The Book of Ezekiel follows the prophet Ezekiel and his message to the Israelites about the destruction of Judah and his prediction about the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. After confronting the Israelites with their sin, God promises restoration to His people.
As you read Ezekiel’s condemnations of Israel, Judah, and the nations, look also for these bright and glorious beams of hope that stream from God’s heavenly throne and promise new life. The Lord—our shepherd and holy refuge—will grant you greater appreciation for His patience and a vision of heavenly bliss.
The namesake of the book, Ezekiel, authored this prophetic book. Ezekiel was a sincere priest and a prophet who cared deeply about the priestly code. A common opinion among critical scholars of the nineteenth century was that prophets represented sincere, ethical religion and that priests represented dead legalism, but Ezekiel defies that caricature.
He wrote this book, but he also communicated God’s Word through actions that symbolized things to come. One such action required Ezekiel to lie still for a specific number of days.
This book explains why God’s glory departed from Israel and how His glory would return. Because the Israelites had abandoned God, His glory departed from them. But because of His mercy, He would return to them and the kingdom would become an everlasting blessing to the nations.
As you read the Book of Ezekiel, contemplate how you forsake God’s goodness like Israel had. In your everyday life, think of ways that you put other things before God. You might not fall into idolatrous worship like the Israelites, but you might put money, work, relationships, social media status, or power before your love of God.
Of course, if you repent, God is faithful to forgive you, just like He was to the Israelites. Just as God used Ezekiel to speak His word of conviction and reconciliation, perhaps God is using the Book of Ezekiel to do just that in your life today.
And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My rules and obey them. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
Ezekiel 18:21–23, 32
But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all My statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? ... For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.
And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken.
Read more about how God creates a new heart in you like He did for the Israelites in the Book of Ezekiel.