He was a priest by training but a prophet by God's call during Israel's Babylonian exile. He was a descendant of the influential priestly family of Zadok. He received and shared unusual even bizarre visions that were very vivid and delivered powerful messages. His messages reminded the people of the sin that led to their captivity but also offering hope of national restoration.
During the time of Ezekial's ministry, it was a period of great prophetic activity. Ezekiel joined the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel and spoke to the nation's needs at the time of the Babylonian captivity. It was an era of upheaval and uprooting for the southern kingdom of Judah. Ezekiel became a tough and courageous man so he could reach a hard and stubborn people.
We can learn the following lessons from his life:
- Even the repeated failures of his people will not prevent God's plan for the world from being fulfilled.
- Each person's response to God determines his or her eternal destiny.
- God has people through whom he can work even in seemingly hopeless situations.
Ezekiel strongly teaches personal responsibility:
'Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right. Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.' Ezekiel 18:4-5,9
Ezekiel's story is told in the book of Ezekiel and 2 Kings 24:10-17.
until next time...nel