Showing posts from November, 2016

How bad can it get and still be good?

We're continuing in Ezekiel this week, living among the exiles as they wait for the other shoe to fall. The story kind of begs the question, how bad can it get and still be in God's hands. Ezekiel had a faith we might all need to share, and message we might all need to heed. (36) Prophet to the Exiles - Ezekiel We’ll look at Ezekiel 12 later, as it describes a visual parable of a captive people’s escape. For now, we continue looking at why the people are captive in the first place. Ezekiel has 4 years ( Read Ezekiel 20:1 , 591 BC) in which to explain to the people why they can’t go home and won’t have a home to go back to. Jerusalem is under attack. How do we defend ourselves when we feel attacked? 1.        Read Ezekiel 13:1-7 How might someone recognize if prophecy comes from their own heart rather than from God? By the time it’s fulfilled might be too late. 2.        What do the false prophets tell people to do or not do? Are these real or metaphorical walls

What do you do when the enemy's at the gates?

We're still reading Jeremiah and Ezekiel, still waiting for the city to fall, and still seeing lots of parallels with the present day as we continue our studies of prophets. With the enemy at the gates, Jeremiah's fortunes go up and down (but mostly down), and Ezekiel, faraway among the exiles, is given visions of disaster in the guise of hope. (35) Last Days of Jerusalem Things aren’t going well for Jerusalem or for Jeremiah, and the glory will soon depart from the Temple. As we head toward that event, let’s start with a familiar story of Jeremiah imprisoned again. 1.        Read Jeremiah 38:1-4 Why do they feel so threatened by Jeremiah’s words? What makes us feel threatened? 2.        Read Jeremiah 38:5-6. When we think of Jeremiah’s imprisonments, which one do we remember first? 3.        Without reading on, do you expect this to be a short or a long imprisonment? We know Jeremiah has been prophesying the end of the city, but he’s also been prophesying go

Are Fortresses Still Falling?

We're still looking at the time just before the fall of Jerusalem in our studies of Biblical prophets. Ezekiel preaches to the exiles. Jeremiah preaches to the remnant. The king struggles between political alliances and religious fears. The rich try to hold on to their power... Is the world so different today? Anyway, here's where we've got to in looking at a fortress about to fall. (34) Falling Fortresses We looked at Ezekiel’s calling last time. He is told to pass on God’s message to the exiles, even though people won’t listen. How would we feel, receiving such a downbeat message? Speaking a message that no one listens to? What if we’re writing music that no one will sing? Writing books that no one will read? How do we tell when God’s message is personal and when it’s meant to be shared? How does Ezekiel 3:16-21 make you feel about our calling to be God’s representatives? God’s prophecies prove true, of course. Jerusalem will fall, and the exile will be long.