Ezekiel Prophesied to Exiles
Today in The Gospel Project® for Kids, Ezekiel brought God’s message to the exiles in Babylon. God’s messages to Ezekiel came in the form of visions, full of symbols and signs. The prophecies shared by Ezekiel include details of God’s judgment on Jerusalem: the people would lack bread and water (Ezekiel 4:17), die by plague and famine (Ezekiel 5:12), and be ruined and disgraced (Ezekiel 5:14).
In Ezekiel 10, God told a man in linen to scatter coals over Jerusalem—a symbol of both punishment and purification. God had used fire to cleanse the lips of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:6) and to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24). In those days, when something was too dirty to be cleaned with water, it was burned up.
God’s judgment also came to Jerusalem through His departure from the temple. We must not think God was confined to the temple; He is omnipresent. (1 Kings 8:27; Jeremiah 23:24) But the temple was the place God’s people went to worship Him. (See 1 Kings 8:33-34.) When the people refused to be righteous before God, God’s glory left the temple.
God left the temple because He was unhappy with His people's sin. Sin separates people from God. But we do not have to stay separated from God. Jesus came to earth to fix our relationship with God by taking the punishment of our sin for us. Because of Christ, we can enjoy God's presence.
Ezekiel Prophesied to the Exiles
Ezekiel was a prophet who spoke God’s message to the people of Judah who were living in Babylon. The people had been unfaithful
to God. They did not love Him and obey Him like they should. God punished them and allowed the king of Babylon to take them away from their homes in Judah. But there was hope for God’s people. God had a plan to bring them back.
Ezekiel saw a vision. It was like a dream, but Ezekiel was awake. This was not Ezekiel’s rst vision. God had given Ezekiel visions before. In this vision, Ezekiel was at the temple where people went to worship God. He saw cherubim, which are like angels with wings. Cherubim serve God and worship Him.
In this vision, something that looked like a throne was over the cherubim. It was bright blue, like a sapphire! God spoke to a man dressed in linen. God gave the man instructions. He said, “Go to the area beneath the cherubim. Scoop up handfuls of hot coals, and throw the coals over the city of Jerusalem.”
The hot coals would burn the city. God was angry with the people of Jerusalem because of their sin. The coals were how God would purify the city, or make it clean. In those days, when something was too dirty to be cleaned with water, it was burned up.
Ezekiel watched the man go into the temple. The glory of God was in the temple, and it was like a cloud. The cloud lled the temple with God’s presence. Ezekiel listened, and he heard the wings of the cherubim. They were ready to move. Their wings were loud, and they sounded like the voice of God.
The man who went into the temple stood beside a wheel. He did what God told him to do. One of the cherubim took some coals from the re and put them in the man’s hands. The man took the hot coals and left the temple.
Ezekiel looked, and he saw four wheels beside the cherubim. Each wheel was sparkling like crystals—like colored jewels. The wheels were moving with the cherubim. And the cherubim had eyes all over their bodies—their backs, their hands, their wings. Even the wheels had eyes on them!
The cherubim each had four faces. The rst face was the face of an angel. The second face was the face of a human. The third face was the face of a lion, and the fourth face was the face of an eagle. Then the cherubim went up, up, up into the air. Wherever the cherubim went, the wheels went too.
Then the glory of God left the temple. The temple was where God blessed His people and received their worship. When the people refused to be righteous before God, God’s glory left the temple. God’s glory went above the cherubim. The cherubim lifted their wings and ew into the air. In this vision, Ezekiel saw the cherubim leave, and he saw that the wheels went with them.
Christ Connection: God left the temple because He was unhappy with His people’s sin. Sin separates people from God. Jesus came to earth to x our relationship with God by taking the punishment of our sin for us. Because of Jesus, we can turn from our sin, trust in Him, and then enjoy God’s presence forever.