A lot of people are asking questions like this today, “Does God not care about this? Is God going to do anything about this? If God is so loving, then why doesn’t he do something?” All those question bring into question the name (reputation) of God.
Ezekiel is speaking to a people forced from their homes into exile in Babylon. The Babylonians have put a puppet King on Israel’s throne (Zedekiah). Where is God now? What will God do next?
God shows them. Over and over Ezekiel has something for his people to behold!
Ezekiel’s prophecies are largely stretched over a two-decade period from around 593BC to 571BC. It does not take long for anyone to realize that Ezekiel seems, if anything, strange. The book has been regarded as so difficult to interpret that Jewish rabbis would not even allow young men to read it until they were thirty years old, lest they become discouraged at the difficulty of understanding Scripture and despise it.
So, why preach on Ezekiel at Milwood Baptist church in 2018?
1) Fundamentally, we believe that all the Bible is God’s word. We don’t want to shield ourselves from anything God might have for us even if it is hard to understand at some points. We trust the main message of Ezekiel will come through clearly as we prayerfully consider it. This is wonderful practice in giving ourselves to the “whole counsel of God’s word” (Acts 20:27).
2) Adjusting our hearts to God’s glory. If there is a central message in Ezekiel it is this: God will vindicate the holiness of his name. And that is not at the expense of Israel, that is Israel’s hope! Time and time again in the book God reminds the listening that he is acting for the sake of his name. God acts for his name through discipline and salvation and more. Ezekiel will test and see if God’s glory is central to our own hearts.