在接下来的三周内，我们将阅读圣经中最难懂的书卷之一，以西结书。以西结很可能是在尼布甲尼撒第一次攻击耶路撒冷时与约雅斤王一起被带到巴比伦去的（王下24:15）。因此，不像与他同时代的先知耶利米是在犹大地说预言，以西结是在迦勒底人之地说预言（结1:3）。因而，强烈的流亡情绪及归回的热切渴望作为他预言的背景。除了谴责悖逆的犹大家，以西结的预言也启示了那模范的牧人（结34），枯骨复活（结37），以及神的荣耀将要回到这个新圣殿（结43）的一个又长又详尽的异象（40 - 48）。这是给神的百姓带来极大盼望的一卷书。
Ezekiel 1 [Read]
Ezekiel 2 [Read]
Ezekiel 3 [Read]
Hebrews 9 [Read]
In the next three weeks, we will be reading one of the most enigmatic books of the Bible – the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was probably brought to Babylon along with King Jehoiachin during the first assault on Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 24:15). Therefore, unlike his contemporary prophet Jeremiah who prophesized from the land of Judah, Ezekiel prophesized from the land of Chaldeans (Eze 1:3). As a result, the strong sentiment of exile and the intense longing of return serve as the backdrop for his prophecy. Besides speaking against the “rebellious house” of Judah, Ezekiel’s prophecy also reveals the model shepherd (Eze 34), the revival of the dry bones (Eze 37), and a long and detailed vision of the new temple (40-48) to which the glory of God shall return (Eze 43). It’s a book of great hope for all God’s people.
Two things capture my thoughts in God’s calling of Ezekiel. The four living creatures are mysterious, but I notice the key to be “wherever the spirit would go, they would go” (1:12, 20). The servants of the LORD, those who are called by him, need to go wherever the spirit leads them. In Ezekiel’s case, the spirit came unto him (2:2) and told him to speak against the rebellious nation of Israel (2:3). Whoever will listen let him listen, and whoever will refuse let him refuse (3:27). The results are in God’s hand, while the servants of the LORD are called to go wherever the spirit goes and to speak whenever the words are given.
Upon being called by God, Ezekiel is told to eat the scroll (3:1). Only after eating the scroll, he may go and speak to the house of Israel (3:1). Even though the scroll is written with words of lament and mourning and woe (2:10), it tastes as sweet as honey in the mouth (3:3). However, along with these life-saving words came great responsibility. The words are meant to be spoken, and unfaithfulness of such duty will result in the prophet being accountable for the perishment of others (3:18-21).
Although the calling for a prophet is special, I see the requirements being equally applicable to us who are called to deny ourselves and take up the cross to walk with the Lord. May our submission to the leading of the spirit be as readily, and may our desire to eat God’s words and spread his message be as genuine.
Keep on reading.