Ezekiel, like Daniel, spoke the Word of God in Babylon. While both those prophets are difficult reads, they are consistent in giving us the Good News that God’s people will one day return to their rightful place.
Beginning in chapter 3, we often read, The hand of the Lord came upon me. JSB Today’s reading begins the same way. The meaning is that Ezekiel is so infused with the Holy Spirit that he could not do his own thing even if he wanted to.
In that first use of the term in chapter 3, God told Ezekiel to walk out to a valley. There he saw the Presence of the Lord and was possessed by the Holy Spirit. God told him then that he was not to speak unless God gave him the words to speak.
In chapter 37 the Hand of the Lord and the Holy Spirit take him—in a vision—to a different valley, one littered with the bleached bones of the dead. The account is popular because of the image of bones taking on flesh—the stuff of Hollywood.
Yet, we often miss the real story. We are almost back to Genesis when God says, Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, O mortal! JSB The Breath of God comes from the four corners of the world to fill the lungs of the long-dead.
And He said to me, “O mortal, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone; we are doomed.’ Prophesy, therefore, and say to them: Thus said the Lord God: I am going to open your graves and lift you out of the graves, O My people, and bring you to the land of Israel. JSB
Our timeframe is not God’s timeframe. He will save us even after death. Yes, we might be in the small group of believer’s God will pluck up without earthly death. But the reality is that we are much more likely to die and be resurrected. And why not; it was good enough for Jesus.
There is even more good news as we read on from today’s verses. Starting with verse 22: I will make them a single nation in the land, on the hills of Israel, and one king shall be king of them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms. Nor shall they ever again defile themselves by their fetishes and their abhorrent things, and by their other transgressions. I will save them in all their settlements where they sinned, and I will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. JSB
The very next verse speaks of Jesus. My servant David shall be king over them; there shall be one shepherd for all of them. JSB This is one of many verses which speak of the coming Messiah.
There are people in America today who are trying to force the Hand of God to act now. They believe the Temple must be rebuilt so the end times can come. What they forget is that God is in charge. We cannot push God around; we can only obey.
The Hand of God spins the universe. The Hand of God sets the times for all actions. It is our place to love Him, and obey Him, and wait on Him.
Could I create a work of work of fiction with a protagonist who wants to control his destiny only to have him fail? Could he then discover that his destiny is not his to control? Remember the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus? It’s a great example of the destiny thing. God is in charge.
Read my earlier comments on this theme here.
Be righteous and do good.