This meditation closes out our look at the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was God’s prophet to the community of believers who had been expelled from Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar and carried off with their wealth into his nation of Babylon. This tragic episode was a specific judgment from the Lord due to their chronic unfaithfulness and idolatry.
Ezekiel was prophet to the people who lived in an exile community by the river Chebar. At the same time, approximately 100 miles away, Daniel was prophet to the palace – he would be the Lord’s mouthpiece to Nebuchadnezzar and all the leaders who succeeded him as long as the exiles were in the land. Both prophets had much to say about their current time as well as far into their (and even our) future.
God used Ezekiel to send a message of hope to the exiles from Judah who had been sent to Babylon as a consequence of them rejecting the One who had blessed them. Instead of worshiping the Lord who had given them such a good land filled with vineyards and olive trees and blessed by the dew of heaven, they turned to worship other gods from the nations around them. There was nothing remotely holy about their “worship” services.
But God had not forgotten or abandoned His beloved nation. Far from it. He gave a series of visions to Ezekiel to share His love for them, ending with a grand one about His final return to earth to live among them forever. This last vision describes the Messianic age, the culmination of the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel’s final vision was directed by an angel as the two looked down from a virtual mountain upon the temple area in Jerusalem. Some of these images appear again centuries later in the visions of the apostle John in the New Testament book of Revelation. Speaking of his leading angel, Ezekiel writes:
1 Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east; 2 and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone from His glory. 3 And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. 4 And the glory of the Lord entered the house by way of the gate facing east. 5 And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner courtyard; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.
6 Then I heard Him speaking to me from the house, while a man was standing beside me. 7 And He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. Ezekiel 43:1-7a (NASB)
God promised that His Spirit, which was earlier removed from the temple, would one day return there. This was initiated with the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, ten days after the risen Jesus ascended into heaven.
Jesus the Messiah has promised to return again to walk on the earth, this time ruling and reigning over the world from His throne in Jerusalem. God’s Spirit continues to fill hearts around the globe, with believers everywhere making up the true temple of God. This filling began at Pentecost in Jerusalem and is growing out from there to this day. Ezekiel has also promised a new outpouring on that nation in the end times.
God called Abraham, the father of our faith, and promised that through him, the Lord would extend generous blessings to everyone. Beginning with Abraham and continuing down his line through the genealogy of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, this promise has been and is being fulfilled among us. One day all prophecy in the Bible, including Ezekiel’s, will clearly be accomplished before our eyes.
May you be richly and generously blessed by the Lord today.
God promised to bless all nations when He called out Abram (Abraham) to be the father of a special people. What started with this kernel of a promise continues to spread each day through the gift of faith and the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon believers everywhere. As God promised:
2 And I will make you into a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing;
3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3 (NASB)
Have you reached out to the Lord yet in faith? He is there, loves you deeply, and longs to be a blessing to you.
Father God, thank You for Jesus who went to the cross for my sin and was raised from the dead for my eternal life. I ask for Your purification and cleansing today. Free me from the evil that sometimes grips my mind and soul. Bless me to sit at Your feet and learn from You. In Jesus’ name we ask this, Amen.