You have to get your head in gear for Ezekiel. Some of the richest messages in the Bible – messages which are true for us today, just as they were when they were written – are found in this book. Ezekiel is a true prophet, and true prophets often “see” rather than “hear” things from God.
What do I mean? Well, Ezekiel sees visions which represent what the Lord is saying. You know the old Chinese proverb, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, there is never a time when that can be demonstrated better than in the messages from Ezekiel.
So let’s go. To establish the background, Ezekiel is an exile prophet, meaning that he is writing from captivity in Babylon. The once mighty nation of Israel has been carried off to Babylon, but their God is still with them. He encourages the people with promises of an eventual return and rebuilding of Jerusalem. God is indeed faithful to His people.
Now for the visions. What do you see when you see the creatures with four faces which Ezekiel describes? I see the completeness of man, as God has designed him. The four faces represent differing aspects of God’s design. He is a man first and foremost, God’s man. When he walks in the fulness of God’s plan, this man will be as bold and full of authority as a lion, he will be willing to serve as the ox, and he will soar as an eagle above the rudimentary elements of the world. God’s man is a many-faceted man.
Then, as God’s man prophesying to God’s people, Ezekiel is required to eat the scroll first. This, too, is a principle which applies today. In today’s jargon, we would say, “Practice what you preach.”
If we are our Father’s representatives, we must do what we say, and we must do what we expect others to do. That’s integrity, and it’s what God requires.
Now Ezekiel is called to speak to the nation of Israel while they are in exile, so some of the messages will just seem for the moment. Yet if we look closely, we will have the opportunity to receive messages for us also.
Ezekiel can teach us a lot, if we will just listen
There is such a contrast between those who honor the Spirit of Grace and those who insult Him. Those who honor God’s precious Spirit have the privilege of entering boldly into the throne of grace to find help in time of need. That time of need could be a time when we have sinned, or it could be when we are in need of strength, wisdom, or provision.
The main thing here is that our Father is ever ready to help us, when our hearts are toward Him.
Yet there is another side of the coin; a side which isn’t as pretty.
Paul speaks of insulting the Spirit of Grace. That’s when we take Him lightly, and continue in a life of sin or apathy towards our God.
We all know people who have had God move mightily on their behalf, and who for a season have seemed to have changed lives, living for Him. Then when the shiny objects of the world have entered the picture, they have no time for their Savior. And some times, they have turned their backs on God completely.
Dangerous territory. I’m not saying that they have committed the unforgivable sin, but I am saying that they have insulted God. Repentance is there for them. But they do need to repent.
I am not talking about just making a mistake. i am talking about after knowing Him to choose a lifestyle which honors the devil rather than God. That’s the dangerous territory, and we want to avoid it at all costs.
Grace is such a terrific gift from our Father, and not one to be taken lightly. Our Father loves us, and wants us to live closely with Him. There is nothing that He won’t do for us when we walk closely with Him.
I pray that you and I will continue to walk with Him – closer and closer every day.