Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Like Foxes - Ezekiel 13

Ezekiel 13:4 "O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts."

We have established that Jerusalem is to fall at this time. The false prophets are saying that everything will be just fine, so go ahead and build houses and go on with your life. We know that Jeremiah was in the kings house telling them that captivity was coming and to prepare. Not so with the false prophets who deceived the people and they did not prepare.

v3 "Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!"

It shows that leaders are held responsible for what they tell the people. Leaders have a greater responsibility because they have the care and safety of those under them in their hands.

v6 "They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith; and the LORD hath not sent them; and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word."

A person with a strong personality can bend the truth and add a lot of stuff that was not there. You know, some people you just want to believe because you like them so much. Truth is, if it does not match up with the Bible, it is wrong. The Bible says that without charity the words mean nothing. (I Corinthians 13) So, if a person speaks with venom in their heart and voice, they are obviously wrong according to the Bible.

Jeremiah was not the polished person that the false prophets were, at least, he did not have the popular message. He did not just sit around and figure out what to tell the people so it would please them. On the other hand the false prophets told the people that everything would be fine and that is what they wanted to hear. Wouldn't we all?

v8 "Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God."

So then they are compared to a wall in this chapter where the wall is daub with every falsehood they could think up.

v10 "Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar; v11 Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall; there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it."

It goes on to talk about the women who are busy sowing pillows and kerchiefs for evil purpose. That practice is denounced as well. So, not only those who are outspoken with deceit but also those who support them are held accountable.

It seems that the most important enemy was within the walls of Jerusalem and was not the army outside. This verse tells of deliverance, not from Babylon but from the false prophets.

v23 "Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations; for I will deliver my people out of your hand; and ye shall know that I am the LORD."

Isn't it a shame that God had to take Israel out of the promise land to get them out of the idol worship business?

v5 "Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in teh battle in the day of the LORD."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Days are at Hand - Ezekiel 12

Ezekiel 12:1 "The word of the LORD also came unto me saying v2 Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not; for they are a rebellious house."

In this chapter we see two issues covered. One the day Zedekiah left the castle and was captured. Second, dealing with the immediate fulfilment of the true prophesy.

Ezekiel was to pack his stuff and dig a hole under the wall and leave with his head covered to illustrate how Zedekiah left Jerusalem. Jeremiah 39.

v5 "Dig thou through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby. v6 In their sight shalt thou bear it upon thy shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight; thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground: for I have set thee for a sign unto the house of Israel."

There was a saying in Jerusalem that the things prophesied were 'far off' and therefore not to be worried over. The Lord said that was not to be anymore.

v22 "Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?"

v23 "Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision."

We often wait for a day, perhaps dread a day that is coming. Maybe it is the dentist we dread or a holiday we look forward to. They seem so far away. Then the days pass and before you know it, the day is here and we have to deal with it for good or bad.

So, it was for Israel, they had heard the prophets but felt that the day would come much later. As with Hezekiah, he was okay with the fact that destruction would come after he was gone. But in our studies, the day came for fulfilment and Israel was not ready.

v28 "Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of my words be prolonged anymore, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God."

Could today be the day?

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Spirit & Heart - Ezekiel 11

Ezekiel 11:19 - 20 "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God."

In Jeremiah we saw the physical goings on in Jerusalem. We saw one prophet who told the truth to the king and the people. There were many who failed to warn the people and prophesied to them things they themselves made up. In Ezekiel, we see the spiritual side of things. As the leaders turned the house of God into a temple of idol worship, we see the Lord moving out. It is a time when there seems no hope. Then we come to these two verses where hope is revived.

v5 "And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind, everyone of them."

Whoops! They must have thought if they kept it in the head it would be a secret. Not so. Here the Lord reminds us that he knows our intent and our thoughts. I think that is why some were given the mark and spared in the last chapter because the Lord knew the sins of Israel grieved them in their heart and mind.

