Even though the events in this section of the book of Ezekiel seem bleak for the nation, God is not done with Israel, they will be restored. This restoration of obedience will take place in the last days, the end-times, when Israel comes to know their Messiah. Ezekiel 36 to 48 deals with this progression of events.
  10. 10. Many people in their flesh misunderstand God’s judgment. Ezekiel’s, references to God’s discipline are usually followed by the words: "Then you will know that I am the Lord." We can begin to grasp the message that God was giving us through His prophet, Ezekiel.  Though His people were in exile and their nation was about to be destroyed, God was still on the throne and able to handle every situation.  He is above the storm! In His marvelous providence, He moves in the affairs of nations and works out His hidden plan.
  11. 11. Romans 11:33 NKJV 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  Israel wasn't the victim of Babylonian aggression.  It was God Who enabled the Babylonians to conquer His people and chasten them for their rebellion, but God would also bring the Medes and the Persians to conquer Babylon, and then Cyrus, would permit the Jews to return to their land.  Those taken to the land of Babylon would be the seed of the future nation, while those left behind would be destroyed.  This is also a picture of the Rapture to come. Just as the exiles were, we will be suddenly snatched away to become part of God’s future Kingdom!
  12. 12. Sometimes seemingly bad things happen in our lives so we might be protected from truly worse events. The wicked men in Jerusalem thought their being left behind was for their financial and personal gain when in reality they were being left behind to be judged. “I will gather you” (Ez20:34) Israel would be gathered again in preparation of the coming of the Glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ, Who would die for the sins of the world at His First Coming (Isaiah 53). Israel will also be gathered again before the Second Coming, when the Glory of the Lord returns in power and glory (Zech 12:9-10, Matt 24:30-31). When Tragedy Hits Home The theme of chapter 24 is to draw close to God and to continue to seek His will during times of personal tragedy. God gave Ezekiel six visions: of Himself, a scroll, a plain, twice of Jerusalem, dry bones, and the New Temple.
  13. 13. As well as ten visual signs for the people (a brick, posture, bread, shaving, packing belongings, trembling, sharpened a sword, furnace of fire, his wife’s death, and 2 sticks). Ezekiel lost his nation and his wife all in the same day in 588 B.C. We don’t know her name nor even whether she had children or not. Ezekiel 24:15-18 NKJV The Prophet’s Wife Dies 15 Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 16 “Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with one stroke; yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down. 17 Sigh in silence, make no mourning for the dead; bind your turban on your head, and put your sandals on your feet; don’t cover your lips, and do not eat man’s bread of sorrow.” 18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died; and the next morning I did as I was commanded.  Ezekiel’s wife was the delight of his eyes as Israel was the delight of God’s eyes.  The Temple was the delight of the eyes of the children of Israel. Things had not gone as planned for Ezekiel and his lovely wife.
  14. 14. They had been suddenly uprooted from their home and now they were 1,000 miles away from home. They had coped with the major changes in their lives - but now this! “The two had become one flesh” so death, for whatever reason, was a ripping of that one flesh and that was very painful, yet God told Ezekiel not to grieve publically. Centuries later, the same God Who took Ezekiel’s wife’s life was the same God Who gave the delight of His eyes, Jesus, to die for these rebellious people (and that would be us!). Romans 5:8 NKJV 8 But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  15. 15. Ezekiel 24:19-24 NKJV 19 And the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things signify to us, that you behave so?” 20 Then I answered them, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 21 ‘Speak to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, your arrogant boast, the desire of your eyes, the delight of your soul; and your sons and daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword. 22 And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your lips nor eat man’s bread of sorrow. 23 Your turbans shall be on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you shall neither mourn nor weep, but you shall pine away in your iniquities and mourn with one another. 24 Thus Ezekiel is a sign to you; according to all that he has done you shall do; and when this comes, you shall know that I am the Lord God.’” The Israelites thought: “God would never destroy our Temple, would He?” While we wonder: “God would never destroy the USA, would He?” God told Ezekiel, "Don't act like you're mourning at all." And the people didn't understand it. The people came to Ezekiel and said, "What in the world does this mean?  Your wife has died, and you are not mourning at all!  What kind of man are you?"  All of this Ezekiel is doing to get a message through to the people. The bottom line here is that God wanted Ezekiel to be a living example of a spiritual reality. The point is profound and painful: God’s temple is as precious to Him and to the Israelites as Ezekiel’s wife was to Ezekiel.
