Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 12

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-28

  1. Intro:
    1. Before introducing Charles Colson, the host of a popular news interview program played a taped telephone message by 2 Christians who had fallen into sin. It was an attempt to embarrass Colson & make ineffective anything he would say. Knowing this, Colson responded with fervor: "There have been some dreadful mistakes, but why judge all Christians by the few who abuse their positions? There are 350,000 churches across America where people's spiritual needs are being met. Thousands of missionaries are living in conditions you and I couldn't. Thousands of volunteers are working in prisons, soup kitchens, & rescue missions.That's the church in action."
    2. Ezekiel gives us 2 More action sermons.
      1. The prophet lived the message he was declaring.
  2. ACTION SERMONS! (1-8)
    2. THE SYMBOL! (1-7)
    3. Ezekiel is told to pack his belongings on his shoulders & dig a tunnel through the city wall.
    4. (3) In their sight – repeated in vs.3,4,5,6.
    5. (5) Dig through the wall – They couldn’t go out the front gate when attacked.
    6. THE SIGNIFICANCE! (8-16)
    7. This depicts how Jerusalem’s frightened citizens will attempt to escape the Babylonians siege.
      1. His evening actions depicted King Zedekiah’s futile attempt to escape
    8. 2nd ILLUSTRATION – SHAKE & QUAKE! (17-20)
    9. THE SYMBOL! (17,18)
    10. Ezekiel is tremble & shudder with fear as he eats his food & drinks his water.
    11. THE SIGNIFICANCE! (19-20)
    12. This depicts how the people of Jerusalem will soon eat their food & drink their water.
    13. 2 PROVERBS! (21-28)
    14. THE OLD PROVERB! (21,22)
    15. “Those who predict judgment & doom are wrong…each passing day proves it!”
    16. THE NEW PROVERB! (23-28)
    17. “These predictions are true! The coming day of destruction will prove it!”
    18. Sounds just like the mockers of 2 Pet.3:3,4 “scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
    19. Application:
    20. God might not ask us to do bizarre things as he did Ezekiel, but can others tell by your life-style that you believe Jesus is coming, & that he will one day judge the world?
    21. Q: Is your life an action sermon that catches the attention of people who are blind & deaf to God’s truth? [See, “I am a sign to you” vs.11]
    22. Q: Are we living our message? (not just believing it…though it starts there)
      1. Recommit to loving the Lord, & living & speaking the gospel.
      2. Here are 3 components that form a holy trinity in our Christian life:
      3. Gospel, Culture, & Church.
    23. Gospel (Loving our Lord) – The heart of the Scriptures.
      1. Consists of Jesus’ death, burial, & Resurrection to save sinners.
    24. Culture (Loving our neighbor) – We have various cultures in which people live their lives.
      1. The gospel must be fitted to (not altered for) particular people, times, & circumstances so that evangelism will be effective. [ex: JW, Jews]
      2. Culturally liberal, but theologically conservative!”
    25. ​​​​​​​Church (Loving our brother) – Where people are built up in their faith & knitted together in loving community.
      1. You must have all 3 – Try removing one element.
    26. Gospel + Culture - Church = Parachurch [para=with, alongside; but many aren’t!]
      1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Some are frustrated w/the church & try to bring the gospel into the culture…w/o the church! (Radical Reformission; Driscoll.)
      2. They fail often times to connect their converts to the church.
      3. They learn to get others saved, but often they are theologically immature.
      4. They lack benefits of a church culture.
        1. (i.e.) Since age specific, miss out on all generations to help navigate the transitions of life.
      5. The Danger? – Love the Lord, Love their neighbor, but not their brothers.
    27. Culture + Church - Gospel = Liberalism; Liberal Christianity!
      1. ​​​​​​​Some are so concerned w/being culturally relevant that, though they are deeply involved in the culture, they neglect the gospel.
      2. They convert people to the church & to good works, but not to Jesus!
      3. They’ll talk about institutional sin but shy to speak of personal sin.
      4. The Danger? –Love their neighbor & their brothers, at the expense of loving their Lord.
    28. Church + Gospel - Culture = Fundamentalism
      1. ​​​​​​​Some churches are more into their church & its traditions, buildings, & politics than the gospel.
        1. They know the gospel theologically, but they rarely take it out of their church.
      2. It’s debatable whether they love Jesus & lost people in their culture, as much as they love their own church!
        1. They desire to bring other Christians in, more than sending anyone out.
      3. Overtime, they can become so inwardly focused that the gospel is replaced with rules, legalism, & morality.
        1. How many more stories do we need of children who grow up in church being forced to act like Christians, rather than being won to the heart of God? Not do what’s rt out of fear. Do what’s rt out of love!
      4. The Danger? – Love the Lord, Love their brothers, but not their neighbors.
      5. It was God who created cultures (Babel, when He scattered them);
      6. It was God who worked through cultures (like Babylon, Israel, Nineveh, & Egypt to redeem his people);
      7. It was God who came to earth & lived in a culture.
      8. It was God who at Pentecost proclaimed the gospel in the languages & dialects of the many cultures that were represented.
    29. Understand a Christians mission:
      1. Be close to Jesus. (This transforms our hearts to love what He loves, hate what He hates)
      2. Pursue relationships w/lost people in hopes of connecting w/them &, subsequently, connecting them w/Him.
      3. This actually protects us from sin, because the way to avoid sin is not to avoid sinners, but to stick close to Jesus!
    30. Christian is your life an action sermon?
    31. Choose to live for Jesus! – Choose this day whom you’ll serve… yourself or Him?
    32. Do something! – Find your gifts, strengths, & use them to the glory of God. Use them don’t wait!
    33. Risk! – The only thing worse than dying is living a boring life.
      1. Often times, the longer someone is a Christian, the greater their tendency to diminish the Jesus of the Bible until he becomes “a predictable little God who ceases to surprise them!”
    34. Realize! - When you sign up to be a Christian “your part is to follow, His part is to lead the way!”
      1. And, everybody doesn’t get the same package!
      2. Everyone doesn’t get the Premium Plan “get rich, get comfortable, get secure, get safe, get well…when you get God!”
      3. Some get the John plan while others get the Peter plan!
        1. After Jesus told Peter how he’d die for Him, Peter responded, “But Lord, what about this man?(John)” Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
      4. There is no cattle call. - It’s a life-&-death proposition. [He bids you come & die!(to self), Dietrich Bonheoffer] He doesn’t call you to a life that everyone else will live.He’s not calling you to the same path that every other follower of Christ will walk. Your life is unique before God.Your path is yours & yours alone! (Barbarian Way; Erwin McManus; pg.36,37.)
    35. Our church’s mission:
      1. ​​​​​​​To Love God completely;
      2. To Love people authentically;
      3. To make disciples globally.
        1. Jesus started His ministry by saying, “Come, follow Me!” His closing instruction, “Go!”
    36. Ezekiel lived out the messages he was delivering…Will we do the same today? A clay mold is a fragile thing; but the molten metal poured into it may retain the shape so given ages after the mold has crumbled into dust.The plate prepared by a photographer may be exposed to the light only a few seconds; but the impression then caught may be retained for many years.Flowers are frail, and soon drop into the ground; but they leave behind a ripening seed that may perpetuate the species forever.Such is the influence of our present life upon our future life.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Ezekiel 12". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.