Bible Reading for AUG29: Ezekiel 1-3

AUGUST 29

Ezekiel was a prophet of the captivity. He was carried to
Babylon in 597 b.c., eleven years before Jerusalem was destroyed. He
was the son of a Zadokite priest. His wife died the day the siege of
Jerusalem began.

Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry began in the fifth year of
Jehoiachin’s exile, and continued until at least April, 571 b.c. As
we read the Book of Ezekiel we will notice a striking resemblance to
the Book of the Revelation. While Jeremiah was in Palestine
prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem, Ezekiel, his younger
contemporary, was in Babylon, declaring the same fate for the
apostate city.

Ezekiel’s ministry was principally to the exiles, and his
messages had a large note of consolation in them. He showed his
suffering colleagues that the Lord was justified in sending His
people into captivity. His ministry centered in showing the
preventive and corrective nature of God’s chastenings, that His
people might “know that He is God.” This expression is found many
times throughout the book.

In chapters 1–3 God’s glory is revealed to Ezekiel. Ezekiel
was a priest in captivity, and thus unable to exercise his ministry,
since he was away from the Temple and the sacred altar. But God
opened the heavens to him and called him to be a prophet. He had
been in captivity for five years when his call came. It was
Ezekiel’s task to tell the people that God was going to destroy
Jerusalem, not Babylon, but that there would be a day when the
glorious restoration of the people and the Temple would come to
pass. The phrase, “The Word of the Lord came,” is used 49 times in
this book. How wonderful to know that God’s Word is never far from
God’s people.

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