Pelatiah is given special mention as one that deceived the people:

v13 "And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaliah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?"

This leads to the voice of hope in Ezekiel's ears. Those who came out of this judgment would be given a new heart to replace the stony one. Also, we have a promise that the Lord would not forsake them:

v16 "Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary int he countries where they shall come."

A little sanctuary... hope that the Lord would be there where ever they went.

I thing these things were suppose to be told to the people so that the story would go around and be remembered.

v25 "Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had showed me."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Glory of the LORD - Ezekiel 10

Ezekiel 10:4 "Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD's glory."

This is in contrast to back in Solomon's day of building the temple, then the Lord was coming in, now he is leaving the house. I picture him sitting in his chariot then getting up to walk out of the temple. It was a sad day for Israel.

v1 "Then I looked, and behold in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne."

Now the one on the throne speaks to the man in linen. He is to get fire from under the throne. The chapter goes into a description of the cherubim, cherub and the wheels after the brief glimpse of the one on the throne. It is understandable, eyes of flesh could not capture the beauty of Him, nor are they allowed to do so. The glory from Him is so great that the best the writer can do is describe the brightness of gems that we consider, perhaps, the most beautiful things on earth.

v2 "And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and aid, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight."

The only way I could possibly name what Ezekiel saw upon which the Lord's throne stood, is that I think of it as a living chariot. The description is there to read, here in chapter 10. I don't know how much we are suppose to understand.

From what I can visualize, I see the Lord stepping down off this 'living chariot' and walking out of the temple. BUT that is just my thoughts.

v20 "This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubim."

v18 "Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim."

I admit that I am a writer and do see things in story form. In reading this over and over, the sight I saw was the Lord sitting upon the cherubim, then stepping down to walk out of the house built for him, then being back on the cherubim again after he left the threshold.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Man Clothed in Linen - Inkhorn - Ezekiel 9

Ezekiel 9:4 "And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."

We find in this chapter that there were those in Jerusalem who did not like what was going on in the city. They sighed and cried over their city. We realize also that the Lord is aware of those who sin and those who hold fast to their fast.

These six men, mentioned here, seem to be the angelic watchmen over the city. That is just my view.

v1 "He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with is destroying weapon in his hand."

It says man but this may be for Ezekiel's benefit. Remember we are seeing a vision through the eyes of Ezekiel.

v2 "And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar."

Like soldiers called to the one in charge, they stood awaiting their command.

The first to receive orders was the man in linen with the inkhorn.

v3 "And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side?

My Bible refers me back to Leviticus 16:4 where it talks of the manner of Aaron's dress.

"He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh...these are holy garments..."

The job given to the man in linen was to go through the city and find those who sighed and cried and to put a mark on them. Next we have the other five and their orders:

v5 "And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him; through the city, and smite, let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; v6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark, and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house."

These are very solemn scriptures. This house was built for the Lord. It had been defiled. We see here that the Lord has already moved from the altar to the threshold. He is leaving the house. It is sad. As we have already seen from the abominations committed by the people, it was justified.

v11 "And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying I have done as thou hast commanded me."

Not only was this a very real event where the Lord judged Israel but it should serve as an example of the judgment that awaits this world. Those who push God away and serve other gods will face similar judgment. I am so thankful for the grace of God that he sent his Son to make a way of salvation for us. It is not the mark from that inkhorn that we have but the blood of God's very son upon our souls, so that, when judgment comes we know that it cannot touch those where the blood has been applied. That is those who have accepted Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he made to bring salvation. Amen.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sanctuary Defiled - Ezekiel 8

Ezekiel 8:6 "He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations."

I believe I have it right that Ezekiel is at the river Chebar but is carried in the spirit to see the things he saw at this time. And so Scofield agrees that these were visions of Ezekiel looking back to what 'had' happened so that Israel would know why they were in captivity.

v3 "And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy."

