Worship Perfected

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Ezekiel 40-42 Ezekiel describes the rebuilding of the temple. How is this to be interpreted? The perfection described indicates that most likely it symbolizes the glorious eternal state when God’s people will worship him perfectly. This is apocalyptic literature, meant to leave a vivid impression upon us of truth beyond description rather than to be taken literally, at face value only. It cannot be taken literally since the renewal of animal sacrifices after the one perfect sacrifice of …

Alive Again

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Ezekiel 37-39 Judah’s problem is not only that it is in exile, but much more seriously that it is spiritually dead. The deadness is emphasized by the fact that the bones are “very dry.” The question “Can these bones live?” is meant to imply a “no” (37:3). Humanly speaking the cause is hopeless, but what human beings cannot do, God can do. Through the word (“prophesy to these bones”) and the Spirit (the Hebrew ruach can mean either …

Justice and Mercy

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Ezekiel 35-36 Edom (Mount Seir) rejoices when Judah falls to the Babylonians. It thinks it might take over the land. But it receives God’s justice: it falls to the Babylonians never to rise again. Israel (Judah), on the other hand, receives God’s mercy. It too deserves justice, that its destruction should end its existence as it did for Edom. But instead, after a period of exile, it will be brought back to its land by the grace of …

Responsibilities of Leadership

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Ezekiel 33-34 The prophet was like a watchman or sentinel who must warn of impending danger. So the prophet must warn people to flee from the wrath of God. If he does so and the people do not heed, their blood is on their own heads; but if he fails to warn them, he stands guilty. Today, the preacher stands in the place of the prophet. He has a serious responsibility. May all pastors so carry out their …

The Fall of Egypt

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Ezekiel 29-32 Throughout its later history, Israel was caught between two major world powers, Egypt, to its southwest and to its northeast first Assyria, then Babylon, and finally Persia. At this time, Babylon is pressing hard upon Judah, and the temptation is to trust in Egypt rather than in God. This section shows that Egypt was a poor ally, and will fall before Babylon. It looks to the secular historian that little Israel is in the hands of …

Lord of the Nations

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Ezekiel 25–28 While the message of the prophets was primarily addressed to their own people, they also had a message regarding other nations, for they knew that their God was sovereign over the whole world. The prevalent idea of the time was that each nation was ruled by a different god, but the prophets knew there was only one God, who controlled all nations. Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia had rejoiced at Judah’s downfall at the hands of …