Daily Thought for: 15th August

THE PREPARATION OF EZEKIEL

Ezekiel 1. 1-3; 2. 1-10

The book starts in the thirtieth year of Ezekiel with the description of a great vision, and with the prophet among the captives. If the words of Jeremiah were true, Ezekiel would never have the privilege of serving in the temple at Jerusalem. This must have been a real blow to his aspirations. Taken from Jerusalem when he was 25, it seemed to mean the end of all real purpose in life for him. But what seems a disappointment to us can often indicate God has other intentions for us. So Ezekiel was prepared for a new appointment. 

What he saw. ‘The heavens were opened upon him and he saw visions of God’, 1. 1. Ezekiel experienced this phenomenon in that eventful year. He looked up and saw the glory of the chariot-throne of God coming out of the north, indicating the universal character of God’s throne which no power in heaven or on earth can stay. 

What he heard. ‘The word of God came expressly unto Ezekiel’. It came in a symbolic picture—a roll written within and without, meaning there was no room for any addition by the prophet himself. The command to eat it indicates that the word of God was to be assimilated, and made a living part of him. Assimilating it, he found it dominated him and made him share on a human level God’s attitude toward a sinful people. Having received God’s message, it is made clear to him that it will be deliberately refused by his generation without any excuse being offered. All who will serve God must first ‘eat’ the book and allow it to search the motives, thoughts and actions, so to bring the servant into sympathy with God’s thoughts, and for it to become a living power in him. 

What he felt. ‘The hand of the Lord was there upon him’, v. 3. Seven times this is said of Ezekiel throughout the book, which indicated in a very real sense that his life was under the control of God. Linked with the hand of the Lord is the Spirit of God who is seen lifting and carrying the prophet in the fulfilment of his ministry. It is still necessary to know the hand of the Lord upon us and the Spirit of God within us to accomplish our mission in the world. 

 

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