Today's devotion from Ezekiel 1.As we begin to read through the book of Ezekiel, we should be prepared for some of the most spectacular and breathtaking descriptions recorded in Scripture. The visions given to Ezekiel are powerful and vivid. Many love the descriptions of the temple and of salvation given in the coming chapters. But, before we get there, let us notice where we are. It's easy to get excited and look ahead toward what will be, but I think this could cause us to miss the true beauty of what we are reading. In order to fully appreciate Ezekiel's visions, we must understand his context.
"In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, while I was among the exiles by the Chebar Canal, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God." (Ezekiel 1:1, CSB)
Did you notice it? Where is Ezekiel when he receives these fantastic visions from God? He's not in the temple surrounded by scrolls of Scripture. He is not standing with the priests performing their ceremonial duties. He is not gathered with the people for worship in the Promised Land.
He was among captives, in the place they landed after being ripped from the land of promise. He was in a pagan land beside a pagan river. Yet, this is where God came to him. This is where the Lord spoke to him. This is where the LORD's hand was on him.
I keep a picture in my office of a wooded lot where two chimneys are all that remain of a long forgotten and destroyed cabin. The family that once called it home are long gone, but the flowers they once planted continue to return in the spring. It was in this place, not a well decorated sanctuary, where God placed His hand on me and called me to ministry.
God calls and places His hand on people in wooded lots, beside rivers in exile, in church summer camps, and in office cubicles. There is no place where God cannot speak, that includes wherever you are now.