1. What message was given to Ezekiel when one escaped out of Jerusalem?
The city is smitten: “And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten” (Ezekiel 33:21).
- It was foretold that one would escape and come to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 24:24-27).
- It was not that it was done in one day (II Kings 24:1-20 and Jeremiah 39:2-8).
- The city was smitten [slain] (II Chronicles 36:17-21).
2. What happened before the one that escaped came to Ezekiel?
Ezekiel’s mouth was opened that he was not a mute anymore: “Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb” (Ezekiel 33:22).
- The hand of the Lord upon Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:3, Ezekiel 3:14, Ezekiel 3:22, Ezekiel 8:1, Ezekiel 37:1, and Ezekiel 40:1).
- The Lord had made Ezekiel’s tongue cleave to the roof of his mouth prior to this so that he could not speak (Ezekiel 3:22-27).
- Ezekiel is not the only prophet with such experiences (Daniel 10:8-16 and Luke 1:5-66).
3. What was Ezekiel supposed to say to those that inhabited the wastes of the land that thought they, like Abraham, were going to gain the land?
That as sure as the Lord is alive, they would fall by the sword rather than inhabit the land: “(23) Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (24) Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance. (25) Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? (26) Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife: and shall ye possess the land? (27) Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. (28) For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through” (Ezekiel 33:23-28).
- Their confidence concerning Abraham’s inheritance was misplaced. No one can live off of another’s faith (Matthew 3:7-10, John 8:31-47, and Galatians 3:6-9).
- Their inherited land was contingent on their continued obedience to the Lord (Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Joshua 23:16).
- They sinfully ate blood (Genesis 9:4 and Leviticus 7:26-27).
- This tied to idolatry (Acts 15:29).
- Lifting up their eyes to their idols may have referred to worshipping the sun, etc. (Deuteronomy 4:19; cf. Jeremiah 8:1-2).
- As we’ve seen through Ezekiel several times, they were guilty of bloodshed (Ezekiel 9:9).
- Yet, as Jeremiah addressed, they thought they could continue in the benefits of being God’s people (Jeremiah 7:9-10).
- They took things of others by force (Micah 2:1-2).
- The Lord certified by His name and existence that they would be punished for their sins (Jeremiah 15:2-3 and Ezekiel 33:9).
4. What was the cause for the Lord making the land desolate?
All of their abominations was the cause of their land being made desolate: “Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed” (Ezekiel 33:29).
- Jeremiah 5:1-29
5. Were the people interested in hearing what Ezekiel had to say?
Yes, but they also were talking against him: “Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD” (Ezekiel 33:30).
- Curiosity to hear doesn’t mean the desire to obey (Acts 17:16-32).
6. After they heard what the Lord had Ezekiel say, were they going to obey those words?
No: “(31) And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. (32) And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not” (Ezekiel 33:31-32).
- They acted like they were the Lord’s people (Jeremiah 7:1-11, Isaiah 29:13, and Matthew 15:1-14).
- They would hear, but not do (Jeremiah 6:16-17, Luke 6:46, and James 1:21-27).
- They talked the talk, but would not live it (Romans 2:1-29).
- Their hearts were set on covetousness (Jeremiah 6:13).
- They were not looking to Ezekiel as a source of information to please God. They, like they did to Jesus (John 6:1-71), were just listening without intentions to obey.
7. When were the people going to realize a prophet had been among them?
When the words of Ezekiel came to pass: “And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (Ezekiel 33:33).
- As a faithful prophet, what Ezekiel said was going to come to pass (Jeremiah 28:9).
- Then, they would know (Deuteronomy 18:15-22).