Ezekiel - forgetting God

Background

The book of Ezekiel describes the life of the prophet Ezekiel's life and ministry beginning with his call to be a prophet for Israel (chapters 1 - 3). Ezekiel preached about the impending siege and destruction of Jerusalem (chapters 4 - 24) because of the people's idolatry. He also speaks to the surrounding nations and prophesied that God will judge them for their sins as well (chapters 25 - 32). The book concludes with a message of hope, as Ezekiel proclaims the faithfulness of God and foretells the future blessings for God's people (chapters 33- 48).

Theme

Forgetting God

Key Verse

(Ezek 23:35 NIV) "Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Since you have forgotten me and thrust me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution."

(Ezek 25:7 NIV) therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will cut you off from the nations and exterminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the LORD.'"

The key phrase of this whole book know that I am the Lord is used almost seventy times in the book. God has to constantly act so that His people will be reminded that He is God.

What happens when we forget God?

He punishes us so that we will remember Him.

(Ezek 25:7 NIV) therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will cut you off from the nations and exterminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the LORD.'"

He shows us His favor to remind us that He is God.

(Ezek 16:62 NIV) So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the LORD.

(Ezek 20:43-44 NIV) There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done. {44} You will know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name's sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.'"

He gives us ordinances so that we will remember.

(Ezek 20:18-20 NIV) I said to their children in the desert, "Do not follow the statutes of your fathers or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols. {19} I am the LORD your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. {20} Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God."

The Sabbath is one such ordinance. Whenever Sabbath arrives, the people automatically remember God because they have to change their lifestyle to keep the day holy.

Can you think of other ordinances God has given us so that we can remember Him?

Holy Communion

Christmas

Good Friday

How can we be guilty of forgetting God?

Forgetting God's goodness

(Ezek 29:9 NIV) Egypt will become a desolate wasteland. Then they will know that I am the LORD. "'Because you said, "The Nile is mine; I made it,"

The Nile river is considered the "life" of ancient Egypt. The Nile is the basis of Egypt's wealth, indeed of its very life. Irrigation waters raised laboriously from the river, let the Egyptians produce many varieties of crops in large quantities (Num 11:5; Gen 42:1-2).

The Nile represents all the good things God has given us. Consider for a moment all the good things God has given us. Have we forgotten God?

We forget God when we fail to thank Him for His goodness.

We forget God when we fail to give Him credit and glorify His name.


Forgetting to spend time with God

(Luke 10:38-42 NIV) As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. {39} She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. {40} But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" {41} "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, {42} but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Fellowship with God is so important that it is more important than serving God.

(Luke 6:12 NIV) One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

Jesus always had a hectic day, walking long distances, healing the sick and casting out demons. Yet He sees it important enough to spend the night praying. Most people do not pray because they think that they are too busy to pray. But when we busy, that is the time when pray is most crucial. We should be "too busy not to pray". For when we pray, God honors us and makes us productive in our work.

God-given talents/possession

(Mat 25:14-29 NIV) "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. {15} To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. {16} The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. {17} So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. {18} But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. {19} "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. {20} The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' {21} "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' {22} "The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.' {23} "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' {24} "Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. {25} So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' {26} "His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? {27} Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. {28} "'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. {29} For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

The parable was told to teach us that we are eventually accountable to God for our gifts and talents. The two wise servants remembered their master and therefore were hard at work for Him even though the master was not physically present. A person who has forgotten God will have absolutely no motivation to work for Him.

What gifts have God blessed us with? A good salary, car, house? How are we using it for Him? What talents did God give us? How are we using it for Him?