A Vision of God.
“The Lord gave this message to Ezekiel son of Buzi, a priest, beside the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians, and he felt the hand of the Lord take hold of him.” – Ezekiel 1:3 NLT
In 605 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar began the first of three deportations of captives from Judah to Babylon. Daniel would have been in this first group. In 598 BC, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah again, and this time he took King Jeoiachin, along with other leaders from Judah, as well as young Ezekiel, to Babylon. Then in 586 BC, the final deportation took place. Nebuchadnezzar put King Zedekiah on the throne as his puppet king. But Zedekiah would rebel against the Babylonians, forcing them to lay siege to the city, eventually destroying it two years later. Zedekiah would be taken to Babylon, the Temple would be ransacked and destroyed, and the city of Jerusalem left in a shambles. Ezekiel would find himself living in a refugee camp along with the other exiles from Judah on the banks of the Kebar River in Babylon.
Yet, there in that most desperate of conditions, God came to meet with Ezekiel. While He had brought destruction on the people of Judah for their sin and rebellion, He had not abandoned them. He would not leave them completely isolated and alone. God would call on Ezekiel to be His spokesperson there among the exiles in Babylon. There on the banks of the Kebar River, God appeared to Ezekiel. This young prophet received a remarkable vision of God in the midst of the doom and gloom of Babylonian captivity. When things seemed to be at their worst, God showed up. He revealed Himself to Ezekiel and gave him a message for the people of Judah. And the vision, while somewhat fantastical and hard to understand, seemed to illustrate the power and majestic presence of God. It accentuated His holiness and stressed His otherness. The vision that Ezekiel saw left no doubt just how great and powerful God was. He got a glimpse of God in the midst of his darkest moments. And when Ezekiel saw Him, he fell down and worshiped. “Above this surface was something that looked like a throne made of blue lapis lazuli. And on this throne high above was a figure whose appearance resembled a man. From what appeared to be his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor. All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the Lord looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me” (Ezekiel 1:26-28 NLT).
Even in our darkest days, God is there. Regardless of what is going on around us, He never ceases to be God. He does not change. His status does not diminish. His power does not decrease or wain. He remains holy, powerful, distinct, and worthy of our worship. God wants to reveal Himself to us. He wants us to see Him for who He is. He wants us to get our focus off of our circumstances and back on to Him. He is our help and hope. He wants to remind us of His presence and power. There on the banks of the Kebar River living with the dejected and devastated exiles from Judah, Ezekiel needed a vision of God. He needed a reminder that His God was great and was still on His throne, reigning in power. He had not forgotten Ezekiel or the people of Judah. Could you use a vision of God today? Look for Him in His Word. You’ll find Him.
Father, no matter how bad things get, You are there and You never change. You are on Your throne and You are in complete control. Give me a vision of You today. Let me see Your power. Let me sense Your presence. Help me get my eyes off my circumstances and back on to You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men