Below is the full guide for a study on Ezekiel 25-32. Follow this link for a handout to be used by the members of your group for this study.
God created the whole world and all that is in it. All nations under heaven are subject to the rule of our Sovereign God.
When God chose Israel to be his people, he gave them the promised land and declared that they were not to mingle and intermarry with the surrounding nations. They were to be devoted to the LORD and not be seduced by the nations around her. God aided Israel to drive out all the nations from the promised land.
The Sovereign LORD has rebuked Israel for their idolatry and evil practices and condemned them to Exile which began in chapter 24. Chapter 16 described how much love and care God gave to Israel and yet she prostituted herself with all the nations around her.
For a map of the nations surrounding Israel in the time of Ezekiel, see the following web-link
Chapters 25-32 stand out in the book of Ezekiel because of their attention away from Israel and on to the nations that surround her. Rather than choose one chapter in this section, we’ll look at grabs from the whole section and see what they have to tell us about the nations that surround Israel.
Read chapter 25.
1) God promises to bring judgement on nations other than Israel. What are the reasons given for each nation? Ammon? Moab? Edom? Philistia?
2) What does this tell you about God’s view of those nations and about Israel?
You could look up these verses if you would like to read more about these judgements.
Genesis 19:36-38 Lot is the father of the Moabites and the Ammonites!
Zephaniah 2:8-11 – About Moab and Ammon
Psalm 35 esp. Verses 21-25 (about “aha!)
Isaiah 16:6 (about Moab)
Obadiah 10-15 esp.12 – about Edom
2 Samuel 8:13-14 + 2 Chronicles 28:17 (why Edomite might want revenge)
Read these verses about Tyre and paraphrase what they say…
27:1-4; 28:1-2 – you were perfection but you said “I am a god!”
26:1-2 – Tyre said Aha and wants to exploit the desolate Jerusalem
26:3-4 – Therefore God will destroy her like a wave on a sandcastle.
26:19-21 – you will go down to the pit and you will be sought, but you will never again be found.
28:6-10; 27:36; 28:19 – You will be slain and see that you are mortal – you will be no more!
29:1-3; 9-10 – You say “The Nile is mine, I made it!” – therefore Egypt will become a wasteland.
32:32 – Pharoah will be laid among the dead.
31:1-3, 9 – it was like a glorious cedar tree – God made her like this!
10-11 – But because of her pride I handed her over to the forces of the world.
14 – all such trees are destined for death – to the realm of the dead.
26:7-14 – Babylon will do the work of God
30:10, 24 – Babylon will put an end to Egypt
29:17-20 – God will pay Babylon for his work!
28:24-26 – God will remove all the malicious neighbours and give them peace.
1) What does all this tell us about God? That he is the God over all the nations. That he gives life to the nations like Egypt and Assyria and he takes it away. He is the Sovereign LORD!
2) What does this tell us about Babylon in connection to God? That Babylon is given blessing by God to conquer only in that it serves the ends of God. The fate of this ungodly nation is in the hands of the LORD. All nations ought to recognise this.
3) What does this tell us about God’s people? That God, although punishing his people, is still protective of them. Just because he sends Israel into judgement, this doesn’t give other nations licence to abuse her. They are still subject to the almighty, whether they recognise it or not.
4) What is the connection between Ezekiel 25-32 and us? Whether you are Christian or not, God is still ruler. God has plans for his people that are for good and not evil – the rest of the world ought to surrender to this plan and become one of his people!
New Testament Connections?
Is there a New Testament passage that comes to mind after reflection on Ezekiel 25-32?
1) One could think of Acts 21:3-6 when Paul came to the region of Tyre and found some Christians there and they prayed together on the beach before Paul departed. This is a reminder that God is the God of all nations and any nation that will come to Christ is welcome.
2) You could also think of Luke 12:4-10 which picks up three allusions to Ezekiel 25-32.
- a) God is not only in charge of the workings of this world but of the dead. More fearful than humans that scoff and show pride is the God of the universe who determines your eternal future.
- b) God is so in charge of this world and concerned for it that he cares for the all of the creatures – even the sparrow – we must never limit the care of God for anyone or anything on the planet. God cared how all the nations conducted themselves and judged them likewise.
- c) Fear God. He will forgive even the most extreme of sins (putting Jesus to death can be forgiven) but there comes a point when those who stand against everything God does, this will not be forgiven. Fear God.
What can you say in summary about the lesson we learn this week?
The God of all the nations will rebuke everyone on the basis of how they have submitted to God. God will continue to protect his people but will condemn all who are defiant, arrogant and proud.
- Meditate or reflect on what it means for God to be in control of all creation – that he is the God of all! How does this alter the way you view everyone else in the world?
- We are not to fear the world we live in but only God. People can do whatever they want to us but God is the ruler of life and death. Is it worth fearing the judgement of people when they can’t save or destroy our soul?
- World powers come and go but the word of God stands forever. He is not hassled by the stock exchange, or rumours of wars – he seeks true worshippers who will call on his name to be saved. Full stop.
Prayer for the week
Sovereign LORD, maker of heaven and earth, please accept our humility and thankfulness for life and the promise of new life eternal. May we see people everywhere as lost without knowing their saviour. And we pray that you will make your name known in all the earth. Amen.