Friday, July 21, 2017

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 23, 2017

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(Feed on GOD’s word, and then, proclaim HIS message)
(Ezekiel 2:1-3:14)

   In Ezekiel chapter 1, the prophet Ezekiel gives us a vivid description of his, now famous, “vision of living beings”, and he relates to us how a voice, from a man-like figure, which stood high above a throne, spoke to him while he stood on the banks of the Kebar River in the land of Babylon. This all happened during the fifth year of King Jehoichin’s captivity in Babylon, and now, Ezekiel himself had also been transported there by the Babylonians, into captivity.  
    In Ezekiel chapter 2, after seeing the vision, that voice that came from the man-like figure that stood above the throne in that vision, called out to Ezekiel and commanded him to “Stand up”, referring to him as “son of man”. The HOLY SPIRIT of GOD then entered into the young prophet and set him on his feet. He listened carefully as “the divine looking figure from GOD” gave him his calling and commission to speak to the, still rebellious people, of Israel (Ezekiel 2:1-5).
    In the book of Ezekiel the term “son of man” is used 90 times by GOD to address HIS servant Ezekiel. It is most likely used by GOD to remind Ezekiel of his human frailty, and his connection to the people that he was being commissioned to prophesy to. In the New Testament, the term “SON of man” is given to JESUS to emphasize HIS humanity, and HIS dependence on the HOLY SPIRIT of HIS FATHER GOD.
   True prophets of GOD are called to demonstrate GOD’s message with their whole life and body, and only to a lesser degree, with their mouth. This is because the LORD knows that people will not listen to HIS prophets any more than they are willing to listen to HIM, through the reading of HIS Word. And so GOD makes HIS prophet just as hard and stubborn as the people whom HE sends them to communicate with (Ezekiel 3:6-9). GOD commands that HIS true prophets be willing to demonstrate HIS message to the people through physical acts, rather than words, most of the time (Ezekiel 3:24-27& Ezekiel  chapters 4-5). Even when GOD sent JESUS to communicate with us, most of HIS demonstrating was done through HIS behavior and the use of HIS body to personify the message of GOD.
    In the biblical Greek, the term used for “word” is “logos” (log-os), and it, more or less, emphasizes the message of that which is spoken. Our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST personifies the Word of GOD, in the flesh. As a 100% human in the flesh, HE is trying to get us to understand that one of the key reasons for HIS first advent was and is, for “communication”. JESUS is the “Spoken Word”, and “Living Expression” of all that which GOD ever sought to communicate to us about HIMSELF. JESUS is both, “identical” to the GOD of the Old Testament concept, and yet, is distinct from HIM.
    In Ezekiel 3, verses 1-3, the voice of GOD tells Ezekiel to “eat what I AM giving you __ eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel” (NLT). Ezekiel opened his mouth and the divine figure fed him the scroll and Ezekiel said it tasted as sweet as honey in his mouth (v.4).
    Before Ezekiel went on the spiritual journey that he was about to embark upon with the divine figure of GOD, it was necessary for him to be spiritually fed to the full with the Word of GOD himself. He had to let the Word of GOD sink deep down into his own heart before he could go out and impart the Word of GOD to others.
    And after Ezekiel had received the Word of GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT “lifted him up” and took him away. And even though Ezekiel says he left in bitterness and turmoil, the LORD had a strong hold on him. The HOLY SPIRIT ultimately set Ezekiel down in the midst of a colony of Jewish exiles in Tel-abib, and he sat there for seven days being overwhelmed and marinated in the Word that GOD had so freshly stored in his heart.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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