Prophet Ezekiel Commemoration

 

Today the LCMS commemorates the Holy Prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, was a priest, called by God to be a prophet to the exiles during the Babylonian captivity (Ezekiel 1:3). In 597 B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army brought the king of Judah and thousands of the best citizens of Jerusalem — including Ezekiel — to Babylon (2 Kings 24:8-16).

Ezekiel’s priestly background profoundly stamped his prophecy, as the holiness of God and the Temple figure prominently in his messages (for example, Ezekiel 9-10 and 40-48). From 593 B.C. to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 586 B.C., Ezekiel prophesied the inevitability of divine judgment on Jerusalem, on the exiles in Babylon, and on seven nations that surrounded Israel (Ezekiel 1–32). Jerusalem would certainly fall and the exiles would not quickly return — the just consequences of their sins.

Especially in the early part of the book, much of what the Lord “said” to His people was delivered in the form of action prophecies. In these, Ezekiel acted out representations of coming events pertaining to the fall of Judah, the destruction of the temple, and the seeming end of the Davidic line of kings. These action prophecies included the eating of the scroll (3:1-2), being struck with dumbness (3:22-27), sketching of the city of Jerusalem (4:1-3), lying on one side and then the other (4:4-8), eating restricted rations cooked on a fire of dried dung (4:9-17), and shaving his hair and beard with a sword before dividing the hair (5:1-4). Some seem a bit strange at first glance, once we understand their meaning and context, their messages are quite easily comprehended.

Once word reached Ezekiel that Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed, his message became one of comfort and hope. Through him God promised that his people would experience future restoration, renewal and revival in the coming Messianic kingdom (Ezekiel 33-48).

Much of the strange symbolism of Ezekiel’s prophecies was later employed in the Revelation to Saint John. Among these are the visions of the four living creatures as seen in Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4.

via Aardvark Alley: + The Holy Prophet Ezekiel +.

 

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Commemoration of Isaiah

Today is set aside to commemorate the Holy Prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah son of Amoz is considered to be the greatest of the writing prophets and is quoted in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament prophet. His name means “Yahweh [the Lord] saves.” Isaiah prophesied to the people of Jerusalem and Judah from about 740 B.C. to 700 B.C. and was a contemporary of the prophets Amos, Hosea, and Micah.

Isaiah was a fierce preacher of God’s Law, condemning the sin of idolatry. He was also a comforting proclaimer of the Gospel, repeatedly emphasizing the Lord’s grace and forgiveness. For this he is sometimes called the “Evangelist of the Old Testament.” No prophet more clearly prophesied about the coming Messiah and his saving kingdom. He foretold the Messiah’s miraculous birth Isaiah 7:14; 9:6, his endless reign 2:1–5; 11:1–16, and his public ministry 61:1–3, but most notably his “Suffering Servant” role and atoning death 52:13-53:12.

The apostle John’s description of Isaiah, that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory and spoke of Him John 12:41, is an apt summary of Isaiah’s prophetic ministry. The seraphim’s refrain of, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, Isaiah 6:3” during his call into the prophetic ministry Isaiah 6 is the basis of many Christian hymns and liturgical pieces.

Source: Aardvark Alley.

A collect for today from Blog of the Ninja Pastor:

Lord God heavenly Father, in the earliest days after the Fall, you immediately proclaimed to our first parents the promise one day of a savior. Through the mouth of your servant Isaiah you reaffirmed that promise and foretold His virgin birth. O Father, we thank you for sending to us your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord. We thank you that sent Him to be our own suffering servant, that all our sins and sufferings were laid upon Him. Let the words and the example of Isaiah point ever and always to Your Son Jesus Christ, that we might be given faith to receive the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation that He won for us on the wood of the cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.