  16. 16.  Still, God was willing to destroy His own temple to eventually redeem His people. Isaiah 53:10a HCSB 10a Yet the LORD was pleased to crush Him severely. Verse 24 is the key to this entire Book of Ezekiel: Ezekiel 24:24 24 “Thus Ezekiel is a sign to you; according to all that he has done you shall do; and when this comes, you shall know that I am the Lord God.”  God knows that if you give your devotion to anyone other than to Him, you can never be whole.  At the very moment that the Israelites were asking Ezekiel why he showed no remorse, Jerusalem was being destroyed.  Later on word came to the captives about its destruction: Ezekiel 33:21 21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has been captured!” Into the camp came these stragglers; they must have looked terrible. They said, "We've escaped from the city. The false prophets were wrong. The city is burned. The temple has been leveled, and the city is debris and ashes."
  17. 17. Ezekiel was right in not mourning. The reason they were not to mourn is found in Ezekiel 24:27. "They shall know that I am the Lord." Jerusalem was God's city, and the temple was His house. They were God's witness to the world. And when the people of Israel failed, God said, "I will destroy even My own witness on the earth. I want you to know the city is destroyed. The rest of your people are being brought into captivity. But there's no use weeping, there's no use howling to Me now. I have done this -- I am responsible for it." To each of the seven churches in the Book of Revelation, the Lord Jesus said, "You had better be careful of your witness to the world, or I will come and remove your lampstand." The lampstand of all seven of those churches has been removed. Not one of those churches remains today.
  18. 18. This ought to be a message to our churches: If you are not going to stand for God today, He will remove your lampstand -- there will be no light.  The family (one man, one woman and their children) was God's first institution, but today man seems to think it is the worst institution.  We must take a stand. This is a strong message; it is not the lovey-dovey, sloppy stuff we hear so often. Hear Ezekiel! He is still speaking for God today. He has said again and again, "The word of the Lord, came unto me, saying." If you want to argue with his message, take it to the Lord, but remember He's right and we are the ones who are wrong. Our task is to discover how God sees things and get our lives in line with His ways. How did the people know that the prophet was telling the truth? They didn't have instant news service as we have today. God said that a messenger would arrive in Babylon with the news of the fall of the city and the destruction of the temple, and this did occur five months later. The day after the messengers arrived, God opened the prophet's mouth and removed the discipline He had imposed at the beginning of his ministry. Ezekiel 24:25-27 NKJV 25 ‘And you, son of man—will it not be in the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that on which they set their minds, their sons and their daughters:
  19. 19. Ezekiel 3:26-27 NKJV 26 I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and not be one to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.  From this point on, the prophet was free to speak as he felt led, and at the same time, the focus of his ministry shifted.  A new ministry of hope and consolation began.  He had exposed the nation's sins and announced her judgment.  Now he would announce God's plans for the Gentile nations, including victorious Babylon; and then he would minister hope to the Jewish exiles and share with them visions of the kingdom yet to come. Ezekiel traces the degradation of man, the result of men's rejection of God's amazing grace. He tells how God struggles with those people, calling them; how He tries to win them, to waken them to the foolishness of turning their backs on the glory of God.
  20. 20. At last they go through times of difficulty and heartache and discipline, as God seeks constantly to bring them to their senses, to waken them to what they are doing – to show them that man is made to fellowship with God and that without God he only goes farther and farther into weakness and folly and degradation. Here you find the reasons why man is debauched and degraded, and Ezekiel sets forth the righteousness of God's judgment. When man chooses to avoid the God Who made him, what else is there but judgment? If we neglect God, Who is utterly essential to our being, and we refuse to give heed to His love and His grace, then the only thing left for us is to experience the results of turning our backs to Him.
  21. 21. How do we put into action what we have learned so far in the book of Ezekiel when we are struck by tragedy? 1) Remain open to God’s guidance and the Lord will help you prepare for and deal with experiences of personal grief. Don’t turn away from Him when trouble comes. 2) Draw close to God and rely on Him in times of personal grief, and He will use your testimony and example to help others turn to Him and seek to know Him better. 3) Trust that when others see God at work in your life during a time of grief, they also may be drawn to trust Him. (Finding purpose in your pain.)