Tag Archives: Babylon

B90X2012 “Ezekiel”

Without a doubt if there is anyone in the Bible any more dramatic than Ezekiel it has yet to be seen.  His vision, making maps of Jerusalem, eating scrolls, lying on his side for over a year, then flipping over and lying on the other for 40 days, eating Ezekiel 4:9 bread, shaving his head with a sword, cooking with human dung (changed to cow fortunately), cooking pots and meat, repetition of words and pictures, not mourning for his wife’s death, useless vines, comparing Jerusalem to prostitutes, it goes on and on.

No other author is more exact than Ezekiel.  Everyone of his stories is in perfect order chronologically, unlike Jeremiah.  There are thirteen date stamps recorded by Ezekiel through out the book.  Nearly each one of them can be narrowed to an exact day.

Ezekiel is part of the second wave of deportees who make the trek across the desert to Babylon.  Daniel and his friends are in the first one around 605 B.C. after the first attack by Nebuchadnezzar.  Ezekiel goes around 598 B.C. and speaks from Babylon to his friends there regarding what happened to them and what will happen in the next thirteen years back home, precisely what Jeremiah is living through.  Ezekiel names names and places with uncanny accuracy.

Whenever one studies a book, patterns are looked at, words, combinations of words, structure, etc.. Those different studies provide information on purpose and intent of the author.  And as we have seen and focused on throughout B90X, what is being said about Father in all of these words?  There is a signature statement found 53 times in Ezekiel of the 63 uses in all of the Old Testament- those words are “will know that I am the LORD.”  It is super obvious to us that Father is loud and clear in His message of covenant and faithfulness between He and His nation.  But for some reason, to them it was not so clear.  Ezekiel is making it as obvious as possible the God is God and attention should be paid His direction.  Knowledge leads to response.  When one truly knows Father, hopefully, an appropriate response follows.

“Ezekiel is ruthless in his exposure of sin in all its gruesome abhorrence.  Reading his language from the comfortable distance of those not directly targeted by his rhetoric, we may at times wince at the coarseness of his imagery or query the one-sidedness of his portrayal of Israel’s whole history (e.g. in chs. 16, 20, and 23). Once we recognize, however, that Ezekiel was engaged, not in a detached academic debate, but in passionate evangelistic persuasion, we can understand his tactics.  He was faced with people who refused to acknowledge their own sin,… Ezekiel’s tirades against Israel’s sin was necessary to bring at least some of his listeners to a more realistic assessment of their condition, and thereby to a genuine repentance.” Christopher J.H. Wright, “The Message of Ezekiel” in The Bible Speaks Today.  (Leicaster, IVP: 2001), p. 32.

B90X2012 “Lamentations”

Lamentations-  Originally the title of the book was “Ah, how!” from the Hebrew words ‘ek ah.

This short book is not connected to a specific author or prophet, however, tradition puts it in the lap of Jeremiah.  It is mainly composed of funeral songs for Jerusalem.  Since Jeremiah does not deport in the exile, he has time to survey the damage left by the departure of the presence of Father.   The year is 586 B.C., the Babylonian King is furious with his Vassal Zedekiah who would not keep his word.  The temple is completely sacked and the city is left in piles of rubble.  The people weep from the feeling that God has abandoned them.  The poems show the people’s sense of guilt, confession, and repentance as they realize how deeply they have hurt God by their sin and unfaithfulness.

Structure-  The book is made up of five chapters or sections.  Each of the sections is an acrostic, meaning that the Hebrew alphabet is used to start each verse or line of the section.  So verse 1 is starts with the letter ‘a’, verse 2 starts with the letter ‘b’, verse 3 starts with the letter ‘c’, and so on.  Since there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, you see the number of verses in chapters 1, 2, 4, and 5.  The only one which is different is chapter 3 which repeats the pattern three times, hence the 66 verses.  Also look for patterns of three.  Either three lines in each verse or three verses clumped together.

The laments express the full impact of the covenant curses and prophetic pronouncements of judgments at the horror of the people’s loss is realized.  The city was the place God had chosen for his temple to be built and his presence to be manifest.  Its destruction represents not only the loss of homes and life but also the abandonment of the people by God.  He withdrew his presence and his favor as he said he would if the people were unfaithful.

Key concepts-
Lament targets not only one’s situation but one’s spiritual condition.
Any circumstance in life can provide an opportunity to know God better.

The highlight of the book is in chapter 3 where, in first-person form, the full grief of the poet is revealed.  He gives voice to the despair of the corporate people and the personified city.  But at the bottom of his grief he turns to the unfailing faithfulness of the LORD and his compassion toward his people.  The call to repentance anticipates God’s acts of deliverance and mercy for his people and judgment on the enemies who carried out the destruction.  The book ends in a fervent prayer of restoration.

Key Teachings about God-
God’s wrath is terrible.
God is righteous and will judge.
God’s faithfulness and compassion never fail.
God is good to those who hope in him.

The key verses of hope are found in 3:22-27 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion’s never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.  It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.”

67th Day-O, where’d my ‘A’ go? (Hab 1:1- Zech 10:12)

I went ahead and ripped through the rest of Zechariah and Malachi.  Hard to believe we knocked out that much reading in 67 days!  Quite an accomplishment with everything else going on in life.  Stay faithful friends and saints.  The riches of reading all of God’s words far outweigh any knowledge and satisfaction gained from watching Celebrity Apprentice.

 Just a few books to highlight and we are moving on to the New Testament~~

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Day 63 of B90X (Ez 47:13- Da 8:27)

For one of the best sermons on Daniel I have ever heard, refer to our website under “Media” and click on the tab for Sunday, Feb 27th by Scott Wenig. Scott joined our B90X series for Daniel and idea of “Standing for God.” Please take the time to listen- here is the link http://www.castlerockbiblechurch.org/media/sermons


We finished up Ezekiel, the last of the longer prophetic books and we now get into the last group of books, also prophetic, but of a lesser length, of which there are thirteen. The first one is quite enigmatic, especially the last six chapters. To avoid redundancy, I will keep the information short about Daniel.

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“Care For the Hair Under There” Day 59 B90X (La 2:1- Eze 12:20)‏

“Care For the Hair Under There”  

Rendition of Ezekiel's vision of the wheel and creatures.

 I know that on Sunday, I mentioned that Jeremiah was full of drama.  I should have waited just a few days to give the “drama” label to Ezekiel.  My, my, my.  Without a doubt if there is anyone in the Bible any more dramatic than Ezekiel it has yet to be seen.  His vision, making maps of Jerusalem, eating scrolls, lying on his side for over a year, then flipping over and lying on the other for 40 days, eating Ezekiel 4:9 bread, shaving his head with a sword, cooking with human dung (changed to cow fortunately), cooking pots and meat, repetition of words and pictures, not mourning for his wife’s death, useless vines, eagles, comparing Jerusalem to prostitutes, it goes on and on. Continue reading