What has kept me encouraged in the reading of Ezekiel?

It can be hard going, but if we keep looking for the nuggets of wisdom God has for us in each chapter, and remember several fundamental shifts between the Old and New Covenants we will be able to make our way through the reading with love for our great God, looking for the return of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Shift #1

The book is not just a long rant against evil and warning of impending judgment by a wrathful God. It is a well-planned word spoken in language an Old Testament believer could understand. It is a gift from a Heavenly Father who loves them and wants them to understand as best they can why he must go to the lengths He does to rescue them from spiritual darkness and death. [1]

“As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord God: Go serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.” Ezekiel 20:39 ESV

The more we can step into a world BEFORE Christ became known, the more we’ll be able to appreciate what is being said. Consider: If you did not have Jesus and His words, what would you need to hear, and how would you need to act in order to have assurance you were pleasing God?

Shift #2

Before Christ, Old Testament faith-walkers generally understood God and interpreted spiritual life through what they experienced physically. After Christ, because of the indwelling Spirit of God, walking by faith means we interpret our material life through what we experience spiritually. (1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 14-16; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17).

For this reason, our spiritual teachers don’t typically act out and sound weird like the Old Testament prophets even though the goal is the same (to love the one true God with all we are and have).

Old Testament prophets acted out their words with dramatic, living parables. New Testament teachers illustrate and explain, but very few appear in sack cloth and ashes or lay on their side for days on end to get their point across. [1]

Shift #3

We typically experience spiritual life from the viewpoint of the individual whereas the Old Testament believer assessed everything from the viewpoint of the community of faith.

Oneness with the believing community is our goal, but difficult because we are moving from the inside, spiritual life outward. On the other hand, oneness with the community was the Old Testament believer’s starting point and the individual, righteous believer the goal. Ezekiel and other prophetic scriptures illustrate why the righteous, believing person often suffers along with everyone else when the community of faith is part of a nation, and as a single whole, that nation is judged for its rebellion against God.

Shift #4

Lots and lots of words and experiences by the people of God over many years produced the Old Testament. One life, the life of Jesus, in a few years produced the New Testament. (Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 Peter 1:10-12)

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV

John 5:37-47; Ephesians 1:9-10; 3:1-12

We must be grateful for this amazing book and keep diligently listening and looking for what the Spirit of the Lord has for us from Ezekiel today. [2]

David Ewert

[1] Quality Resources:

[2] I’m thankful for my daughter who shared this posting with us: 4 SIMPLE BIBLE READING TIPS

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