I first read the account of Jerusalemís destruction in 1969, I never
questioned why the Jews were removed in two stages. As I started to look
at the prophet Ezekiel and his role in instructing the Judeans about
Godís way, I realized that he was still preaching repentance to the
remaining Jews in Jerusalem.
As I dug deeper, I
noticed that the first removal took place in 597 B.C. and the second
with Jerusalemís destruction in 587 B.C. This is a period of ten years.
Then the Holy Spirit opened up my understanding that there had been a
grace period of ten years. The Godhead intended to give Judah a shock
treatment when its king and a large portion of the citizens were taken
If King Zedekiah, the
princes, the priests and the general population had repented, God would
have spared them and the Kingdom of Judah would have continued unabated
until Jesus was incarnated in Bethlehem.
This grace period was
kept a secret. God wanted the Judeans to repent because they loved God,
not to save their lives. These extended grace periods are found
throughout history, but most of them were ignored by the people.
This brings us to
Ezekiel. He was a priest who called to be a prophet. Just like Daniel,
he was taken to Babylon in the first exile.
No other prophet in
the Old Testament comes close to the glory revealed when Jesus arrived
in a craft from heaven that contained a portable throne and was
surrounded by a number of other craft manned by holy angels.
Jesus wanted Ezekiel
to know that the spirit world is real, heaven is real, and that God is
almighty with breathtaking power that is beyond human understanding.
After the shock and
awe treatment was over, Ezekiel was called to be a watchman on the wall.
Then Jesus put him through a rigorous training program that no other man
If you want to know
more about God, study the Old Testament and you will see what He has
done, how He thinks and what His future plans are. Join me this coming
Sunday as we look at these amazing facts from the Bible.
Print out the sermon outline and let's examine the
Scriptures together Sunday morning at 9:00 AM PST.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor John S. Torell