Visions of God
28 August 2017
Reading: Ezekiel 1-3; Revelation 2
When I was thirty years of age, I was living with the exiles on the Kebar River. On the fifth day of the fourth month, the sky opened up and I saw visions of God. (Ezekiel 1:1 MSG)
Here I am again, reading the revelations of Ezekiel and John in parallel. Ezekiel, a 30-year-old was living in exile on the Kebar River near Babylon about 700 years before 90-year-old John was living in exile on the Greek island of Patmos. Both Ezekiel and John saw visions of fantastical creatures, of powerful beings, of messengers carrying scrolls of the Words of God, of destruction and restoration.
Both Ezekiel and John lived in times when God needed faithful witnesses to whom he could reveal truth about present and future, and who would be faithful to warn and instruct God’s people about coming events and how to prepare for them.
I wonder if God has people available today to and through whom he can communicate warnings and instructions about present and future – about what is coming and how to prepare for it? Would they be men and women in the mainstream of society or the religious system? Or would they be “exiles” like Ezekiel and John? Would God give them rational, easy-to-understand messages, or would he show them fantastical visions of creatures and thrones and wars and warnings?
Am I a potential messenger for God? Are you? Are we too busy to see and hear? Are we too involved in detail and too steeped in rationality to be aware?
Friends, how can we make ourselves available to hear God’s message and see God’s vision for the present and the future? How can we effectively speak for God in our place and to our people?
Father, I so wish (you hear this complaint from me every year when I’m reading Ezekiel’s and John’s revelations) that I could see what they saw! They described what it looked like to them living in Babylon in the sixth century BC and in Patmos in the first century AD. What would it look like to me, living in America today? But even more, I want to be available so you can speak to and through me to Christ-followers and Christ-seekers today. What do I need to do to be available?