Introduction to Ezekiel
Living with God is not just a matter of worship and personal devotion. Living with God is also a matter of living life righteously, whether in the marketplace, at home, in church or in society. This does not contradict the teaching that salvation comes only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1), but to point out that life with God begins with belief in Christ, but comes to completion in righteous living in every sphere of life.
The Book of Ezekiel gives a compelling account of how the Jewish people suffer a severely diminished life of deprivation and oppression — and even death — as captives in the conquering empire of Babylon. When they question why God has allowed them to suffer this way, Ezekiel speaks God’s answer: because of your unjust ways of living (Ezekiel 18:1-17). Israel’s unrighteous ways encompassed every sphere of life: marriage and sexuality, worship and idolatry, commerce and government. Our focus is on workplace practices, and Ezekiel has much to say about the workplace. His words touch on finance and debt, economic development, honesty, allocation of capital, workplace evaluations, fair return on investment, economic opportunism, success and failure, whistleblowing, teamwork, executive compensation and corporate governance. In addition, the dramatic call of Ezekiel to become a prophet gives us one example of how God calls someone to a particular kind of work.