I picked up on three verses which tell of particular sins:

v9 "And he said unto me Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. v10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about."

That reminds me of the tombs of Egypt which have been opened where drawings were found on the walls and images were set up. Israel was suppose to be worshipping the one true God but at least Egypt did not pretend.

v5 "...and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry." I should have listed that first but I do not know what the image of jealousy was.

v14 "Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz."

This shows us that it was not just some few sneaking off to do a bad thing, it was all of them. Tammuz was a Syrian idol.

v16 "And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east."

Ezekiel is sitting with the elders of Israel. No doubt, these images will be told them and therefore spread throughout Israel in captivity, so that they (the new generation) will know why they are in captivity.

v18 "Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them."

That's the end of this chapter. I was thinking that when Israel does come back to God and leaves captivity to rebuild Jerusalem, they should have a hate for idol worship in their hearts. If they can see that it was because of idol worship or rather turning from God that caused them to loose their great nation and become subjects, THEN it should keep them from turning to idols ever again.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Morning is Come - Ezekiel 7

Ezekiel 7:10 "Behold the day, behold, it is come; the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded."

" shall know that I am the LORD."

We live in a time when there is a lot of nonchalant (Webster: giving an effect of unconcern or indifference) attitude toward the Bible and the awesomeness of God. I had a friend once, whom I had been trying to get to come to church, tell me that 'he and God had a deal worked out', as if he could elevate himself to a position of negotiation with God.

Although, (I am thankful) Jesus was God and is God, and came down to fulfill the plan of salvation through his blood on the cross and his victory over death and the grave, we should remember that God is God and we are his creation. When he says that a day will come when every knee shall bow to Him, He is not giving us a multiple choice question. He is stating a fact.

In this passage, we are at the end of all the warnings. The debate is over. Judgment has come.

v2 "Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land."

The day of repentance was yesterday, today is the day of judgment.

v3 "Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations."

Thank God for salvation. I know I will surely fall upon my face at the judgment. I hope that He will lift me up as he did the prophets so that I might stand. I long to see his face and understand those things I have not understood. It will be an awesome day when the stain of sin is stripped away and we can see clearly.

This chapter is filled with words to describe the end that has come:

v7 "..morning is come..." Morning can be a great time unless there is something that you have to do on that day that you have been dreading. I was so upset on the day of my appointment to have what I knew was cancer, checked out that I could not get out of bed. I had to go another day.

v10 "Behold, the day, behold, it is come, the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded."

v11 "Violence is risen...v12 The time is come, the day draweth near..."

v14 "They have blown the trumpet... v15 The sword is without..."

v23 "Make a chain; for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence."

There are many things going on in our country that are displeasing to God. I know this because the Bible speaks against those things. Truth does not change. People's opinions change but the truth abides.

No doubt, when judgment comes people will turn the palms of their hands up and say "what'd I do" but it will be too late on that day.

v27 "...they shall know that I am the LORD."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

They Shall Know... - Ezekiel 6

Ezekiel 6:14 "So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I am the LORD."

The people have forgotten. In one place, it says that the people have turned their back toward the Lord. A nation that has known God is more likely (or so it seems to me in scripture) to reap the judgment of God. It would take many scriptures to explain what I mean by that.

In this chapter, there is a description of the horror of judgment upon Israel. Some nations, like people, seem to harden themselves even more rather than learn from chastisement. It is sad.

The one theme that starts in this chapter is the phrase "they shall know that I am the LORD..." it is repeated over and over.

v3 "And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a swrod upon you, and I will destroy your high places."

The high places are where Israel worshipped idols.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hair - Ezekiel 5

Ezekiel 5:12 "A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword, round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them."

In this chapter, Ezekiel is again to use an illustration to describe what is to happen to Israel. Ezekiel is instructed to shave his hair and divide it into three parts to represent the children of Israel or perhaps more specifically, those that are left in the land and Jerusalem.

v1 "And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair."

