Talks for Growing Christians
Israel’s Watchman, Ezekiel
Lesson Number 33
- God deals with individuals as well as with nations.
- God determines what is right in every situation.
- Here in chapter 33, what major change took place in Ezekiel’s means of prophetic communication? Had God told Ezekiel earlier that this change would take place? What was the historic event that predicated this change? Did the basic content and thrust of Ezekiel’s prophetic messages change at this time?
- In this chapter, God calls Ezekiel to what role? In this role, what was Ezekiel’s primary responsibility? Was this responsibility to be directed only to the nation of Israel as a whole?
- One of the primary messages of this chapter is that God holds individuals accountable for their attitudes and behavior. If individual people would change from ways of wickedness and begin to do what is right, how would God respond? How would God respond if individual people continue in their wickedness?
- In chapter 3, Ezekiel was told that as a sign to the people, he would only be able to speak when he had a message for them from God. In chapter 24, Ezekiel was told by the Lord that when the news of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple reached the captives in Babylon, his mouth would be opened and he would no longer be dumb or mute, but be able to speak freely. Here in chapter 33 (v 22), Ezekiel’s mouth was opened. From this point on throughout the rest of the book, Ezekiel’s ministry and messages become more comforting and encouraging, because he will speak about Israel’s future restoration.
- God calls Ezekiel to the role of watchman (v 7). His primary responsibility in this role was to hear a word from God’s mouth and warn the nation of Israel (v 10), and the individuals as well (v 12).
- God said that if people turned from their wicked ways and begin to do what is right, He would withhold His judgment (v 15). However, if the people did not turn from their wicked ways and they continued in unrighteous living, then the judgment of God would lead to death.
- Discuss the application of the role of “watchman” in the world today to you as an individual believer, or to your local church body of believers, or to the world-wide body of believers. Consider the possible responsibilities in each of these cases.
- Before you attend the next worship service at your church, ask yourself this question regarding each part of the service; the prayer time, the singing of songs and hymns, and the spoken word. “Was my mind and heart focused on what I would and did receive, and on what I could and did offer to the Lord in true worship?” Which case would have the greatest impact on changing your lifestyle to become more Christ-like?
- “And it came to pass, that one who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, ‘The city has been captured!’ Now the hand of the Lord had been upon me the evening before the man came who escaped. And He had opened my mouth; so when he came to me in the morning, my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.” From Ezekiel 33: 21, 22