Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 40-42
Today’s Reflection: Ezekiel 40:4
And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel.
Jerusalem and the temple—the pride of Judah, and the centre of Israel’s spiritual life—had been destroyed, many of the peoples of Israel and Judah had been taken captive into Babylon, many had been killed refusing to surrender to Babylon (against the instructions given by God), their cities and house of worship were destroyed, their identity as a people had been shattered, and they were perhaps beginning to accept that the devastation they had suffered was as a direct result of their sins, disobedience and open rebellion against God, including the worship of pagan deities and idols. More than ever Israel needed hope.
At this point, God gave Ezekiel a vision. In great detail a messenger of the Lord showed Ezekiel a new restored temple. In Ezekiel chapter 40 verse 4, the messenger of the Lord tells Ezekiel to declare this word to the house of Israel. This news, of a new temple, of a day when the children of Israel would once again worship God in the city Jerusalem, was a word of mercy, a word of forgiveness, a word of reconciliation, a much needed word of hope. The word God gave Ezekiel was not a word for him to keep to himself. It was a word to be declared, to bless others as well as himself. To give a nation hope as well as to kindle his own hopes.
As God’s children today, a modern spiritual Israel so to speak (Galatians 3:28-29), we are the ones to whom God gives revelation today. Some of us may receive dreams and visions, but for many others God may speak to us through His word, through nature, through events that demonstrate the fulfillment of Bible prophesies, even ordinary everyday occurrences—once God gave me a very specific revelation through the experience of me and some friends visiting an art gallery. However God speaks to you, the word He gives you is most often not only for you, but is for others to hear as well. Whether a word of warning, a word of encouragement, a prophesy of the future, or an explanation of events in the past, revelation is usually given to a faithful person for the purpose of declaration.
Sometimes we may receive a revelation and feel uncomfortable sharing it. I encourage you to pray over what God has shown to you and ask for understanding, both of the message and of what to do with it. If you feel compelled to share it be obedient, understanding that your message may not be received positively from your perspective (Jeremiah wound up in a mud filled cistern for sharing the word God gave to him) but God’s Word never returns to Him void. If you faithfully declare what God reveals to you, that Word will accomplish what God has set out for it.
Ezekiel 3:17 – Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
Isaiah 55:11 – So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.