Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized (Ezekiel 4:1 – 5:17)

Scripture Text:

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Ezekiel 4:1 – 5:17

1. What do you recall about 1968, the year of many civil rights and anti-Vietnam protests in the United States? Were you in school then, not even born yet, or part of that “don’t trust anyone over 30” group?

2. From what you’ve read or seen of that era, what did you think of those who staged pickets, boycotts, “sit-ins” or “sleep-ins” at your university, campus or state capitol? Did you mimic or condemn their long hair and “radical lifestyle”?

3. When have you “put your body on the line” to protest some social evil?

4. For each object lesson Ezekiel was to act out, answer the following . . .

  • what equipment or props did he need?
  • what did each prop or action or time span symbolize?
  • what were the lines scripted for him to speak?

5. What was the object lesson the audience was intended to learn? Do you think Israel got the point and repented? Or did they likely get angry and take out revenge on Ezekiel for “offending community standards of decency” by his outlandish street theater”?

6. Given his priestly training, what object lesson was too offensive even for brazen Ezekiel to do (verses 12 – 15)? What other object lessons would you have found tough to do? Which would you, as an Israelite, find too much to stomach? Why?

7. In one column, list all the things God says He will do in His wrath. In the other column, list all of Israel’s sins. How are the two lists related?

8. The particular judgments listed here represent God’s anger “fully spent” (chapter 5:13; see also chapter 6:12; chapter 7:8; chapter 13:15 and chapter 20:8, 21). Why would God want to spend all His anger on His chosen people? Doesn’t He have better places to spend it? How do you feel about this?

9. How would you react if your pastor did any of the things God required Ezekiel to do?

10. From your list of Israel’s sins, which ones bring to mind a modern equivalent? How does the moral condition of your country compare to that of ancient Israel? What do you think will be God’s certain, eventual response?

11. God says He will do some terrible things to Israel. In wrath, where will He remember mercy? In punishment, where do you see His love? How will renewal come out of such stinging rebukes?

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