The next verse tells what Ezekiel is to do with the hair. It represents v12 where God tells what he will do with the children of Israel.

v2 "Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them."

A small portion of hair was to be hidden under Ezekiel's clothes. After which, he was to cast them into a fire.

Judgment has come to Jerusalem.

In this chapter, God explains how he has brought Jerusalem forth in sight of the nations and exalted the city. Yet not even those nations around them have sinned as they have.

v6 "And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her; for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them."

It goes no to describe the very bad conditions of a siege. It was so bad that the Lord said he had never done it before nor would do again.

v9 "And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do anymore the like, because of all thine abominations."

I remember reading about Abraham, Issac and Jacob and the promises made to them. I remember their mischief and their faith. From that heritage a nation was born to love God. But they were easily deceived and tempted by the pagan beliefs of the land they possessed. It is for these sins that they are being judged.

v11 "Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, Surely because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity."

Later we will see what they were doing in the sanctuary that was dedicated to the Lord. We will also see as the glory of the Lord departs the place.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Example - Ezekiel 4

Ezekiel 4:1-2 "Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem; And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about."

This is a great description of a siege against a city. Jerusalem was a very great city. Maybe you have see the great stones used to build the walls.

Ezekiel was to draw the image of the siege taking place. The battering rams were probably large trees cut near the site and put on wheels to ram into the gates over and over until they gave way. If I remember correctly, the mount was dirt piled up until it reached the top of the wall so that men could walk right up to the top.

v3 Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city; and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel."

Inside the city, the false prophets are telling the people that everything will be fine. The enemy will leave or be defeated but God has said something different. Israel is to be led into captivity by this enemy. They will not be delivered. The iron pan represents a siege that is not going to be moved.

v4 "Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it; according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity."

Being a prophet was a tough calling. Ezekiel must have suffered considerable pain as he illustrated what was going on with his very body. It was hard to get Israel to listen but there was to be a record in very plain language for them to remember their sin and sin's cost.

v5 "For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel."

As a reference my Bible takes me back to Numbers 14:34 where a day is used for a year as recompense for iniquity. "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise." This was when the spies went into Canaan and Israel became afraid and would not believe and so wandered in the wilderness until that generation died, except for a few.

That example should have been something Israel remembered.

It goes on to describe Ezekiel's days as he carries out God's instructions. It was telling what it would be like in Jerusalem during these hard days.

v16 "Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Watchman - Ezekiel 3

Ezekiel 3:17 "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me."

It is the same command in Jeremiah 6:17. "Also, I set watchmen over you, saying hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken."

It might be easy to be the watchman if everyone would just listen to you when you sounded the warning that danger was on the way. The thing is that they were warned and not necessarily that they heeded the warning.

v7 "But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted."

See John 15:20

Ezekiel is given a roll of a book so that when he eats it and takes it to heart, he will be able to speak the words of the Lord to the people of Israel.

v 3b "...and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness." See also Revelation 10:9

So the Lord told Ezekiel right off that Israel was hardhearted and that they would not listen but he was to, nevertheless, sound the warning so that he, himself, has at least obeyed the Lord.

v18 "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." see Timothy 4:16

So this is the burden of the prophet Ezekiel, he is to sound the warning or those he should have warned will be his responsibility. It is an awesome burden.

The same held true if there was a righteous man and he turned toward wickedness and the Lord placed a warning in his path. If there was no warning there (the watchman) then:

v21 "Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul."

Here the Lord takes Ezekiel apart into the plain to talk with him. From there he starts his mission as one shut up in his house, neither moving nor speaking for many days.

v26 "But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear; for they are a rebellious house."

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Call - Ezekiel 2

Ezekiel 2:7 "And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious."

I can wonder what Ezekiel was doing with his life before that day. He surely had some plans of his own. He is perhaps still in some shock over current events. Maybe, he was just going about making the best of the situation. Perhaps he was just pondering what to do as he was down by the river Che'bar. When

"The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel..."

