Week 36: Ezekiel 1-24

Prepare these questions for Sunday, December 1.

The book of Ezekiel is a collections of the visions and prophesies of the prophet Ezekiel who lived during the time of the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem (around 600 B.C.). This first half of the book includes Ezekiel's call to prophesy and his messages of judgement against Israel. The book was probably written by Ezekiel himself sometime before his death in around 570 B.C.

1. The first three chapters of Ezekiel detail his vision that called him to be a prophet. To be honest, Ezekiel saw some crazy stuff, took his vision to heart, and changed his life because of it. How might you have reacted if you experienced a similar call to do God's work? Would you obey what you thought God was telling you? Would you ignore the crazy vision and hope it went away?

2. Ezekiel was sent "not..to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the house of Israel." (v. 3:5) How might it make his mission easier because he was sent to his own people? How might the same circumstances make sharing his message more difficult?

3. Throughout these chapters, Ezekiel used a variety of ways to speak to the people. He used symbolic actions (examples in chapters 4 and 12) where he used a sort of acting out of the events to explain God's message to the people. He also described visions he had (chapters 8 and 10 are good examples) and wrote poetry to share with the Israelites (chapters 18 and 19 have examples). Why would Ezekiel have used these varying ways of sharing God's message? How can you apply that concept to your life?

4. Ezekiel compares Jerusalem to a "useless vine" (chapter 15), an "adulterous wife" (chapter 16), and a prostitute (chapter 23). Why would these particular comparisons be made? What might the people of Jerusalem think about these comparisons?

5. The Israelites are described as rebellious and hard-hearted toward God in this book. Is there an area in your life where you feel hardened toward what you know God wants you to be doing?

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