Summary: There are about three reasons that we can find of why God gave this vision to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 1: 4 -- 14. 10/12/03
As we had talked about last Sunday night, Ezekiel is among the first group to be taken captive in the Babylon. This was the fifth year of his captivity and a vision came expressly to Ezekiel from God. Ezekiel is 30 years of age and now can carry out all the priestly duties. Even though they did not have a sanctuary they had the God of the sanctuary. So, now there was going to be preaching in Babylon.
Before we start talking about the vision, it would help us to know why the vision. There are about three reasons that we can find of why God gave this vision to Ezekiel.
First of all, TO POSSESS EZEKIEL’S MIND. The vision gets Ezekiel’s attention. Before God can use us great in his service, he gets our attention. I remember when the Lord first impressed on me, he wanted me to preach the gospel. I laughed and past it off to begin with. But the call did not let up. I would get up in the morning with that call on my mind in go to bed thinking about it. Each day the call was a little more intense. Then I said okay Lord, here I am.
Ezekiel could not get away from the vision. It would stay on his mind until God possessed his mind.
Secondly, TO POSE TERROR UPON THE SINNERS. We will find this happening as we continue a study in this book. We find in the word of God that at times he will hurt us in order that he might heal us. Jeremiah said to the people one time, “let those who said, we shall have peace though we go on, know that our Lord is a consuming fire, whom they cannot stand before.” The king Shelton paraphrase is, people were saying we can have peace as we go on deliberately disobeying God’s command because we have done it so long. God hasn’t punished us yet. Then comes the fire on Jerusalem and its destruction. God meant what he said and said what he meant.
So, the vision was given to the Ezekiel to possess his mind and to pose terror upon the sinners.
Thirdly, the vision was given TO PROCLAIM COMFORT TO THE FATEFUL. Though they are captive in the land of Babylon, they have God as near as their call. There is a God in Heaven who hears the cries. There is a God in Heaven who knows their every need. This would give to the fateful hope to go on and to be encouraged, deliverance will come in due time. Not to look at things so much as the way they are but to look at their situation with the future in mind. God will deliver in due time.
Now as we look at the vision given to Ezekiel, notice THE VEHICLE OF THE VISION. 4. It was a cloud.
The word cloud is mentioned 107 times in the King James translation. A cloud has a significant part in the word of God. It is first mentioned in Genesis 9:13. This was after Noah had built the ark and water had destroyed the earth. God said, “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.” The covenant being that God would never again destroy the earth with water.
Again we find the word cloud in Exodus 13:21. This was after the Israelites had been delivered from the bondage of Egypt. “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillow of a cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in the pillar of fire to give them light; to go by day and night.”
Then after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Jesus was giving the disciples the great commission to go into all the world making disciples and that he would be with them. In Acts 1: 9, “when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.”
In Revelation 14:16, “he that set on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”
A cloud plays an important role in the word of God. For the Bible speaks when Jesus comes back, Luke 21:27, “and they shall see the son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
A cloud received him back in Heaven when he comes back it will be in a cloud.
We see not only the vehicle of the vision but THE VIVIDNESS OF THE VISION. 4 B. -- 14.
Try as you will and even the imagination cannot draw a picture in the mind of what these look like. But that isn’t the importance message we are to get from this. Ezekiel himself tells us what he saw. In chapter 10: 20, he says I know that the living creatures were the cherubim. They were servants of God.