Summary: Ezekiel worked for God right where he was, among the exiles in various colonies near the Chebar River in Babylon (v. 1).
One time when Michigan State was playing UCLA in football, the score was tied at 14 with only seconds to play. Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State’s coach, sent in place kicker Dave Kaiser who booted a field goal that won the game. When the kicker returned to the bench, Daugherty said, “nice going, but you didn’t watch the ball after you kicked it.” “That’s right, Coach,” Kaiser replied. “I was watching the referee instead to see how he’d signal it. I forgot my contact lenses, and I couldn’t see the goal posts.”
THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS PASSAGE
Ezekiel worked for God right where he was, among the exiles in various colonies near the Chebar River in Babylon (v. 1). Jerusalem and its temple was over 500 miles away, but Ezekiel helped the people understand that although they were far from home they did not need to be far from God. God communicated to Ezekiel in visions (vv. 2-14). These visions seem strange to us because they are apocalyptic. This means that Ezekiel saw symbolic pictures that vividly conveyed an idea.
The people in exile had lost their perspective of God’s presence and Ezekiel came to them with a vision. The horses and their colors seem to have been symbols of God’s involvement in world governments. The Angel asked God to act swiftly to complete the promised return of His people to Jerusalem.
In the first three verses of this chapter we can see three things happening in Ezekiel’s life:
1. Ezekiel’s calamity (v. 1a) - In Leviticus God gave Moses the commandment for the children of God not to farm their land every seventh year but they had completely ignored this commandment for 490 years. Because of this God raised up Nebuchadnezzar to take Israel into captivity for 70 years. If you divide 70 into 490 you find the land enjoyed it’s Sabbath.
2. Ezekiel’s call (v. 1b) - It was the fifth year of this captivity that Ezekiel saw the vision and was called to carry out his priestly duties.
3. Ezekiel’s commission (vv. 2-3) - Ezekiel was to be a Priest to the captives down by the river of Chebar and it says, “and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.”
I know that without a vision people will perish (Prov. 29:18). With this in mind I want to use the rest of my life to reach souls with the Gospel of Christ and to encourage others to do likewise. How about you?
MEMORY VERSE: “Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezek. 3:20