March 1, 2020 – Ezekiel 1 – 3
Lesson Date: March 1, 2020
Focal Scripture Passage: Ezekiel 1:1-28; 2:1-8; 3:17-21
AIM: To lead students to describe the commission God placed upon Ezekiel, and to identify and accept the commission God has placed upon them.
Before class: Read the notes on Ezekiel 1 – 3 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. If possible, arrange for an active or retired military officer to come to your class and bring a copy of his or her officer’s commission. If that is not possible you can read the United States Air Force Officer’s Commission printed at the end of this lesson plan. Ask one of your students to look up the definition of the word “commission” is a print or online dictionary and be prepared to read it to the class. Write the word “Commission” on the marker board or chalkboard.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the word “Commission” written on the board. Ask the students what the word means to them. If a military officer is present, ask him or her to read their commission to the class. Ask them what it meant to receive a commission as an officer in the United States military. If you were not able to have a military officer present, read the United States Air Force Officer’s Commission included at the end of this lesson plan.
Ask the previously enlisted student to read the definition of the word “commission.” Tell the class that others receive commissions, including law enforcement personnel and diplomats. While the specific word “commission” may not used, jurors, sales representatives, and other employees are commissioned, as well.
Write the following three facts about commissions on the board under the word “Commission.”
- Comes from someone with greater power and authority.
- Bestows power and authority on the person being commissioned.
- Requires the performance of certain duties or tasks.
Tell the class in today’s lesson we will learn about Ezekiel’s commission.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Introduction to the Book of Ezekiel.
- Be sure everyone present has a copy of the new Sunday School Member Quarterly.
- Ask the students to find the book of Ezekiel in their Bibles (offer help if needed).
- Read Ezekiel 1:1-3.
- Briefly lecture on the date and authorship of the book of Ezekiel.
- Ask everyone to turn to the “Timeline Comparing the Ministries of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel,” on page 9 of their Sunday School Member Quarterly.
- Explain that Ezekiel was among the 10,000 captives taken to Babylon in 597 c., along with Judah’s King Jehoiachin.
- This was 11 years before Jerusalem finally fell to the Babylonians.
- Note that Daniel had been taken captive to Babylon 7 years earlier.
- Ezekiel’s commission came 5 years after he was taken to Babylon (592 c.). He was 30 years of age.
- Locate Jerusalem and Babylon on the Map of the Middle East.
- Tell them the river of Chebar was actually a canal off the Euphrates River, south of Babylon.
- God Revealed His Power and Greatness to Ezekiel.
- Direct the students’ attention to the list on the board and remind them that a commission comes from one with greater power and authority. In chapter 1, God showed His great power to Ezekiel.
- Read Ezekiel 1:4-14.
- Ask the class to describe the angelic creatures Ezekiel saw.
- Tell them that associated with the angelic creatures were some wheels.
- Read Ezekiel 1:15-21.
- Ask the students to describe the wheels.
- Tell them that above the angelic creatures and wheels Ezekiel saw a firmament (the heavens – verses 22-25).
- Ask a volunteer to read Ezekiel 1:26-28.
- Ask: “What did Ezekiel see above the firmament?” (the throne of God).
- Tell the class there is no question about the purpose of this vision – it revealed “the glory of the Lord” (verse 28).
- Ask: “What did Ezekiel do when he saw this vision?” (fell on his face and heard a voice).
- Direct the students’ attention again to the list on the board. Tell them Ezekiel clearly saw the power and authority of Almighty God.
- Summarize: God gave Ezekiel an awesome vision of His great power and authority. Ezekiel was overcome with his insignificance in comparison to God.
- God Gave Ezekiel Power and Authority to Speak for Him.
- Ask a volunteer to read Ezekiel 2:1-8.
- Ask: “What is the first thing God did for Ezekiel, in verses 1-2?” (stood him up on his feet).
- Ask: “Why did He do this?” (God was about to give Ezekiel a job to do; you can worship on your face, but you must be up on your feet to work).
- Tell the class God assigned Ezekiel the task of proclaiming His word to the Israelites who were in captivity in Babylon.
- Ask: “How did God describe the Israelites?” (He said they were rebellious, transgressors, impudent, stiff-hearted).
- Stress the fact that the word rebellious is used to describe the Israelites seven times in those eight verses.
