These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

Ezekiel 24:15-27: Losing One's Beloved

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Ezekiel.

"Until death do us part" are some of the hardest words to utter in the marriage vows. The words stick in our throats not only because of the enduring length of the covenant implied, but also because they remind us that death will rob us of our beloved. In this chapter we see Ezekiel in a new light, not bringing God's searing (but hopeful) judgment on the people, but mourning the loss of his own wife. Ezekiel's marriage was to be a parable for the people. They too must lose their beloved temple in Jerusalem. The chapter opens with the date of the inauguration of the final siege of Jerusalem (January 15, 588 B.C.). It ends with the people being instructed how to mourn the loss of the epicenter of their faith. As always, the purpose is that "they will know that I am the LORD" (v. 27).

Warming Up to God

Reflect on the vow "until death us do part." What inner pain or loss does it bring to mind?

Read Ezekiel 24:15-27

Discovering the Word

  • What words does the Lord use to describe Ezekiel's affection for his wife (v. 16) and the people's affection for the temple sanctuary in Jerusalem (vv. 21, 25)?
  • What actions is Ezekiel told to forego in verses 16-17?
  • These were the normal practices of public mourning. What do Ezekiel's words to the people tell you about why God asked him to do this (vv. 20-27)?
  • This would have been very hard for Ezekiel. How did his painful experience become a ministry to the people?
  • The refusal to weep was for both Ezekiel and the Israelites a reflection of a tragedy so deep that any expression of grief would be too inadequate. What does God want to accomplish in all this?

Applying the Word

  • Paul advises the Corinthians that "because of the present crisis" and the shortness of time "those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not" (1Co 7:26, 29-30). In what way does Ezekiel give us a model of putting God first while still loving his family?
  • Why is it spiritually dangerous to live for others, even a family member?
  • How can you better strike a balance between family and spiritual responsibility?

Responding in Prayer

Pray that in both life and death, in plenty and loss, you may glorify God and seek first his kingdom.