Ezekiel has seen the vision of which we can only make an effort to describe as in chapter 1. Then the LORD speaks:

v1 "And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee."

So, why did he have to be told to stand on his feet:

Chapter 1, verse 28 "...I fell upon my face,..."

We will notice that Ezekiel had a real physical reaction to such an awesome sight. He had to have some help getting up.

v2 "And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me."

The commission: v3 "And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me; they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day."

The person who will go is specific: Ezekiel, Son of man, thee.

The people he is to speak to is specific: Children of Israel

The problem: They have transgressed against me (God).

How have they transgressed:

v4 "For they are impudent children and stiffhearted..."

What is Ezekiel to say to them:

v4 "...and thou shalt say unto the, Thus saith the Lord God."

The excuses are skipped over and the resolution is wrapped up in this verse:

v5 "And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them."

It would seem that Ezekiel had just been called to a glorious position in life. He was to be a prophet. We will see later that the only glory in his mission was is obedience.

v6 "And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions; be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house."

Okay Ezekiel you are called and you will speak my words. The people may or may not heed them but speak anyway so they know you were there. It will be tough. They are rebellious and the conditions may be tough. Then a verse of caution for the priest/prophet.

v8 "But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house; open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee."

So the written word was laid out for Ezekiel and in it were "...lamentations, and mourning, and woe."

In this book, we will see very specific sights that depict the rebellion and idol worship of Israel. One phrase that comes up most often is this:

"...Ye shall know that I am the LORD."

Monday, June 07, 2010

Vision - Ezekiel 1

Ezekiel 1:4 "And I looked and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire."

Ezekiel is a glimpse at the awesomeness of God so far as a fleshly person can experience. So far as I know, there have been few people who experienced this visual contact with the Almighty. I do not say that they saw God but that they were in his presence and saw the human comprehension of such a close encounter. In all that I can remember, the men had to be revived before they could continue.

v5 "Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. v6 And everyone had four faces, and everyone had four wings."

Revelation 4:6 "And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind."

Revelation 4:3-4 "And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone; and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold."

Some people doubt that Jesus was God. They want him to appear in his heavenly majesty so that they might believe. Instead, He appeared to us in human form and displayed a most awesome character of himself, his love. As we can see from these verses, we are not yet ready to see God in all his glory.

Israel has turned there back on God in our study. Ezekiel is now able to describe to them just what an awesome God they are turning from to serve idols.

My Bible helps says that the diggings in the area explain the visions Ezekiel saw. I differ with them. I think the images were a result of the visions Ezekiel saw. Not the other way around.

v14 "The living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning." See Zech 4:10

By the time you said there they are they were somewhere else.

These are the happenings around the person of God. As Moses met God in the dark cloud to receive the law, so we have not seen God in his greatness. I mean that in the physical sense. We have met God, if we are Christians, in the spiritual sense in the person of Jesus Christ.

Next we have the story of the wheel in the wheel and we get closer to the person of God.

v16 "The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of beryl; and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel."

Ezekiel seemed at a loss for words to describe what he saw and I can understand it. I have trouble picturing it in my mind even as I read it.

v17 "When they went, they went upon their four sides; and they turned not when they went."

You should read the whole event. Look at this verse.

v21 "When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels."

In all this, it seems that there could be no more awesomeness to behold but these are the things surrounding the majesty of God.

The throne rises above this and again we are limited as to what we can behold and live.

v27 "And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about."

I sometimes plant a little garden spot when I feel well enough. It is just a small spot compared to our acreage. I go and tend it as I can. A person visiting would not even notice it unless I pointed it out. Such is the image I get of earth when I read these verses. We are quite small when it comes to the greatness of God. YET, he considers us important. He loves us so much that he died for us on a cruel cross. It is beyond my understanding.

v28 "As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake."