Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ezekiel saw Visions of God during the Exiles (Ezekiel 1:1-4)

In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month of the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. On the fifth of the month – it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin – the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the LORD was on him. I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north – an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light
(Ezekiel 1:1-4,

The prophet Ezekiel was among the first of the exiles, carried off to Babylon more than ten years before the final siege and fall of Jerusalem. He had been taken away with the King Jehoiachin, the royal family, and the leading men of the land. They were alive and maintained some status. But they were captives in a foreign land (*thank you Bible handbook).

I imagined, what a joy and relief it must have been to Ezekiel to see visions from God. As a priest, he would have been spiritually sensitive to the reasons the Jews had been exiled. He would have understood that their punishment was a direct result of God’s anger (after many warnings) with them. As far as Ezekiel knew, God might never talk to them again. But then came God’s visions to him. God appeared in awesome power, with a windstorm, a flashing lightning and brilliant light.

We all go through spiritual valleys and dark places, sometimes because of our sins, sometimes for reasons we do not understand. Sometimes because we walk away from God. But He is there, even when we don’t see Him. And every now and then – by God’s grace – He gives us a little glimpse of Himself. At that time, listen to Him.

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