- Ask: “Did God say the people would receive Ezekiel’s message and repent?” (no, He gave no guarantees).
- Ask: “What advice did God give to Ezekiel?” (don’t be afraid of the people and don’t become rebellious along with them).
- Direct the students’ attention to the list on the board. Tell them Ezekiel was given power and authority by God to speak to the Israelites.
- Summarize: God gave Ezekiel the power and authority he would need to speak God’s Word to the rebellious Israelites.
- God Gave Ezekiel Tasks to Perform.
- Tell the students that God then put His Words in Ezekiel’s heart and sent him to speak to his fellow captive Israelites in Babylon.
- Ask a volunteer to read Ezekiel 3:17-21.
- Explain the role and importance of watchmen in the ancient world of walled cities.
- Tell the class Ezekiel’s task was to be a watchman for the house of Israel, giving them warnings from God.
- Tell them verses 18-19 speak about issuing warnings to wicked persons.
- Ask: “What would happen if Ezekiel failed to warn the wicked person of God’s judgment?” (Ezekiel would be held accountable for his failure to warn them).
- Ask: “What would happen if Ezekiel did warn the wicked person of God’s judgment?” (Ezekiel would be free from any judgment for failing to warn them).
- Tell the students verses 20-21 speak about warning righteous persons who commit sin.
- Ask: “What would happen if Ezekiel failed to warn the righteous person of God’s judgment?” (Ezekiel would be held accountable for his failure to warn them).
- Ask: “What would happen if Ezekiel did warn the righteous person of God’s judgment?” (Ezekiel would be free from any judgment for failing to warn them).
- Direct the students’ attention to the list on the board. Tell them Ezekiel’s commission required that he faithfully carry out certain tasks.
- Summarize: God gave Ezekiel certain tasks to perform, warning that if he failed to do them he would be held responsible.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention once again to the list on the board. Those three things are common to all commissions, whether they be military commissions or other types of commissions. Ask: “Did Ezekiel’s commission include those same three elements?” (yes).
Ask: “Has God given us as Christians any kind of commission? If so, where can we find it?” (yes, the “Great Commission,” found in Matt. 28:18-20). Ask everyone to turn there.
Ask the students to listen for the three elements of a commission, as you read Matthew 28:18-20. Ask: “Does this commission come from someone with greater power and authority?” (yes). Ask: “Where is that power and authority revealed?” (in verse 18). Ask: “Does this commission give us power and authority from God?” (yes, in verse 20b God promised His personal presence with us as we serve Him: an even clearer example of this bestowal of power is in Acts 1:8). Ask: “Does this commission give us certain tasks to do?” (yes, they are listed in verses 19-20a).
Tell the students if they are saved, then this is their commission from God. Ask: “Are you willing to accept that commission?” God warned Ezekiel not to be rebellious like the house of Israel; similarly, we must carefully avoid rebellion. Encourage everyone to personally commit to obey God and do the things He has told us to do. Voice a closing prayer of commitment.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Matthew 28:18-20, and to look for opportunities to tell someone the Good News about Jesus Christ this week.
United States Air Force Officers’ Commission
The President of the United States of America
< Presidential Seal >
To all who shall see these presents, greeting:
Know ye, that reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity,
and abilities of < Name > , I do
appoint him/her < Rank > in the
United States Air Force
To date as such from the _______ day of _______, < Year > .
This officer will therefore carefully and diligently
discharge the duties of the office to which appointed by doing and performing all
manner of things thereunto belonging.
And I do strictly charge and require those officers and other personnel of lesser
rank to render such obedience as is due an officer of this grade and position. And
this officer is to observe and follow such orders and directions, from time to time, as
may be given by the President of the United States of America, or other superior
officers acting in accordance with the laws of the United States of America.
This commission is to continue in force during the pleasures of the President of
the United States of America, under the provisions of those public laws relating to
Officers of the Armed Forces of the United States of America and the component
thereof in which this appointment is made.
Done at the city of Washington, this _______ day of _______ in the year of our Lord, <Year > , and of the Independence of the United States of America, the < years since 1776 > .
By the President:
Signature of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Seal of the Department of the Air Force, Signature of the Secretary of the Air Force
June 26, 2022
June 19, 2022
June 12, 2022