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Ezekiel - God's spokesman in Babylon - part 2

God tells Ezekiel to do some bizarre things to get people's attention and teach them about events in the future.
Contributed by Richard Gunther
The Israelites were living in two places. Some had been captured and taken into Babylon as slaves. Others had been left back in Jerusalem. God had chosen Ezekiel to be His spokesman to the Jews now living in Babylon. Ezekiel was waiting in his house for further instruction from God. – Slide 1
The message when it came was very strange. God told Ezekiel to go and get a large flat brick. – Slide 2
He then asked Ezekiel to make a simple model of Jerusalem on the brick. – Slide 3
Once that was ready, God told Ezekiel to create the scene of Jerusalm under siege. So Ezekiel made models of soldiers, and siege ramps and battering rams. – Slide 4
Some of the disobedient Jews in Babylon gathered to watch what Ezekiel was doing and asked, ‘What is all this about?’ – Slide 5
Ezekiel replied, ‘The people of Jerusalem are still disobeying God and He is going to send an army to invade the city.’ – Slide 6
The crowd watching Ezekiel just laughed at him and then went away. – Slide 7
How would God get the attention of His people now? He asked Ezekiel to lie on the ground on his left side for 40 days. It was a tough and boring task for the prophet to do but he obeyed. – Slide 8
People gathered to look at the strange sight of Ezekiel lying on his left side. ‘Why are you doing this?’ they asked. – Slide 9
‘I am lying on my left side for forty days,’ Ezekiel replied, ‘As soon, the people of Jerusalem will be oppressed by their enemies for forty years.’ – Slide 10
But still the Jews would not take God’s warning seriously. So God tried to get their attention in another way. He told Ezekiel to cut off all his hair. A crowd gathered to watch what he was doing. – Slide 11
Ezekiel gathered all the hair he had cut off. ‘Now weight your hair,’ God said.  People stood around wondering what was going on. – Slide 12
God then told Ezekiel to divide his cut hair into three equal piles and put a few hairs into his pocket. Then God told him to take one pile of hair and set it on fire in the middle of Jerusalem. Ezekiel set the strands of hair on fire. – Slide 13
‘Chop the second pile of hair up with a knife,’ said God. People stared as Ezekiel cut the second pile of hair into small pieces. – Slide 14
God then told Ezekiel to throw the third pile of hair into the air. He obeyed and people gasped as the hair was scattered by the wind. ‘What are you doing?’ they asked. – Slide 15
‘This is what this means,’ Ezekiel told his curious audience. ‘When Jerusalem falls, some will die of starvation, some will be cut down by the sword and some will run away and be scattered.’ – Slide 16
‘But what about the few hairs you put in your pocket?’ the people asked. ‘They are to show that God is still merciful,’ Ezekiel explained. ‘A few people will be spared.’ – Slide 17
All the things that Ezekiel had spoken about later took place. The Babylonians returned to invade Jerusalem. Many people died and others were taken as prisoners. A few, including the prophet Jeremiah, were spared and set free. When God warns us, it is important to pay attention for God always does what He says. If you want to find out more about Ezekiel, his book is found in the Bible. – Slide 18
Slide 19