Friday, November 20, 2009

PROPHET EZEKIEL



“The city has fallen! The city has fallen!” a cry rang out eerily from a desperate and broken man. The messenger who had seen the carnage and massacre in Jerusalem garnered whatever strength that was left in him to proclaim to his hearers, the first remnants of Israelites taken by the Babylonians.


The news had become the darkest hour in Israel’s history. The walls of Jerusalem crumbled beyond recognition. What was more horrifying to the chosen nation was the destruction of the temple of God, built by the mighty King Solomon. Many of those heard went away in disbelief but not Prophet Ezekiel, who was amongst those taken away from a losing war with the Babylonians. In fact God had shown him this day before it even happened.


Prophet Ezekiel was called to be a prophet in a world filled with international upheavals. The rise of the Babylonians had caused many countries in the region to tremble especially powers like Egypt, Syria and the Palestine Judah. Many of these countries fell like dominoes when ruthless Babylon wielded their swords against them. When Israel was finally subdued, only some righteous ones knew that it was Yahweh who made it happen. Not because the Babylonians were invincible but the blatant sins of Judah had caused its own downfall.


Before the shock devastation, God had transported his prophet Ezekiel to witness many treacherous scheming and wicked deeds being performed by so called chosen ones without an ounce of remorse. Such audacity of wantonness was unthinkable to the mind of any righteous man or woman, let alone a prophet priest like Ezekiel. God always showed his close ones the secret why he did what he had to do! And Ezekiel understood perfectly! The prophet even witnessed the departing of the glory of God from the temple, signifying the end of God’s presence with the rebellious people!


When God’s glory departed, his judgment fire would follow. Yet, when they heard of the consuming fire of God being prophesied, they laughed it away as ridiculous! Ezekiel complained, "Ah, Sovereign LORD! They are saying of me, 'Isn't he just telling parables?'" The prophet knew of their heart of stone when Yahweh spoke, “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says to the land of Israel: The end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.”


The despair could be seen in Ezekiel’s face! If God did not stop the fire, it could destroy his people completely. The most heart breaking moment came when God uttered these words to his prophet, “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found NONE.” Not even one! The judgement of God was obviously justified.


Yet with all the doom and gloom Ezekiel saw and heard, God sprinkled hope upon the weary prophet like a refreshing shower! The soothing Word came forth from the throne room of God’s amazing grace, "'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” Surely Ezekiel would have heard of the remnant theology but coming out personally from above was exhilarating. More than that, God made sure Ezekiel got a rock solid assurance when he showed the prophet a vision of the dry bones being brought back to life, piece by piece and ultimately through the breath of God! God as usual, remembered the promised made to Abraham although his people forgot.

“I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms,” the all compassionate Yahweh declared! One nation, one King, one God! On that day, when God restored Jerusalem under his awesome power, no nation could stand against it!


As a prophet from a priestly line, Ezekiel would invariably be burdened with worship and secretly yearning for a temple. Then he got more than he asked for. Instead of showing him the vision of the rebuilding of the temple after the 70-year exile, God bypassed it and showed him the millennium temple where the Messiah, the son of David, began his rule! (See my opinion on another blog post - Will the third Jewish temple be built?)


What would Prophet Ezekiel say to us if he were still alive today?


1. God’s judgment will never be unjust for God is a just God!
2. Submission to God leads us to a great future with God.
3. Do not let the world’s wickedness alarm you and keep you away from God for He is still in control!
4. Stand in the gap for unsaved men and women today and keep them from the fire of judgment that is to come.
5. Nothing is impossible for God! What is seemingly dead can be revived if God so desires!


4 comments:

  1. As we reach the point where impending doom is imminent, it is reassuring to look ahead, knowing we await the building of that final temple.

    Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

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  2. Amen! In these last days, may the Lord help all of us to stand firm for what we believe in!

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  3. Amen.

    I praise the Lord for the life of Ezekiel. and truly you're an amazing writer.

    Praise the Lord because especially at this time when we are pushed from every side, we can hold on and hold on steadfastly to the Lord for He wil rescue us. praise be His Name!

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  4. Yes and Amen! We can always trust our Mighty God! Tks for the comment, Bro. Mikes!

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