Ezekiel Chapter 2
Ezekiel 2:1 “And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.”
In the last lesson, we saw Ezekiel lying face down in total adoration of God. Now, we see that God speaks to Ezekiel, and tells him to stand up. In the presence of God, the only time you would be permitted to stand, would be at God’s request.
“Son of man”: A term used to refer to Ezekiel over 93 times in the book. The use of the title seems to emphasize the humanity of the prophet and all of mankind, who are separated by a great gulf from the Holy God. It suggests that in contrast to the glorious and mighty Lord and the angelic beings who convey His throne, he is a human being. Yet Ezekiel is a special “son of man,” the man of the hour, chosen, spiritually endowed, and delegated by God.
God speaks to mankind through the mouth of prophets many times. Jesus called Himself, Son of man on several occasions. Jesus represented God the Father to mankind. God calls Ezekiel, Son of man, here, because He will speak to mankind through Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 2:2 “And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.”
The Spirit, which we saw in the living creatures, is now in Ezekiel. We remember that this was speaking of the Spirit in the Word of God. This Spirit brings understanding to Ezekiel. This Spirit gave Ezekiel the power to stand and listen to the Word God speaks. He listens, not only with his ears, but with his understanding, as well.
The Spirit empowers Ezekiel to perform His ministry, as He speaks to him. Other occasions of such special empowerment are found (in Numbers 24:2; Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 1 Sam. 10:10; 16:13-14; 19:20; 2 Chron. 15:1; Zechariah 4:6). Before Christ’s first coming, the Spirit did not indwell all believers as now, but He “moved” and “came upon them” (see 2 Peter 1:21).
What God commands a servant to do; He gives power to fulfill by His Spirit. This pictures the selective empowering by the Holy Spirit to enable an individual for special service to the Lord, which occurred frequently in the Old Testament.
Ezekiel 2:3 “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, [even] unto this very day.”
The fact that they are spoken of as Israel here, could possibly be speaking to all of God’s family. This message is not just to Judah. This is to those who rebelled against God.
Nation is singular here. Their punishment was not because their fathers sinned, but because they sinned.
Ezekiel’s mission was to a rebellious nation. The sobering reality of the Babylonian exile had not yet had its intended effect.
Ezekiel 2:4 “For [they are] impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.”
“Impudent”, in this particular case means cruel or hard hearted. “Stiffhearted” is a strange word, which means strong, or violent. The condition of our hearts is what we really are. We see then, that these people had a heart far away from God. Because of their evil hearts God tells Ezekiel to say, “Thus saith the Lord GOD”.
The Lord God is a title of God used some 217 times in the book, while used elsewhere in the Old Testament only 103 times. The Hebrew expression is Adonai Yahweh. The first word emphasizes God’s sovereignty; the second emphasizes His eternal existence and character as the God of covenant, history and ethics.
Ezekiel 2:5 “And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they [are] a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.”
These people are so hard hearted; they probably will not accept the message that Ezekiel is bringing them. When the prophesy becomes reality, they will know, beyond doubt, they had been warned by a prophet of God. He tells Ezekiel, perhaps they will listen, and perhaps they will not.
In any case the people cannot plead ignorance.
Ezekiel is sent with a message to the children of Israel. Many might treat his message with contempt, yet they should know by the event that a prophet had been sent to them. God will be glorified, and his word made honorable.
Ezekiel 2:6 “And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns [be] with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they [be] a rebellious house.”
Be not afraid is spoken three times to Ezekiel to encourage him to fulfill God’s mission.
Briars, thorns, scorpions are figures of speech God used to describe the people of Judah whose obstinate rejection of His Word was like the barbs of thorns and stings of scorpions to Ezekiel. The wicked were often so called (in 2 Samuel 23:6; Song of Solomon 2:2; and Isaiah 9:18).
