Ezekiel had a vision!
He was born into the priesthood lineage. At the age of 30, he would have served as a priest in the temple. God had other plans for Ezekiel though. He would never serve in the temple, in fact, he would be taken into captivity with 10000 other Jews. They would be the second group to be taken to Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. In the first siege, Nebuchadnezzar had taken Daniel and his three friends and a few other selected young men. And now Ezekiel is soon to be eligible to serve in the temple but he would never serve nor would he see Jerusalem or the temple again. The temple would be destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar.
On Ezekiel’s 30th year brings Ezekiel a vision while “in the midst” of the exiles by the river Chebar. God gives him four visions in all. For the first seven years, Ezekiel’s prophecies were about judgement. The next 15 years, he preaches hope to the land of Israel.
God’s message to Ezekiel and the people of Israel was given so that the people might “know” Him. Over and over God says, “you will know that I am the LORD.”
The first vision is of God in all His glory. From a storm comes a creature in the likeness of a man, an eagle, an ox and a lion. Each creature is facing a different direction. He saw a throne and a man sitting on the throne. Ezekiel describes as best he can the being that came from inside the wheeled creature. He concludes by saying, “Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.” Ezekiel 1:28 NASB
God asks Ezekiel to do a lot of unusual things as an example of Israel’s rebellion. Seven years of prophesy about the wickedness of Israel and the judgement that is to come.
Finally, there was hope for Israel. After being scattered and judged, God shows mercy and grace to His people. He extends mercy because that is his nature not because Israel deserves His favor. He does it to preserve His name. He desires to give them and us a way in which we can have fellowship with him. He knew in ourselves we would never be able to be fully follow His commands. Now He will provide a way. Ezekiel 36:21 “But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went. Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the LORD God, It is not for your name sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord God, when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”
God’s holiness, strength, power and sovereignty was the first vision God gave to Ezekiel. Then Ezekiel is shown the idolatry and rebellion of God’s people. God is just and righteous. He will vindicate His Holy name. His name is the name above all names. He has to punish and judge sin. But He is also full of mercy and grace. His desire for His people is everlasting.
The last two visions are about restoration and God’s final plans for the nation. The vision of dry bones and the final temple to be raised in the last day.
Within each of us is the story of the nation of Israel. God’s character never changes. He is magnificent and awesome. He is sovereign over all things. His desire is for fellowship with His people. But we are rebellious and hardhearted. Our sin was ever before Him UNTIL Jesus came and became sin for us that we might become His righteousness. When we come to Him through that sacrificial blood of Jesus, he cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Our bones are dry, dead, devoid of Spirit. He speaks to them and raises us up from our disobedience. “We were dead in our trespasses but He has made us alive together with Christ.” Ephesians 2:5
One day the vision of our new home will become reality. In that day, we will see the Holy Temple in the New Jerusalem and the glory of the Lord surrounding His throne.
Until then, I pray God will have mercy on us and forgive our sins. We have committed the same sins that Israel did. I fear the hand of God’s judgement of our nation is already upon us. There is hope but only in Jesus.
You are loved with an everlasting love. Read His love letter to you. It is in God’s Holy Word.
The Days of Elijah
There is NO GOD LIKE JEHOVAH!!