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Prophecy

God in Power and Majesty

Ezekiel 1:1
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
NKJV

There is an overriding theme of the early chapters of this book on the glory and majesty of God. Ezekiel's first vision is of God&s majesty. This theme of God's glory occurs throughout the early chapters. Indeed, there is a progression in the early chapters as the glory of God moves from the Temple to the City to the City Gate to Heaven. Ezekiel watches as God&s glory leaves His people after having been present with them since the Exodus almost a thousand years earlier.  What a sad vision!

Modern man, even most Christians, lose sight of God's majesty. We all want to make God more like us. Ezekiel, who saw God's glory, displays the kind of response we should all possess.  God's glory overwhelms the prophet. Whenever Ezekiel encounters God's glory, he falls to the ground. He is overcome by God's presence and it is only the Spirit of God who can place the prophet back on his feet.  

Ezekiel 1:28-2:3 (NKJV)
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. 1 And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” 2 Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. 3 And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.

This is a much different reaction than modern "prophets" display. The modern cultural view is to see heaven as a play ground and God as the ideal loving father, not the majestic, all-powerful Person He truly is. If we could but retain Ezekiel's understanding of God and His majesty we would be better equipped to properly respond to God's call and direction.

Chapter 8 is a vision (1:3) in which the Holy Spirit provides Ezekiel with a tour of Jerusalem to show him the sins of the people for which they are about to be punished.  Ezekiel's first seeing the glory of Jesus emphasizes the importance of this vision. The glory vision is the same general description of the first chapter, but a comparison with John&s vision of Revelation 1 will demonstrate that the prophets are all beholding Jesus, the true Son of Man. Throughout much of this book, God calls Ezekiel by this title, son of man, the title Jesus applies to Himself more than any other in the Gospels.

 

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