- Why were the people unable to believe Ezekiel’s prophecies of restoration and blessing? See verse 11. Did the vision of verses 1-10 show that things were not so bad as or worse than they seemed? Yet what happened, and why?
- Notice that the regeneration of Israel came in two stages (verses 7-10). What would this have signified to Ezekiel? What part did he have to play in the change that took place? Are the spiritually dead coming to life as a result of your witness and praying?
- Verses 15-28 are a glorious picture of the purified, restored and reunited Israel. Note the five great features of the Messianic kingdom described in verses 24-27. What light does this passage throw on the conditions and blessings of Christian unity?
In this chapter and the next the prophet foresees in the far distant future an invasion of Israel by nation lying beyond the circle of those with which Israel hitherto has had to do. They, too, must learn that the God of Israel alone is God, and they will learn it through meeting his power as they seek to plunder his land, and through being brought by him to total defeat. Read Rev. 20:7-10 in conjunction with this chapter.
- In what two different ways are the causes of God’s invasion described? Contrast verses 4 and 16 with verses 10-12. And yet, do not all these verses describe one and the same cause? Cf. Rom. 9:17, 18.
- Cf. verses 18-23 with 37:25-28. In what two ways will God bring the nations to know that he is God alone? Cf. Rom. 1:16-18; 9:22, 23; 11:17-22.
- Verse 2. The name ‘God’ is probably Ezekiel’s own invention, formed by removing the first letter from the place-name Magog. It is pointless to try to identify these nations with modern states: they were simply tribes on the fringe of the known world in Ezekiel’s day that he uses for these apocalyptic pronouncements.
- Verse 13. These are merchant nations, stirred to excitement by Gog’s invasion.
- A further prophecy against Gog emphasizes the completeness of his overthrown. In what three ways is this brought out in verses 9-20, and what attributes of God’s character are thereby revealed (verses 21-29)?
2. What is meant by the expression ‘I hid my face from them’ (verse 23? Cf. Deut. 31:17; Pss. 30:7; 104:29; Is. 8:17; 64:7. Consider the great blessings that are contained in the promise of verse 29.