Obedience is a major element in the bible. Prophets like other people are supposed to be obedient. Not all prophets in the bible are obedient. This is makes it difficulty to follow Gods directives. Some of the prophets are obedient. For example, Ezekiel proves to be obedient in following Gods directives. In addition, Ezekiel is able to pay attention to details when following Gods directives. Most of the prophets do not have such characters. This in turn influences how the prophets follow Gods directives. Being obedient and paying attention makes Ezekiel unique. Obedience refers to quality of being obedient. The term obedience describes the act of carrying out commands and being activated.
Obedience is different from complicacy which is behavior that is influenced by other people. Obedience also differs from conformity. Conformity is the behavior intended to match that of the majority in the society. Most people in the society find it difficulty to carry out commands. This makes it difficulty for them to achieve the objects set. In addition, many prophets in the bible are not able to obey. Ezekiel has unique characters from other prophets. For example, Ezekiel is obedient and pays attention to details. The characters make it easy for Ezekiel to carry out Godâ€™s orders. This paper analyzes Ezekiels obedience and meticulous attention to details when following Gods orders.
Generally, obedience refers to the act of carrying out commands and following rules. In Christianity, obedience to Gold refers to guiding and submitting our conduct to the Lords standards , but not lour own stands. The human obedience should be revealed to the will of Gold. People can obey if they understand what God is communicating to them (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). Most prophets in the bible find it hard to follow Gods directives. This is because they are not obedient and they do not pay attention to what is said.
Lack of obedience results to divided attention as one does not know whether to carry out the directives or not. For instance, Joshua finds it difficulty to choose to serve the gods of his ancestors or the gods of the Amorites. In Joshua 24:15, God asks Joshua to select who to serve. Joshua is allowed to choose to serve the god of his ancestress or the gods of the Amorites if he finds serving the Lord undesirable(Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). Obedience and attention play a key role in Ezekiels life.
The book of Ezekiel is a book named after Ezekiel. The book analyzes the visions, prophecies that were proclaimed by Ezekiel during the first stages of the Babylonian exile (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002).In the book, Ezekiel asks people of Judah not to resist the Babylonian power, but to submit to captivity in obedience to God. In addition, Ezekiel encourages the people of Judah and gives them hope (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). For instance, Ezekiel told the people of Judah that the Lord has not abandoned them .He further told them that they would be relieved from captivity by God and will be ruled by Messiah.
Ezekiel believed in obedience. He argued that the problems Gods people face result from disobedience (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). Hence, he encouraged people to obey the Lord so as to overcome the challenges. He claimed that through obedience the exiled would be reversed (Malcolm, 2010). So, the Israelis had to return to Gold so as to overcome the challenges. Other prophets like Jeremiah did not believe in obedience and they did not agree with Ezekiels idea (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). They argued that the exiles should become part of the Babylonian culture.
They also argued that the people should pray to King Nebuchadnezzar II, who had defeated them. Further, the prophets argued that people should not listen to other prophets as they were telling lies. Ezekiel agreed with Jeremiah, but argued that the Jews should keep their religion and culture instead of being absorbed into Babylonian culture (Malcolm, 2010).Though most people see Ezekiel not being obedient, Ezekiel is obedient and always follows Godâ€™s directives. For example, most Christians argue that God demands perfect obedience to his law so as to be saved and considered upright. They argue that Ezekiel teaches the opposite.
This is because Ezekiel emphasizes on the need to confess and repent (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). In the book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel emphasized that the sins of the fathers would not be visited on to the children and every lone will be judged according to his or herd righteousness. In Ezekiel 18:21:22, Ezekioel argues that the wicked should turn from all the sins they have committed and keep Gods word (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002).
They should do what is lawful and right. Ezekiel finds it easy to follow the Gods word because he pays attention to what God says as shown in the verse above. Ezekiel does not encourage disobedience by telling people to repent, but he encourages people to obey Gods word. God requires perfect obedience and that is why he encourages people to repent (Wright, 2001).In addition, Ezekiel is obedient as he supports punishment of people who do not follow Gods word (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005).Ezekiel shows how God forgives people who repent their sins.
Ezekiel argues that repentance saves the sinners from death. This is because God forgives those who sin and repent. Hence, Ezekiel obedience enables him to follows Gods word. In the book, Ezekiel is concerned with the high rate of idolatry in the country(Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). Ezekiel equates the idolatry to sin of fornication. In addition, Ezekiel identifies other sins like moral and sexual corruption and the defilement of the Sabbath day. Other sins include the oppression of the weak in the society and bribery. Ezekiel encourages people to repent so as to prevent them from death (Podhoretz , 2002).
Moreover, God used Ezekiels obedience to fulfill his promises. There are three signs that result from Ezekiels obedience (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). The first sign is the sign of captivity of Jerusalem. During this time Ezekiel was commanded by God to carry out all his belongings in his house. in Ezekiel 12 :1-6 God asked Ezekiel to take his belonging and live the house among the midst of the rebellious house (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005).God used Ezekiel to help people understand his word.
This is evidenced in verse three. In verse three God instructed Ezekiel to prepare his baggage for exile and also instructed he to go into exile during the day so as to enable them understands. Ezekiel did not resist and he did as he had been commanded (Machinist, 2003). In Ezekiel 12:7, Ezekiel was asked to dig through the wall of his house as a sign of the future captivity of the citizens who were remaining together with their king Zedeikah. Ezekiel did not refuse as it is illustrated by the quotation below I did so, as I had been commanded. By day I brought out my baggage like the baggage of an exile.
Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands; I went out in the dark andthe baggage on my shoulder in their sight in this case Ezekiels obedience symbolized how the prince of Jerusalem would leave Jerusalem (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005).Further, Ezekiels obedience is evidenced in Ezekiel 24:16-18.Ikn Ezekiel 24:16-18, God takes away Ezekiels wife and asks him not to lament and shed tears. God wanted to test Ezekiels obedience by taking away his wife (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). In this case, God instructed Ezekiel not to mourn when his wife dikes. carried
Ezekiel did not fail to obey the instructions given. He did not mourn. God used Ezekiels obedience to deliver the captives in Israel. For example, Ezekielâ€™s obedience signified that the captives would loose things that were precious to them and mourn (Machinist, 2003). This would in turn help the captives understand who God is. The main reason God used cruel treatment to Ezekiel is to allow Ezekiel to act as a sign for Gods people. Ezekiel is supposed to refrain from mourning and this would in turn help the people refrain from mourning the destruction of the temple (Heschel, 2001).
Ezekielâ€™s obedience was also revealed in the sign of siege of Jerusalem. In Ezekiel 4 and 5, Ezekiel was supposed to construct a model of siege of Jerusalem. He would lie on his left side for 390 days to signify the iniquity of Israel (Syswerda, 2006). In addition, Ezekiel would lie on his right side for 40 days to signify the inequity of Judah. Moreover, Ezekiel was required to eat food that was defiled by being cooked over animal waste. At first, Ezekiel did not agree to eat the defiled food.
Ezekiel argued that eating the defiled food will violate his commitment to purity. Then God asked him to bake the bread over a cow manure, but not human waste (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). God used Ezekielâ€™s obedience to signify the defiled food which Israelis would be forced to eat. Ezekiel paid attention to all the instructions given and did what was required. Ezekiel walked down God’s road alone. Ezekiel was not influenced by any one to make the decisions, but he obeyed what God said (Heschel, 2001).
In Ezekiel 2:3-5, the lord send Ezekiel to the people of Israel and to nations of rebels and people who rebelled against him to preach his word. This is because the people of Israel had transgressed against the Lord and they were stubborn. The Lord sends Ezekiel to say to them that he is the lord God. Additionally, God asks Ezekiel to obey so as to allow the prophecy to happen (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). In Ezekiel 37:1, God asked Ezekiel to prophesy to the breast and also prophesy to the son of man.
Also, he was asked to prophesy to the breath. Ezekiel did not hesitate, but he prophesied immediately and breath came into them and they lived and stood. This is shown by the following quotation (Heschel, 2001).Also He said to me, Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army(Gowan 1998).
Lastly, the Ezekiel obedience and attention to Gods word allowed him to see the temple (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). Ezekiel was able to see the detailed description of the temple. He was also able to see the architectural plan and the dimension of the temped. In addition, Ezekiel saw the building materials and holly days. Moreover, Ezekiel saw the rooms for priests, ritual practices and division of the land of the Israel tribe(The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002).
Obedience is important as it helps human beings overcome challenges. People should be obedient to the Lord just like Ezekiel obeyed the lord. James Morrison in his article the importance of obedience analyzes the importance of Ezekiel obedience and obedience of other people in overcoming the challenges. Hence, Ezekiel finds it easy to obey Gods standard because he knows what the Lord is communicating to him (Blenkinsopp, 1996).
In conclusion, Ezekiels has unique characters from other prophets. The characters help in following Gods directives. For example, Ezekiel obeys and pays attention to Gods commands. God has used Ezekiel to fulfill his promises to the people. For example, the Lord has used Ezekiel to teach the importance of obedience and repentance. God encourages perfect obedience. In addition, God has used Ezekiel to fulfill his prophesies to his people .For example, God uses Ezekiel to deliver his people from captivity by construction the model of the siege of Jerusalem and also eating defiled food .Ezekiel obeys God orders. Obedience is an important concept as illustrated by Ezekiel. Obedience helps people follow Gods directives and repentance. In the modern society, people are expected to be obedient so as to see Gods miracles. For example, Ezekiel saw Gods miracles through obedience and paying attention to Gods command. Thus, the book Ezekiel teaches the importance of obedience and attention in understanding Gods commands and bringing people near God.
Blenkinsopp, J. A History of Prophecy in Israel. Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.
Gowan, D. Theology of the Prophetic Books: The Death and Resurrection of Israel. Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.
Heschel. The Prophets. Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2001.
Machinist, P. Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East. Society of Biblical Literature, 2003
Malcolm,Wesley,J.Humble Obedience Leverages Your Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: A Compliment to Your Daily Bible Study.AuthorHouse, 2010
The Bible Exposition Commentary,.& Warren W..The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament: The Prophets, Volume 3.David C. Cook, 2002
Pierce,Chujck.D.,&Sytsedma,Rebecca,W.God’s Now Time for Your Life: Enter Into Your Prophetic Destiny.Gospel Light, 2005
Podhoretz, N. The Prophets: Who They Were, What They Are. Free Press, 2002
Wright, C. The Message of Ezekiel: A New Heart and a New Spirit. Intervarsity Press, 2001
Syswerda,Jean .E.The Women’s Devotional Guide to the Bible: A One-Year Plan for Studying, Praying, and Responding to God’s Word.Thomas Nelson Inc, 2006
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