Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

From Priest To Prophet August 6, 2010

Filed under: Ezekiel,Uncategorized — womenembracingfaith @ 4:40 am
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Ezekiel was 26, married, and serving as a Priest in the temple at Jerusalem when the Babylonian raids began.  His service in the temple facilatated the offering of sacrifices of sheep, bulls, goats, pigeons.  It was bloody work.  The ashes from the altar had to be swept, the fire maintained, the animals slaughtered, the basins cleaned and refilled, the priests’ portions of the meat cut-up and distributed.  It was his service so that people could be right with God again in spite of their sin individually and corporately.  The whole process prefigured the promised Savior’s death as a payment for the sins of God’s people.  Ezekiel had been instructed in, and might have had access to, the scrolls containing Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, some of  Psalms and Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah.  His work as a Priest was a respected position.  Unfortunately, many of the Priests strayed far from what the written Word of God actually said. Their lives did not measure up to the moral precepts nor did they warn the people of the consequences of ignoring the sovereignty and holiness of God.

Those consequences began with the Babylonian raids upon Judah starting in 597 BC.  Ezekiel and his wife soon were living in exile near a canal flowing into the Euphrates River in Southern Iraq.  (This was what God had told Habbakak would happen.years.) It was at this point that Ezekiel’s job description changed dramatically.  God appeared to him, showed him a glimpse of His glory and holiness, and called him to become a Prophet.  He was to listen to what God said ”expressly” to him and tell it to the people whether they listened or not. (1:3;3:7). It is quite a story.  Read it in Ezekiel 1-3.

Protestant Reformers defined a prophet as one who heard God’s word directly from God, and then spoke them to the people.  A priest officiated in the temple worship, but a prophet actually added to the revelation from God.  It was an awesome experience for Ezekiel and a big jump in his responsibility.  What a task he had before him now. 

Since a prophet added to God’s revelation of Himself and His plans for providing a Savior and a final judgment, the Reformers stressed that Revelation completed the revelation of God. After all, the Lord Jesus Christ had come, died, and risen just as was promised all through the Bible.  So the Reformers believed that there was no vision or experience after John’s that would add to the completed revelation of who God is and His plans for salvation and justice.  This is important as we look at the claims made by the Mormons, Moslems, or even some Evangelicals whose vision or experience is used to add to what we know about God.

“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book,….” (Revelation 22:18).

 Application

Who are you listening to?  Is it someone who claims to have “special revelation?”  Or someone who follows someone who makes that claim?  Know what your teachers believe.

I hope this helps you as you read Ezekiel these final days of summer.

You can always ask me questions on Facebook (Carol Cook Brandt).  Just send me a message.  I try to keep this blog focused on the Scriptures, but questions and comments are welcomed on Facebook.

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With a Song

Filed under: Uncategorized — womenembracingfaith @ 3:20 am

 FOR THE CHILDREN:Psalm 23 and Ezekiel 34

“The Lord is my sheperd, shepherd, shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd, and I am His lamb!”  (Great Commission Publications, Summer, ages 2-3).

Complex biblical theology can be put simply and directly.  Even two year olds can listen and repeat a simple phrase put to music.  Let them echo it after you.  Put it to a tune you and they can remember. A CD and songbook can be ordered at www.gcp.org to give you some help.  Hold your Bible as you read Psalm 23 or Ezekiel 34:15-16 so you model reliance on the Bible’s truth.

“I will feed my flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God.  I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up what was broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat the the strong, and feed them in judgment.”

Then act out ways a shepherd looks after his sheep.  My family only has to watch our collie as he alertly tends the grandchildren…another everyday application of a complex biblical principle…   Keep your eyes open for your family’s way of visualizing this truth.

“Always a Psalm in the mouth, Always Christ in the heart.” (An ancient Christian saying)