You’re 30 years old, unemployed and sitting by a river, when four job interviewers arrive on a fierce wind. Each has four faces—human, lion, ox, eagle—and wings that touch each other. And wheels! Big ones that intersect and move sideways, as well as up and down. The eyes on those wheel rims are alive, and their wing noise might drown out a SuperBowl crowd. But these beings don’t spell out the job description. No, the Big Boss Himself appears, glowing like molten metal.
At which point, you stop breathing and fall on your face.
The CEO speaks. “Stand up! I’ve got a job for you! First, though, a bit of lunch. Eat this scroll of lament and woe. The words look sour, but you’ll find it sweet enough.”
You do eat the scroll. The whole thing. And yes—sweet as honey.
” Good,” He says. Now go to the Israelite exiles. Tell them they’re a bunch of pig-headed rebels. You’re my watchman, Ezekiel! You must WARN of judgment on all Israel.”
With that, the noisy wings and wheels carry off the entire vision.
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Was this Ezekiel’s Near-Death Experience, or was it something else? He wasn’t getting glimpses of heaven; he was right there at the Throne, in company with those living beings with their eyes and wings and faces—beings who worship Adonai continually. (See Revelation 4:6ff) Far more is going on in the Real World than we can ever imagine!
The Bible book of Ezekiel is a challenge to read, and seatbelts are recommended. The first half focuses on God’s warnings of judgment—which we face today—but the book closes with a great vision of eternal HOPE.
We live in troubling times, but there’s even greater conflict going on in the heavenlies, HOWEVER, we’ve read the whole story and know who wins in the end!
Oy vey! May the Lord of glory be praised!
“Thy will be done on on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.”
Speaking of earth, Election Day is upon us. Regardless of your political persuasion, please pray that God will accomplish His purposes—which could include judgment, whatever party wins the election.
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Amazing writing for an amazing book.
Hallelujah! Amen Ellie! I fully agree!
I love how the NRSV translates “son of man” as “mortal”: He said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. (2:1-3) … it reminds me of our finiteness and mortality compared to God’s omnipotence.
A good translation, Larry, and you’re right about the finiteness of our human lives. There’s much to fear in the world, but our Eternal God is fully in charge.
This is the kind of thing that could kill you dead. Heart attack dead. That’s what would’ve happened if I’d been sitting by that river at that time.
Just thinking – us humans are so unaware of what’s happening all around us. That Day is coming, though, when it will confront us, and many will wish they could die to get away from it! – Revelation 6:16 – And they said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.”
We have this amazing opportunity to seek TRUTH right now, while there is still time. “I AM the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.” – Jesus
Still He gives us the choice to make for ourselves. Praying for humanity – Marcia
What a wonderful comment, Marcia! It made my heart sing. And yes, Ezekiel must have had a strong heart just to live through it! You’re right—there is so much evil afoot, these days, but is it more than ever before? Probably not, but it’s in our faces more. Thanks so much for thinking, feeling, and writing.
I heard a good sermon last Sunday on Esther from an Old Terstament professor. He painted us a picture. He describer the scene in details. Now, another picture is painted on Ezekiel. Brings it alive. Gives it color. My small men’s group just shared our meditations on Psalm 77 on Monday. It begins in lament and ends in remembering the Exodus. In the lament of the Psalmist he says he cannot sleep. I must confess that the political scene in the USA keeps me from sleeping, at times. Here in Costa Rica we are having a great crisis. And small groups are blocking all the roads, destroying what fragil economy is left. Good thing we know the end of the story. And as Daniel says, God administrates / governs all the nations. Thank you Ellie for the colored painting, the power of description. Bob Escazu Costa Rica
Thank you so much for your thoughtful words, Bob! I’m sorry to hear that the rioting plague has hit Costa Rica, as well. Our enemy is hard at work, and we have little hope apart from God’s mercy.
Wow! A shock induced return to an eternal reality! “In parvo multum.”
I had to look that up, Ed, and sort of came up with “we see little, but there’s a lot out there.” How’d I do? Thanks for thinking and writing!
I wish I could count how many times I have heard God say, “Stand up Sue! I have a job for you.”
Then come the excuses, the questions and the bargaining, as God patiently listens to my feeble objections.
And all the time, in the end, He knows that I will be obedient. I will write the letter to the editor, tutor the refugee and volunteer to serve wherever He sends me. Because even though I am insecure, unequipped and full of doubt….God uses all of those weaknesses to his own Glory and to build up my faith in the truth of his Holy Word.
It is still always pretty scary though. I guess that’s why they call it a leap of faith??
Yes, God does nag, Sue, and He nagged the Israelites a LOT in Ezekiel’s time. We simply don’t have our heavenly glasses on to see His goodness and mercy and wisdom. You are listening to His voice and engaging in the jobs He has laid out for you. Thanks so much for your faithfulness.