Ezekiel: A prophet to the righteous

Do the righteous need prophets? Do those who claim to be God’s people need to hear God’s rebuke? Does God still raise up voices to watch over God’s people?

Ezekiel was a priest living with the Jewish exiles in Babylon after the taking of Judah and Jerusalem by Babylon, around 580-600 B.C. Ezekiel has visions of God appearing like a Man, yet glowing and dazzling with fire; and, of angelic beings with four faces, wings, hands, and WHEELS within WHEELS that contained all-seeing eyes (Ezekiel 1 and 10; also 8). Like other prophets, Ezekiel says that God is very dismayed by worship of idols and “gods” and at “false prophets” and hypocrites (for example, Eziekiel 7:3; 14:10). (source)

During the time of the Jewish exile to Babylon, God raised up Ezekiel to speak to the righteous, to the people of Israel.

Ezekiel 3:16-19 (NIV) “16 At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.”

God appointed Ezekiel to be a watchman for God’s people, Israel. If Ezekiel failed to warn Israel, he would be held accountable.

Ezekiel 3:20-21 (NIV) “20 Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

One of Ezekiel’s famous visions was that of the “dry bones”. This reminds me of the vision God gave to me to see UBF as a skeleton that could once again be covered in flesh and be a living testimony to God’s grace and truth once again.

Valley of the Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37):

In a vision, Ezekiel was carried to a valley of old, dry bones, and Ezekiel spoke the Words of the Lord, whereby the bones came together, became covered with skin, and became alive again. This was a symbol of the Hebrews, with all hope seeming to be gone, returning once again to their own land and thriving. (source)

5 thoughts on “Ezekiel: A prophet to the righteous

  1. By the way, no need to panic: I do NOT think I am a prophet! The book of Ezekiel has just been coming up at certain times the past 10 years or so and really resonates with me now.

  2. In the large “Reform UBF” conference of 2001, Paul Laska used the Valley of the Dry Bones as a picture of UBF at that time, and we held the same vision that it could become alive one day again. Unfortunately, this vision cannot become true unless UBF triely repents, and it does not look like they will ever do that. Even in the reform conference, since Paul only spoke allegorically, some didn’t understand that UBF itself was the dry bones, and instead after his sermon continued to pray for the students on the campus to become alive. They just didn’t get it, they had such a fixed world-view. Obviously we need to speak more clearly to make hardcore UBFers understand.

    “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

  3. Chris, the things you point out are some of the reasons why I am convinced that reform is no longer possible in ubf. I believe God wants to build an entirely new ministry. In fact, this has been going on already. Quite a few ubf chapters have the historical ubf fellowship and a new, student-based fellowship on campus. This is called “Narrow Gate”, or “Seed” or things like that. Those new ministries seem to be doing much better and often are where you will find the “second gens”.

    Also, some ubf chapters, such as Westloop, are in the process of completely re-inventing themselves from a works centered ministry to be a grace centered ministry.

  4. That’s cool. UBF will probably see this as a failure, because they do not form one big organization, but in reality it’s a big win.

  5. I really have no idea how ubf leadership views these changes. The only thing that has makes sense is that they are happy as long as they maintain authority and have increasing numbers. They don’t really even seem to care so much about money, as long as there is authority and numbers.