The book of Ezekiel is so named because it contains the prophecies of Ezekiel. Many people regard this book and its prophet with curiosity and confusion, as the book contains perplexing visions and strange imagery.
Ezekiel was a multifaceted individual, part priest, pastor, apocalypticist, theologian, civic planner, and poet or artist; these are all reflected in his book.
A general theme in Ezekiel is his denouncement of legalism and call for right living.
Ezekiel was a prophet at a time when the people had little to do with God. God told him what to say and do. Sometimes the Holy Spirit would physically move Ezekiel to show him things.
In Ezekiel 18, God grabbed his prophet by the hair, lifted him up, and brought him to the outer court in Jerusalem and then later to the entrance of the temple. There, at the temple, Ezekiel saw men literally turn their back to God and bow to gods in the east.
God detested what they were doing. By seeking other things to worship, they aroused his anger. So, he ignored them, to “not look on them with pity.” Despite their shouts, God said he would “not listen to them.”
Consider this carefully: In our churches today, do we do things that God detests? Do our actions arouse him to anger? Do we cause him to ignore us?
Certainly, we would say, “no.” But when God seems distant, when he doesn’t listen to our pleas, I wonder if we might be the cause.