The book of Ezekiel is notoriously strange. Ezekiel's visions, actions, and words are bizarre--sometimes utterly incomprehensible--to us. He lies on his side for over a year, he eats a scroll, he is asked to cook with human waste, and he cannot cry at his wife's death. Ezekiel's message seems unavailable to many because we simply do not have "ears to hear."
Or, perhaps, we don't have "eyes to see." Ezekiel paints pictures with wods. And what pictures they are! In chapter 1, Ezekiel describes strange "living creatures" carrying a "likeness of the image of the glory of the Lord." In chapters 16 and 23, he paints almost obscene sexually graphic images. And he portrays a cartoonish feast of vultures and jackals at a banquet eating the dismembered parts of Gog and his allies in chapter 39. Ezekiel's pictures attempt to provoke awe, curiosity, grief, horror, shock, and disgust. He wages an all-out attack on his audience's senses.
But why? Because God, through Ezekiel, uses every means to get his people's attention. God wants them to turn to him in love and obedience. All the stops are removed as God uses the whole realm of human experience to grab his audience by the heart. God loves his people with an intense covenant love, and he will try to move heaven and earth--and their hearts--to win their affection again. If only the human heart was as easy to move as heaven and earth!
The basic message of Ezekiel is not hard to understand. Like a parent, God punishes only to deliver from harm; his loving embrace comes at the end. In some ways, we can find reflections of ourselves in Ezekiel's ancient audience. And if we stand alongside them and truly listen (and truly see), we will come away the better for it. Perhaps God will woo us closer to himself through Ezekiel's words.About the Series
College Press NIV Commentary Series is formatted with a verse-by-verse explanation of the text. It was developed for both the scholar and the average Bible student. The Colllege Press NIV Commentary Series is the only full commentary set in print from the Restoration Movement. Each volume (41 volumes for the Old & New Testament) contains the following helpful features:
- Biblically sound exegesis
- Clear exposition
- Objective approach
- Concise introduction
- New International Version of the Bible
- Key word translation
- Easy to use design format
- Practical footnotes
- And more!
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