A Look at Ezekiel
It is difficult to understand the
volatility of the Middle East without first studying the remarkable
prophecies found in the book of Ezekiel.
Ezekiel was among the captives with King Jehoiachin in
the second of three deportations under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
He mentions Daniel three times, who
had been in Babylon nine years before Ezekiel arrived.
Ezekiel ministered, as did Jeremiah,
to a nation experiencing judgment for their sins.
Ezekiel was born in approximately 627 BC, and lived in a
time of moral decline, distress and uprooting.
His messages were not well received
at first, but did ultimately result in the nation being purged of idolatrous
practices. He was married and owned
his home. His wife died during his ministry, and he was forbidden to mourn
We also learn that God intended his life to be a series
of signs to Israel. Therefore,
he does all kinds of strange things. He
shut himself up in his home, he bound himself
up, and he was struck dumb. In a
formal ritual, he was to lie on his right and his left sides for a total of
430 days. He ate bread that was
prepared in an unclean manner, and he shaved his head and beard, which was
considered a shame in his particular calling.
Throughout the book, Ezekielís main theme was the
sovereignty and glory of God. This
is good for us, because we can get so focused on Godís grace that we tend to
forget there is also a governing role of God, and that His glory requires
Ezekiel was very direct.
He carefully vindicated Godís justice throughout the book, although
he deals more in symbol and allegory that any other Old Testament prophet.
He is probably the greatest mystic of the Old Testament.
He was well suited for the calling
God gave him, which included a remarkable vision of God's Throne in Chapter
1. This dramatic vision of God never left him.
It is not just introduced in
the first chapter as it is referenced all
the way through the book.
Ezekiel can be described as the Prophet of the
ĎRe-gatheringí. The famed
vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones in Chapters 36 and 37 could easily be
the monumental Biblical fulfillment of the 20th century.
Beginning in the last half of the
19th century, the re-gathering that peaked
with the establishment of the
State of Israel is one of the most irrefutable evidences that we are on
threshold of God's conclusion for the nations mentioned throughout the Bible,
and remarkably detailed in the writings of Ezekiel.
The final chapters, 40-48, climax with a remarkably
detailed description of the Millennial Temple to be rebuilt.
Ezekiel was uniquely qualified for
this role due to his priestly background. He
was the son of Buzi, who was also a priest.
It is interesting that even though he never served as a priest, he
apparently so influenced later worship that today he is called by some, "The
Father of Judaism." From Numbers 4:3
we know that Kohathites had to be 30 years old before they could begin
service as priests. When Ezekiel
became 30, however, he was deported, in approximately the eightieth year of
the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. The
Temple which Ezekiel describes has not yet been constructed.
Most scholars regard it as the
details for the Temple which will be established during the Millennium on
Between the re-gathering of the nation in Chapters 36 and
37, and the Millennium Temple described in Chapters 40-48, there is a
predictive event that intervenes. The
invasion of Gog and Magog, described in Chapters 38 and 39, are among the
most famous prophetic passages in the Bible.
For a variety of reasons, the identity of "Magog" as the people of
Russia seems well established.
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