This volume of the Bible Speaks Today series takes a slightly different approach in that it does not work through the book in strictly linear fashion. Wright prefers to group together passages with similar themes, and there are even one or two bits that don’t get covered at all.
In his introduction, he helps us understand Ezekiel’s context and life story. One of Wright’s strengths is bringing Ezekiel as a person to life, so we can understand how he is feeling, and his hopes and aspirations. Ezekiel is passionately God-centred, and understood that the reason God saved people is ultimately for his own glory. In fact, Wright is almost Piper-esque as he shows how Ezekiel’s primary motivation, even above compassion for people, is the glory of God in everything. Ezekiel is appointed by Yahweh as a “watchman”, but ironically, it is Yahweh himself who is the enemy that Ezekiel must warn the people about.
Wright is very good at helping you picture the scene as Ezekiel performs his bizarre prophetic mimes, becoming a virtual tourist attraction. In keeping with the goals of the series, he also brings out plenty of practical application both personally and for the church as a whole. He prophetically cautions that the church, like ancient Israel, has often been tempted into unholy and idolatrous alliances with the world.
Misson is another theme he picks up throughout the book, showing Ezekiel does have a concern that the nations come to know Yahweh in a saving way. His treatment of the final chapters of Ezekiel avoid fanciful speculation and show how the vision primarily is concerned with the return of the presence of God and the restoration of the worship of God.
The exposition runs to 368 pages, so the book is covered in good depth. I would wholeheartedly recommend this for those who find Ezekiel an impenetrable book, and especially to those willing to take the time to work their way through the whole thing. His breadth of concerns is impressive, ranging from social issues such as the environment and the poor, through to mission to the nations, through to matters of great theological importance such as holiness and the glory of God. It’s one of my favourites in the BST series, having read it twice now.