Ezekiel 4:The Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized
1 "And you, son of man, take a brick and lay it before you, and engrave on it a city, even Jerusalem.
2 And put siege works against it, and build a siege wall against it, and cast up a mound against it. Set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it all around.
3 And you, take an iron griddle, and place it as an iron wall between you and the city; and set your face toward it, and let it be in a state of siege, and press the siege against it. This is a sign for the house of Israel.
4 "Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment.
5 For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel.
6 And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year.
7 And you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with your arm bared, and you shall prophesy against the city.
8 And behold, I will place cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from one side to the other, till you have completed the days of your siege.
9 "And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it.
10 And your food that you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from day to day you shall eat it.
11 And water you shall drink by measure, the sixth part of a hin; from day to day you shall drink.
12 And you shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung."
13 And the LORD said, "Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them."
14 Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I have never defiled myself. From my youth up till now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has tainted meat come into my mouth."
15 Then he said to me, "See, I assign to you cow's dung instead of human dung, on which you may prepare your bread."
16 Moreover, he said to me, "Son of man, behold, I will break the supply of bread in Jerusalem. They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and they shall drink water by measure and in dismay.
17 I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and rot away because of their punishment.
Things to think about…
1.The false hopes of the exiles in Babylon after 597BC were already spoken against by the prophet Jeremiah. But here Ezekiel is told to build a model of Jerusalem out of clay with siege works and battering rams, Ez 4:3. This is exactly what happened in 587BC. Babylon took hold of Jerusalem. The walls and temple were destroyed. We often put our trust in our jobs, or our health or our finances. At the end of the day, earthly strength will never do. Only God's salvation lasts. This is only found in Christ. Sin is obviously the thing that lays siege to our souls. Give thanks to the Lord right now for your salvation. He has destroyed the destroyer.
2.Ezekiel had to lie on his left side for 390 days and right side for 40 days, Ez 4:5,6. This would be how long Israel and Judah would bear their punishment. This brings them to around the time the Maccabees came to power and deliverance happened for a season around 160BC. Either way Jerusalem and Israel would be oppressed. Ezekiel's arm was bare, indicating the Lord's arm would be bare and outstretched against Jerusalem. It is a tragedy when the Lord's arm is against His people. This has happened at various times in the Church's history. The need to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth is not just a good idea, but a requirement.
3.The Lord bound up Ezekiel all this time so he couldn't move, vs 8, but he also provided for all his needs, Ez 4:9-12. Do you ever feel constrained and uncomfortable with the Lord's will for your life? Perhaps you are uncomfortable with your present financial situation. Or perhaps your health is constraining you. God is bigger. What are the lessons you are to learn in the midst of your period of confinement? Ezekiel was not enjoying himself here. Sometimes being a Christian and following the Lord's will is simply hard work and the reward comes much later.
4.Have you ever felt your sentence from the Lord was just as Ezekiel had experienced in Ez 4:16, 17? What was the lasting fruit from your experience? Only the hottest fires produce the finest gold.
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
Sunday morning's message on "You are God's gift to me" from Song of Songs 1:9-2:7.
1.These words are flowery and use poetic language. Have you ever felt this way about a person where you only had eyes for them? What was going through your mind and heart?
2.Often our first love is filled with endorphins and chemicals that keep us in an infatuation, honeymoon type state. Studies have shown these wear off after 18months to 3 years. The young person that you fell in love with no longer has the same appeal. What do you do to maintain romance and affection in your marriage?
3.The Song of Solomon has some resemblances to our connection with Christ as His bride. The Apostle John speaks about the Ephesian church while doctrinally pure had lost their first love, Rev 2:4,5. Jesus tells them to repent. What must we repent of when we wain in our love for Christ and the gospel.
4.Pray for a zeal in your closest relationships. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you with His gifts, love and grace?
1.This Saturday's men's breakfast
2.CBC's ministries for this term
3.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
4.Next Sunday's messages. Ezekiel 3"Whose watching over me?" in the morning, "Israel – the miracle nation"– Axiom 6pm.
5.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop.
6.Recharge – Pray for someone to take over Recharge.
7.Church finances – Pray all expenses are met and that we can again support Digital Harvest and One for Israel.
8.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
1.New ministries being considered – Outreach opportunities and Church services
2.Unity, love and peace
1.Denning group - Hosting morning tea on Sunday morning.
2.Playpatch – Back this week. Carly Backwell leads this ministry.
3.Recharge– back this week. Pete Alback leads high schoolers from 7-9pm Friday nights at church..
4.Kids at Church – Primary school aged children.
5.Members Meeting – 18th August after morning service.
6.Mapleton Women's retreat – Fri August 23rd- Sun Aug 25th. Cost $175. More details here https://www.anewconference.org.au/conferences/mapleton
This month's catechism question...
Q. 2. In whose name should we pray?
A. Only in the name of Christ.
Bible Reference – John14:13&14; John 16:23&24; Heb.4:14-16.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3