Good Questions on Ezekiel 4, 5
by Josh Hunt www.joshhunt.com

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Introduction

Here is an introduction for the brave: how about re-creating the story of Ezekiel? I wouldn't worry so much with reproducing the exact details of the story, but why not act out the big picture? Come in with a box with "Jerusalem" [or, alternatively, your home town] on it. Bring in some rocks, maybe a baseball bat. Don't say a word. Just pummel the box with the rocks and baseball bat. Smash it to smithereens. If you really want to go all out, wear a costume--dress up like Ezekiel. After the box is totally smashed, sit down in silence. After a minute or two, ask, "This is what Ezekiel did in Jerusalem in Ezekiel 4. How do you think the it made the people of Jerusalem feel?"

As always, I try to provide more questions than you could answer in several hours. I have heard teachers teach these lessons and say, "Well, we need to move on; we need to cover the lesson." You don't need to cover this lesson. This lesson has no needs and will be perfectly happy if it is ignored. Your students however, are a needy bunch. One thing they need is a clear, biblical, [and balanced] view of God. In this lesson we will explore the wrathful side of God. God is not kitten. Seeing him that way will distort our relationship with him. Pick out the questions that seem to relate best to your class. Pause at any question that seems to strike a nerve with your group. Feel free to ignore the questions that don't connect. Move your students a step closer to living the disciple's life today.

 

Ezekiel Background(1)

  1. Three minute overview on the background of Ezekiel: name the book immediately before and the book immediately after the book of Ezekiel.
  2. What section of the Bible is Ezekiel a part of?(2)
  3. Can anyone name the major prophets in order?(3) Let's say them together. Say them again.(4)
  4. OK, let's see who is top of the class. Can anyone say all of the Old Testament books, in order?

Ezekiel

Chapter 3:22 - 5:17

  1. I'd like to ask you to read this passage silently. As you do, make a mental note of the object lessons that Ezekiel is asked by God to perform. When we are finished reading, let's make a list on the board.(5)
  2. How would you summarize Ezekiel's message in this section?
  3. Why do you think God asked Ezekiel to go to such dramatic means to communicate this message?(6)
  4. If you have a quarterly(7) look ahead to next week's lesson. What happens soon after this?
  5. Look now at verse 5:8. This seems to summarize this whole passage. In the book of Romans we read, "If God be for us, who can be against us." How does this verse stand in contrast to Romans?(8)
  6. If a prophet of God were to say to you, "I myself am against you," how would you react? How would it make you feel? What would you do?
  7. Living in the New Testament era, we often emphasize a picture of God as a God of love and compassion and grace and mercy. How do we hold in balance the fact that he is also a God of severity, warning, wrath and judgement?
  8. Do you think most Christians see God as too merciful and soft or too wrathful and hard?(9)
  9. What difference would a clear understanding of God's wrathful side make in our day to day life?
  10. Here is a good question: do you like God the way he is, or would you change Him--perhaps make him more tame--if you had the power to do so?
  11. How do we know if our view of God is in balance? Could you be open to the possibility that your image of God might not be true to the real picture? Could you be open to believe that God might be different than you imagine?
  12. What danger is there in ignoring God's wrathful side?
  13. Why does God punish his children? Why not just ignore them, leave them alone, walk away from them?
  14. How could we ever feel close to a God who is capable of saying to people, "I am against you"?
  15. Let's take the discussion in another direction. As Christians, we are about the business of becoming godly people. We are to strive to be like God. Does it follow that we are to strive to develop the angry side of ourselves? Could it be that some Christians err because they do not get angry enough?
  16. Would any of you say, "I probably need to become more like God in that I need to become more easily angered. I am probably too passive."?
  17. When is anger godly and when is anger plain old [sinful] anger?
  18. I'd like for us to close in prayer. As we do, I'd like you to consider that we pray to a God of anger and wrath and judgement. I wonder if there are any of us in this room who take the grace and mercy of God too lightly. I wonder if there are any of us who is secretly living a private life of sin. I would warn you, as Ezekiel did, God does not tolerate sin. He hates it. To the degree that you embrace a sinful life style, you will find God opposing you. I would invite you, just now, in the privacy of your own soul to repent and know the blessing of forgiveness. God is hard on sin because sin destroys the children that God loves. He is also gracious and merciful to those who repent. Let me allow you a moment to pray silently.

1. Many believers know the stories of the Bible but they do not know the story of the Bible. We do well to spend a little time each week, especially when we are in the Old Testament, setting the context of the story in light of the big picture.

2. Major prophets.

3. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel.

4. You might play with this until everyone can say them. If you think you can do it without embarrassing people too much, you might call on individuals to say them.

5. Take your time on this one-- I would spend a good ten minutes getting the text firmly pictured in people's minds. Talk about each object lesson. Make sure everyone can see it in their mind. Discuss the meaning of each object lesson as it comes along.

6. Like any parent, God does not like to punish his children. This is the final warning. He is, in essence, saying, "Now listen kids, this is your last and final warning, if you do not behave, there will be major consequences." By the way, there is a lesson here for teachers. The best teaching is visual, interactive, dramatic. If you would teach well, make use of the visual, the interactive, and the dramatic.

7. I am following the International Sunday School Lesson Plan. One good source of quarterly teacher and student material for this is the Baptist Sunday School Board at 1 800 458 2772. They have a wide variety of helpful literature. One thing you can do to increase the level of learning of the people in your class is to encourage them to do some reading out side of class each week. This way, when you come together, your discussion will be more than a "pooling of ignorance."

8. If God is against us, who can be for us?

9. My opinion is that most believers think of God's love as far weaker than it is and God's wrath a lot weaker than it is. Most people, believer's included, see God as oh-too-bland.

You Can Double Your Class in Two Years or Less. It is a basic book of encouragement for the building of Sunday School and Bible Study groups that can be greatly used of God to build great participation. The ideas are creative and exciting. I encourage you to give prayerful consideration to these significant pages. Every church can greatly benefit from reading You Can Double Your Class in Two Years or Less. It is a basic book of encouragement for the building of Sunday School and Bible Study groups that can be greatly used of God to build great participation. The ideas are creative and exciting. I encourage you to give prayerful consideration to these significant pages.">