Don’t worry, I’m not going to pore over every single verse in this book — just the ones that really grab me up and shake me. THOSE kinds of verse will get some coverage. 🙂
Today – it’s the very first verse. Not too long, really. If you tuned in to my earlier post, you’ve already read it. But here goes…
“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.”
First of all, we immediately know Ezekiel’s age. This is important. I found out through some research, that Ezekiel was not only a prophet — he was also a priest. And 30 years of age is when most priests began their ministry (i.e. priesthood).
(Did your mind go off on the same rabbit trail mine did when you read that bit of info? Jesus was 30 when His earthly ministry started. I always wondered why we were told His age. I mean, it was nice to know and all…but I didn’t make the connection. Our High Priest forever (Hebrews 7:23-28) began His earthly priesthood at the traditional age that the priests started their ministry. I KNEW He was (and is) our High Priest, but it just didn’t click. Okay, back from the rabbit trail…)
So, this guy is at the age where he should start ministering as a Jewish priest. The problem? He’s not in Jerusalem. He’s in exile with all the other Jews. However, God was not and cannot be confined or contained. The sky opened up and EZ had VISIONS of God. It is NO coincidence that this all happened when he was 30. Even though EZ was in exile… God was NOT. 🙂 The Lord God opened a door that only HE could open. He set Ezekiel’s ministry in motion that very day!
We are given another tidbit of significant of: the fifth day of the fourth month is when this all took place.
I’ve been researching this and all I can find is some info on the babylonian calendar and the integration of the hebrew calendar during the time of exile. The There is a reason for this info, I know. Perhaps there is significance in the numbers themselves. FIVE and FOUR. The number 7 is considered perfect/complete (7 days of creation, for example) and the number 3 refers to spiritual perfection or completion (Jesus in grave for 3 days, Holy TRInity, etc). So what do these numbers mean in terms of biblical theology?
According to my research, the number 5 is the number of GRACE and the number 4 is the number of the world/creation. Hmmmm… that gets me to thinking. The Lord opened up the heavens and gave this man VISIONS of the most High on the FiFTH day of the FOURTH month. In God’s infinite mercy…He was showing GRACE to His CREATION even though they were in exile. He gave visions to this young priest (just starting out on his journey). He was away from home. Away from the temple. Away from all that “should have been”.
God just showed up. Ezekiel hadn’t offered a sacrifice or called the Lord to move (at least not according to the scripture). God showed favor and Grace to Ezekiel to perform the tasks he was called to do.
How does this apply to me (and you) today? I need to chew on it. But I’m sure, whatever tasks the Lord has called me to, He will give me the Grace to accomplish. ANd some of those tasks may be as simple (yet sweat-worthy) as cleaning my bedroom and being a good steward of what he’s given to me. OR making sure MY eyes are on HIS purposes and not my own. Or perhaps it is to be more gracious in a situation that is less than desireable? Whatever the case – He’s full of grace. And as the Lord said to Paul in the New Testament… But he said to me, “My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So I am very happy to brag about how weak I am. Then Christ’s power can rest on me. “. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
He said it best and I’ve said enough.