Today you should read: Ezekiel 7
Ezekiel is one of the most descriptively prophetic books of the Bible, mirroring the quality (and quantity) of detail found in Revelation. It carries with it the same vein of thought that we find in Daniel and Joel. Ezekiel is also one of the most challenging reads you’ll find in scripture. It seems as if every other chapter has a negative connotation.
I encourage you, though, to see the hope that is found in this book. And really, the wise way for us to read it is with Revelation 19-21 in mind. Take 20 extra minutes and read it this weekend. The bigger landscape of God’s redemptive plan makes the seemingly mundane detail and melancholy tone of the book a little more palatable. That, and the crazy cool prophecies (dry bones, etc.) that are sprinkled among the darker parts.
Today, we find ourselves in chapter 7 which is God’s passionate promise regarding the end of things as we know them. He will reign down judgment on this earth, and then bring about new heavens and a new earth. These prophecies, or oracles, are specifically against the land. Literally, Ezekiel is prophesying about the soil of Israel. There is a really neat correlation between this passage and Amos’ foretelling of the end. Check this study footnote out (ESVSB):
The address to the “land [soil] of Israel” (v. 2) links this chapter to the previous one against the “mountains of Israel” (6:2). Two features of this chapter pull in different directions: the Hebrew is at points quite obscure and translation is difficult (see the “uncertain” readings in esv footnotes); yet the imagery is striking and the overall sense plain. Although laid out as prose, many see Ezekiel’s diction here inclining to poetry, as short staccato lines echo content. As in ch. 6, the “recognition formula” (7:4, 9, 27; cf. Introduction: Style) gives internal shape to the oracle, which falls into two main parts (vv. 1–9, 10–27). Together they form a “sermon” whose text is Amos 8. The resonance of language and overlap of themes and sequence between these chapters is impressive, and it seems likely that Ezekiel’s oracle develops Amos’s earlier prophecy.
I love this, because it’s scripture strengthening scripture, which gives us a greater confidence in God’s words to us. He is trustworthy and His plan is immutable. Also, beginning in verse 10, the idea of “the day of the Lord” shows up yet again. We’ve covered this many times here at Jumpstart. Once again, from cover to cover, God’s Word proves to be true.
One aspect of Ezekiel, and especially this chapter that cannot be overstated is this: future prophecy is a call to present repentance. God gives us these glimpses to remind us that the only worthwhile way to live is in His presence & will. When you read something in the Bible about the future, consider that a personal phone call from God inviting you to follow Him in the now.
So, what did you learn today? What has the Lord been teaching you through this roller-coaster book?
Posted by: Todd Thomas