Today we start one of the oddest books in the Bible. The book is odd because of the imagery Ezekiel describes and the things he is asked to do. Ezekiel is a priest, thirty years old, who is one of the 3,000 Judeans who have been exiled in Babylon some five years. He is in the region of Tel Abib on the banks of the Kebar River (Chebar, depending on translations, we are not sure of this location today), when God begins to speak to him.
God speaks to Ezekiel in a pretty magnificent chariot, with four wheels along with four human and beastlike figures with some pretty cool appearances. God comes to Ezekiel to prophecy and prepare those in exile for what is going to happen in Jerusalem under the Babylonians siege. What I find amazing is God’s need to prepare His people. Here is Ezekiel in the land of exile preparing those in exile for what will happen to their home country. Just imagine you are on vacation and a tornado rips through your home town. How much would that break your heart to read, hear, and maybe even watch it unfold while you are still miles away? Just as Jeremiah, a contemporary of Ezekiel, had the responsibility of sharing with those in Jerusalem; Ezekiel has the responsibility in exile.
God might work in ways we do not always understand … remember reading about Ezekiel laying down for 390 days on his side, pretty mysterious … God always does things for our benefit, without sneaking up on us. Sometimes it takes listening to what God is trying to tell us. Has God sent someone to your life that might be trying to tell you something, but you just are not listening? Maybe it is time to notice the things happening in your life, the messages being shared, and the situations you keep finding yourself in. God just might be preparing you for something.