Many times, prophets of God are in the midst of people who do not believe. This was exactly the way it was with Ezekiel. They will say ugly things to Ezekiel, but he is not to fear them. They may threaten him, but God has a hedge around him, and they cannot harm him. It appears that even their looks were filled with hate.
Those who will do anything to purpose in the service of God, must not fear men. Wicked men are as briers and thorns; but they are nigh unto cursing, and their end is to be burned.
Verses 7-8: “Thou shall speak my words” is an introduction to the content of Ezekiel’s message (presented in 2:8-3:11).
Ezekiel 2:7 “And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they [are] most rebellious.”
All of their angry words and evil looks are not to stop Ezekiel from bringing them the prophecy that God has given him for them. Ezekiel is to speak every word, just as God has given it to him. It really does not matter whether they listen, or not.
The prophet must be faithful to the souls of those to whom he was sent. All who speak from God to others, must obey his voice.
This reminds me so much of Noah, who preached the whole time he was building the ark, and no one listened to his message. They heard it with their physical ears, but did not take heed to the message.
Rebellion was the very next thing to witchcraft in God’s sight. Ministers today may bring the truth to their people, and still not be accepted. Just because these people do not listen, does not take the burden of prophesying away from Ezekiel. It is his obligation to bring God’s message. It is not his obligation to make them accept the message.
Ezekiel 2:8 “But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.”
The eating of the Word of God was important to Ezekiel. It was to be deep within him. God is telling Ezekiel to receive this message into his innermost being. He must not be like these rebellious children of Israel, who will not accept God’s message. We must also (eat), the Word of God everyday. We must take God’s Word into our innermost being, and do what that Word says.
Ezekiel was to obey the command, not literally eating a scroll, but in a spiritual sense by receiving God’s message so that it became an inward passion.
We will see in the next Scripture, that Jeremiah ate the Word of God also.
Jeremiah 15:16 “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”
Ezekiel is to be strong in the Word of God in a land where God’s people have turned against the truth.
Ezekiel 2:9 “And when I looked, behold, a hand [was] sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book [was] therein;”
This roll of a book is actually a scroll used in those days. The hand of God has sent this roll to Ezekiel.
Actually, the Bible is sent to each of us as well. God is the Author of the Bible.
2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Ezekiel 2:10 “And he spread it before me; and it [was] written within and without: and [there was] written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.”
This roll written on the front and back lets us know of the fullness of the message from God that it contained. There was not room enough on one side to write it all. This was similar to the message of prophecy that Baruch wrote of the Words God had put in Jeremiah’s mouth. Both rolls contained sorrows of the prophecy, the two messengers were to bring to the rebellious house of Israel. The lamentations, (audible expression of sorrow) mourning, and woe would come, because they would refuse the message that Ezekiel brought them from God.
Ezekiel Chapter 2 Questions
1. What did God call Ezekiel in verse 1?
2. What did He tell Ezekiel to do?
3. When is the only time to stand in the presence of God?
4. How does God generally speak to mankind?
5. What entered Ezekiel, when God spoke?
6. What does this do for Ezekiel?
7. What is different about Ezekiel’s hearing?
8. Who did God send him to?
9. Why were they punished?
10. What kind of children are the Israelites called in verse 4?
11. How is Ezekiel to begin his message to them?
12. What does “impudent” in verse 4 mean?
13. What does “stiffhearted” mean?
14. How will the people receive Ezekiel’s message from God to them?
15. When will they know for sure that Ezekiel was a prophet?
16. What were the people called in verse 6?
17. Why should he not fear them?
18. Their angry words and looks were like _________.
19. What does the rejection of Ezekiel’s message remind the author of?
20. What is the obligation of Ezekiel?
21. What unusual thing does God tell Ezekiel to do in verse 8?
22. What is He really telling him to do?
23. What was in the hand God sent to Ezekiel?
24. What is it very much like today?
25. Who is the author of the Bible?
26. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by what?
27. What was written on the roll?
28. What other message was this similar to?