April 5, 2020 – Ezekiel 25 – 32

Lesson Date: April 5, 2020

Focal Scripture Passage: Ezekiel 25:2, 6-8, 12, 15; 27:1-4, 28:1-3, 7-10, 13-17; 29:2-3

AIM: To lead students to discover from God’s judgment of the nations surrounding Jerusalem the seriousness of the sin of pride, and to examine their lives for evidence of pride.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Ezekiel 25 – 29 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Prepare the note cards or small pieces of paper described in the “Conclusion” step.  Write each of the following scripture references on a card or slip of paper: Proverbs 21:4, Proverbs 6:16-17, Proverbs 16:18, and James 4:6.  As class members arrive, ask four of those who are comfortable reading aloud to take a scripture reference.  Ask them to find their verse and be prepared to read it to the class when called upon.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask the four previously enlisted volunteers to read their assigned verses.  Ask: “What sin do these four verses address?” (pride).  Write the word “Pride” on the marker board or chalkboard.  Ask: “What do these verses tell us about pride?” (pride is sin, God hates it, God resists it, and it will surely lead to destruction).

Tell the class that pride can be defined as conceit or an overly inflated opinion of oneself, that often results in arrogance and disdain for others.  Ask the students to name some examples of pride they see in our modern world (pride is often exhibited by athletes, entertainers, politicians, leaders of businesses, as well as ordinary people).

Explain that Ezekiel’s prophecy, like many of the other Old Testament books of prophecy, contains pronouncements of judgment against other nations in addition to sinful Israel.  Tell the class today’s scripture contains messages of judgment against the pride of Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon, and Egypt.  If possible, point these nations out on a map.  Read the lesson aim to the class.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that we are studying the Old Testament book of Ezekiel.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (determination).
    • Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (James 4:7).
  2. The Pride of Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia.
    • Tell the students that God addressed four different nations in Ezekiel 25. These nations were long-time enemies of Israel.
    • Explain that God gave these messages to Ezekiel during the time of the siege and ultimate destruction of Jerusalem (point that out on the timeline). The Jews were suffering.
    • Read Ezekiel 25:2.
    • Tell the class that God first addressed the people of Ammon, Israel’s neighbor to the east.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Ezekiel 25:6-7.
    • Ask: “What did the Ammonites do?” (they boastfully rejoiced at Jerusalem’s trouble and destruction). God promised to judge them for that.
    • Read Ezekiel 25:8.
    • Tell the students that next God addressed Moab, Israel’s neighbor to the southeast.
    • Ask: “What did they do?” (in an effort to elevate themselves, the Moabites said that Judah was no different than the heathen nations). God promised to judge them for that.
    • Read Ezekiel 25:12, 15.
    • Explain that verses 12 and 15 address Edom and Philistia, Israel’s neighbors to the south and southwest.
    • Ask: “What had those nations done?” (their pride and arrogance caused them to take vengeance against the Jews on many occasions). God promised to judge them for that.
    • Summarize: Pride motivated Ammon, Moab, Edom, and the Philistines to seek vengeance against Israel and rejoice when they were oppressed or attacked. God promised to judge those nations for their pride.
  3. The Pride of Tyre.
    • Tell the class that chapters 26 – 28 address Tyre, a prominent and powerful seaport kingdom located north of Israel in modern day Lebanon.
    • Read Ezekiel 27:1-4.
    • Ask: “According to verse 3, what was Tyre’s attitude about itself?” (they said, “I am perfect in beauty;” they were very boastful and proud).
    • Tell the class that chapter 28 addresses the king of Tyre.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Ezekiel 28:1-3.
    • Ask: “How did Tyre’s king exhibit pride?” (he claimed to be God, which is the ultimate expression of pride).
    • Read Ezekiel 28:7-10.
    • Tell the students the judgments described in those verses give us an idea of how seriously God views the sin of pride.
    • Summarize: Pride motivated the people of Tyre to boast about their perfection, and their king to claim to be a god. God promised to judge Tyre for her pride.
  4. The Pride of Egypt.
    • Tell the class that chapters 29 – 32 contain seven prophecies against Egypt and her proud ruler, Pharaoh.
    • Read Ezekiel 29:2-3.
    • Ask: “What does verse 3 reveal about Pharaoh’s pride?” (he was so arrogant that he actually claimed to have made the Nile River for himself.
    • Tell the class that the Nile River was the very lifeblood of Egypt.
    • Ask: “Why would God object to Pharaoh’s attitude?” (because God made all things for Himself and to bring glory to Himself; therefore, He does not take lightly man’s theories that discount His creative work).
    • Tell the students that chapters 29-32 are filled with God’s promises to judge Egypt.
    • Summarize: Pride motivated Pharaoh to boastfully claim to have created the Nile River. God promised to judge Egypt and Pharaoh for their pride.
  5. The Pride of Satan.
    • Remind the class that we opened this lesson by talking about pride and those who exhibit pride. We have already seen that God pronounced judgment upon several proud and arrogant nations surrounding Israel.
    • Ask: “Who is the absolute epitome of pride?” (Satan).
    • Explain that the king of Tyre’s pride was so great that God compared it to Satan’s pride.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Ezekiel 28:13-17.
    • Tell the students in these verses God gives us some information about Satan (these verses clearly cannot literally describe the king of Tyre).
    • Tell the class verses 13-15a tell about Lucifer’s (Satan’s name before his fall) beauty.
    • Ask the class to describe that beauty.
    • Ask: “What does verse 14 say about Lucifer’s exalted position?” (he was specially anointed to cover and protect God’s throne; he had close association with the Lord).
    • Ask: “According to verse 15b, what was found in Lucifer?” (iniquity).
    • Tell the class verses 15b-17 describe Satan’s fall.
    • Ask: “According to verse 17, why was Satan’s heart lifted up with pride?” (because of his beauty).
    • Tell the students that Satan’s beauty and position led him to believe he could overthrow God (see also 14:12-17).
    • Summarize: Pride motivated Satan to try to overthrow God and claim the rule of the universe for himself. God promised to judged Satan for his pride

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Ask the four persons you enlisted for the introductory step to read their verses aloud again.  Read the lesson aim to the class again.  Tell the students that pride is a very serious sin.  Pride, in one form or another, is really at the heart of all sin: it causes us to think we know better than God.  The result is that we do things our way instead of God’s way.  Pride leads to a rebellious attitude, which leads to disobedience, which leads to all forms of sin.  Pride is dangerousWe all struggle with sin, so it goes without saying that all of us struggle with pride.

Tell the class that God has brought us to this scripture passage so we can examine our lives for signs of pride.  When we discover pride we need to confess it.  In the nations we studied today pride led to arrogance, looking down on others, seeking vengeance (which is God’s work, not ours – Heb. 10:30), claiming credit for God’s work, and actually enthroning oneself as God.

Ask the following questions:

“Do we ever exhibit pride in any of those forms?” 

“Are we ever arrogant?” 

“Do we ever look down on others?” 

“Do we ever try to get vengeance? 

“Do we ever claim credit for God’s work? 

“Do we ever set ourselves as ruler and god over our own life?”

The answer to all of the above questions is, “yes.”

Ask the students to bow their heads and silently ask God to reveal pride in their lives.  When they recognize pride they should confess it as sin and turn away from it.  Allow a few moments for silent prayer, and then voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Give everyone a note card or slip of paper on which you have written the words of Proverbs 16:18.  Ask them to memorize that verse and recite it every day.  Tell them to be on the lookout for pride in their life this week.

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