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It is evidently some six months before one of the survivors of the Jerusalem slaughter finally makes his way to the prophet Ezekiel in Babylonia. Ezekiel gets a few hours’ advance warning of Jerusalem’s fall, when on the evening before the messenger’s arrival, Ezekiel is suddenly unable to speak. Undoubtedly, he recalls the day of the siege against Jerusalem began – the day of his wife’s death.
Take note also of verse 32. Ezekiel’s popularity soared after Jerusalem’s fall. His warnings had all come true. Even so, his audience listened just for entertainment, as they would to music. God reminds Ezekiel that the true purpose of prophecy is to change people’s lives, not to draw a crowd.
1. What part of the body best describes you? Why?
2. What news comes from Jerusalem’s How many years had Ezekiel waited for this (compare chapter 1:2 with chapter 33:21)?
3. Why was Ezekiel unable to speak (chapter 3:26, 27; chapter 24:27)?
4. What false hope did the Jerusalemites entertain in comparing themselves to Abraham (verse 24)? Why wouldn’t they possess the land (verses 25 and 26)?
5. What three groups remained in the Jerusalem area (verse 27)? What will the effect be on those who witness the desolation (verse 29)?
6. Did the exiles take Ezekiel seriously (verses 30 – 32)? If they were no more serious than those in Jerusalem, why was their fate so different?
7. Are you, like the Israelites, ever tempted to think you can get God’s blessing without obeying His commands? Does God require obedience?
8. The exiles liked to listen to Ezekiel but didn’t do what he said. What does Jesus say about such people (see Matthew 7:24 – 27)? How would you describe yourself? All listen but no action? A procrastinating doer? Easier said than done? Not even a listener?