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God, What Are You Doing Here in Babylon?

via TJC

“In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.” Ezekiel 1:1 (NIV)

“Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” Ezekiel 1:26-28a

On Monday, we considered Ezekiel’s initial response when confronted by the Glory (Hebrew: “weighty” or “significant”) and Holiness of the Lord. The description in Hebrew is similar to the description of God’s presence among His people with Moses at Mt. Sinai and above the Ark of the Covenant in the temple in Jerusalem.

Ezekiel was in the 5th year of forced exile, in Babylon. Ezekiel had been hanging out by the river because it was his birthday. He knew about God’s Glory because he had been studying for the priesthood, and that day, his 30th birthday, was the day he would have been welcomed in as priest. And now Ezekiel saw God’s Glory, not in Judah, but in Babylon of all places.

This week, I tweaked my hamstring while running and clearly remembered a time way back in high school when I had a similar injury. At that time, I stood on the track and thought, “What advice would a future self give to me if he could come and talk to me now?” (What I came up with was: Work hard, especially at school. Stay out of trouble. Learn from/listen to others.)

Though I basically stuck with that self-advice from high school, through many twists and somersaults my life has turned out very different from what I could have imagined. Though in a relatively good situation now, I wish I could have experienced fewer twists and turns and have gotten to this place sooner.

This week, when I asked God why need for all those twists & turns, He pointed to what Ezekiel would have asked, “God, what are you doing here in Babylon?”

That question resonates with me because Ezekiel had planned/trained to be a priest, and instead found himself in exile in a foreign land whose culture was opposed to God.

And yet, God showed his glory and presence to Ezekiel while there in Babylon.

Daily Battle Order

When thinking about your life, whether looking forward or facing your past, what comes to your mind? Can you find God’s presence (“Glory”) with you, wherever you are located right now?

For those that have been with TJC on a Battlefield, how is “Deep Change” now working in you? If you have not yet been with TJC this year, I recommend joining TJC this Oct 13-15 on the Battlefield at Gettysburg



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