Ezekiel was privileged to receive a number of visions regarding the power and plan of God. He was among the captives of King Jehoiachin’s when the heavens were opened and the word of the Lord came to him in a vision.
Windstorm– A storm cloud shot through with lightning flashes that formed a traditional vehicle for a theophany (a manifestation or appearance from God to a person) in Israel.
The Four Living Creatures– Are identified as cherubim, composite forms symbolizing the winds or the forces of nature which bore up the God of Israel as He rode upon the clouds supporting this invisible throne in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem.
The Four Wheels– A wheel was on the earth beside each living creature. The appearance of the wheels and their works was like the color of beryl and all had the same likeness, a wheel in the middle of a wheel. Each hub had a projection which had the power of sight. The spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels which functioned as animated extensions of their bodies.
The Firmament– Was above their heads and like the color of an awesome crystal (sea of glass, clear as crystal). Ezekiel saw this from beneath.
The Appearance of a Man– He tells how high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man with the appearance of fire creating brightness all around. He refers to a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day which may well recall to us its covenant significance. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
The Prophet’s Commission– He is to be God’s messenger to the people of Israel. He is not promised any heed will be paid to his message. But, the messenger’s duty is to deliver his message faithfully. The responsibility of paying heed rests with the hearers. God told him not to be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, as they are a rebellious people.
Spirit Comes Upon Him– He said the Spirit raised him to his feet and sends him to the Israelites. God told Ezekiel that they wouldn’t listen to him because they wouldn’t listen to God, as they are hardhearted. Ezekiel was made a watchman to give warnings from God. If he didn’t warn the wicked they would surely die and their blood would be on his hands. However, if he warned them to turn from their wicked ways and they turned, he would have delivered their soul.
Sign of Clay Tablet– God told Ezekiel to lay a clay tablet before himself and portray on it a city, Jerusalem. He told him to lay siege against it, set your face against it and it shall be besieged. This would be a sign to the house of Israel.
Sign of Ezekiel Lying on His Side– God told him to lie on his side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. He will bear their iniquity for the time God says and when he completed that he was to lay on the other side for a time to bear the iniquity of the house of Judah. God constrained him till he ended the days of his siege.
Sign of Defiled Bread– God had Ezekiel make bread for himself of certain ingredients to eat, while he lay on his side three hundred and ninety days. He could drink water and everything was by certain weight and measure. It was baked using human waste in their sight. Then, the Lord said “So shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them. Therefore, God cut off their supply of bread and water by eating only a certain amount that will cause them anxiety and dread that they will lack and be dismayed with one another and waste away because of their iniquity.”
Today’s Nourishment: Like Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ezekiel proclaims a message of horror and hope, of condemnation and consolation. Present judgement will be followed by future glory. Ezekiel places special emphasis of the glory of Israel’s sovereign God who says, “They shall know that I am The Lord.” In Chapters 2 and 3 God speaks of the rebellion of the house of Israel and that they are hardhearted. He sends Ezekiel with the warning of turning from their wicked ways.
Today, we can take the same heed from the watchmen God has placed over us. Our pastors and church leaders, those with the gift of prophecy, friends, the Word, spouses and others. We, too, live in a rebellious nation in which God has sent His messengers with warning signs. God is so good and loves us enough to give us that chance to repent and to turn from our wicked ways.
I’m reminded of the times I’ve failed Him or didn’t listen and went my own way only to suffer the consequences of it. But, God’s mercy and grace and the obedience of the messengers, offer hope if we take heed, listen, and repent, He will forgive us so, we don’t die in our sin. We as His children are his messengers also. I encourage you to open up His word and let God speak to you as He did Ezekiel to proclaim the message of hope without fear. Live empowered by the Spirit of God offering God’s grace and mercy to a lost and dying world.
What are some other ways that we as His messengers might fulfill the call to “Go with my Words?”
Tomorrows Delight: Ezekiel 5-8
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