Ezekiel 1:1 In the 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.
Ezekiel was called by God to be a watchman for the house of Israel. God showed him many visions throughout his ministry. He was a very colorful prophet in that he not only spoke God's word to His people, but he acted them out vividly before them. His book begins with a vision of living creatures, a wheel within a wheel, and the glory of God. He was given a scroll to eat which tasted like honey but was filled with lament and mourning and woe. Ezekiel symbolized the siege of Jerusalem as he lay bound on first one then the other side and ate scantily for a period of days. His hair was cut. Some was burned by fire, some struck with the sword, some scattered by the wind, and some folded into his garment to show what would happen to the Israelites. Even his wife died and he was told not to mourn.
Ezekiel spoke using many different allegories representing the Israelites. Laments are spoken for various rulers and nations. The prophecy against the King of Tyre in chapter 28 speaks of those who raise themselves up in pride only to be cast down by God, perhaps depicting even the enemy of our souls, Satan.
In his God-given visions, he speaks of a valley of dry bones upon which the Lord then breathes and raises up an army. He is shown the glory departing from the temple and then later, the temple restored and the gory entering it once again, with a glorious life-giving river flowing from it (A vision like it was also given to John in the book of Revelation.) The book ends with the gates and borders of the city of God. "And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE." This word is the heart of his prophecy: (11:16-21) 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.'
"Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.'
"They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and given them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD."
One other message in Ezekiel is worth noting (chapter 18): "For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die. . . .Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!"
Each of us is responsible for our own destiny in that we must choose to follow God to life or turn to death. Regardless of any circumstance or situation. Regardless of what all else are choosing around us, we can each choose life by the choosing the One who is LIFE. And He will be with us and lead us safely through whatever we are called upon to walk through. Let us rest in the promise of the end of our journey to the city of God, THE LORD IS THERE! Be Thou my vision. . . He is our vision!