August 27, 2017. Ezekiel 1-4.
We begin our reading today with God giving visions or signs of Himself to Ezekiel for his fellow exiles. God began with the physical description of a great storm cloud, raging with fire.
(Ezekiel 1:4) Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
When the “storms” of, and in life appear in our pathway it can be a frightful thing! We ask, “God are you still here?” Do You see what might happen?
Is God in the storm?
Do you remember our bible readings awhile back in Exodus? (Exodus 13:21) The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
Is God really going before us? Are we willing to travel with God…despite the storms and darkness that we will experience in this life?
Won’t you trust and wait for the glory of God to appear after the storms in life come?
(Ezekiel 1:28) Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
God was giving Ezekiel the responsibility of watchman over the house of Israel, to warn of impending dangers. (Ezekiel 2:17) Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:
God would need to prepare Ezekiel with the necessary strength to not be afraid to minister to a rebellious and unreceptive exiled community. (Interesting…because that is exactly the meaning of Ezekiel’s name-God strengthens)
For you see, the rebellious house of Israel (God’s covenant people) were not listening to the prophet Ezekiel or to the LORD. Ezekiel was to warn the wicked of their wicked ways to save their very lives. As well as to warn the righteous that they shouldn’t sin. When the prophet followed through with God’s warnings of blessing and curse before the people of the household of Israel, he was to leave them to their choice.
(Ezekiel 4:3,4a) Moreover take for yourself an iron plate, and set it as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face against it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel. 4a. Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it.
When rebellion enters a house it places a barrier in relationship, and can cause the restraint of freedom for those who choose to be in rebellion.
It is good to be the watchman over your house, and to warn against any type of rebellion.