Ezekiel's name means "God strengthens." Every time the prophet's name was mentioned, God's people were assured of his help and reminded of his promise to "strengthen the weak."
Ezekiel lived in times of great political turmoil and witnessed the final collapse of Judah to the Babylonian empire. His total, unquestioning willingness to do God's will, often at great cost to himself, during the long years of his faithful ministry in exile, is a shining example to Christian workers everywhere.
The message of Ezekiel is one of God's faithfulness to his covenant, both in carrying out judgment on sin and in the restoration and blessing of a remnant through the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The prophet's final vision looks forward to days of great blessing, encompassing not only the restoration from exile, but the blessings of the new covenant and the final glory of heaven.
“God had a purpose to establish with this nation, not least the birth of his own Son as the Redeemer of sinners.” (Pages 243–244)
“The secret of interpretation here, as with similar passages in the rest of the Bible, is to get the overall picture first and let the details sort themselves out.” (Page 25)
“The first twenty-four chapters are full of unremitting judgements. These will prove difficult to read—but read them we must! God was angry with his people for their enormous crimes against the love he had shown them. We, too, need to know how utterly holy God is, and how he cannot tolerate sin, if we are to make progress in our relationship with him.” (Page 14)
“The commission contained in itself a sign of God’s continued favour to his covenant people: no matter how great their sin, he would not abandon them entirely. Even in Babylon he gave them a ‘town crier’ to warn them of dangers and summon them to action.” (Page 38)
“One fascinating statistic emerges in Ezekiel: that of the 359 occurrences of the phrase, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’ in the Old Testament, one third of them (122) are in Ezekiel! The book claims (in a sense at least) more than any other to be from God. The widespread neglect of it is therefore all the more puzzling.” (Page 12)
In a clear and straightforward style, Derek Thomas surveys the book of Ezekiel, drawing out the teaching of each passage and applying it in eminently practical ways. This exposition should encourage Christians to tackle Ezekiel with anticipation.