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With You All The Way

Weekly Devotionals

With You All The Way

Ezekiel 1:1-3, 28b

1 In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

2 On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin—3 the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the Lord was on him.

(MAKE SURE TO READ THE WHOLE CHAPTER)

28b This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

This is one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible.  It’s a vision of God in the heavenly realms that never fails to strike me with wonder.  The descriptions that Ezekiel gives are quite possibly metaphors to give us understanding of what God is like, nevertheless this is what He saw.  Most of the chapter is dedicated to this incredible depiction of God and the living creatures and how they host His glorious presence.  As you read the entire chapter, you get captivated in the awe of Ezekiel’s vision with the build up of the last line, This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.  This was just the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.  What then would the likeness of the glory of the Lord be like?  What then would the glory of the Lord be like?  What then is the Lord like?  We are 3 layers removed from His actual self, and yet it’s this awesome!

But there is a question that arises, what is God’s presence doing in Babylon?  Wasn’t he supposed to be in the temple in Jerusalem?  Well, as you read the rest of Ezekiel, you find that God’s presence has left the Temple due to Israel’s idolatry and rebellion.  And His presence has gone to be with the Israelite exiles in Babylon (The Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel and took most of the people and brought them back to Babylon as captives.  God allowed this as punishment for Israel’s centuries of heinous sins).  When you read prophets like Jeremiah, you hear God telling the people that the only ones who are going to survive the invasion of Babylon are those who surrender to Babylon.  Those who try to escape or fight will all die.  Thus, true followers of God are the ones who submit to this punishment/discipline and enter into the brokenness of the nation, the people.

But what’s amazing in all of this is that God shows up in Babylon.  Yes, he inflicted punishment on His people.  Yes, he departed from the Temple, which was the glory of Israel, the one physical location on the face of the earth where God made His presence known.  BUT, God never left His people.  He actually is still with them, even in exile, even in punishment, even in discipline.  He is a God who will not abandon us.  Thus, as we hear this truth today, may we respond just like Ezekiel…in the posture of worship.