In my regular Bible readings, I find myself these days in the Book of Ezekiel, a gentleman I’ve always found myself to be quite fond of. Most of those Prophets had tough jobs, and I’ve always appreciated anyone who works hard…at whatever they do.
Well it seems that immediately after his encounter with the Lord (or as Ezekiel himself put it, after “the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God” [Ezekiel 1:1(b) NIV]), the encounter during which Ezekiel received his commission to be a Prophet, he was taken by the Spirit to the place where some of the exiles from Jerusalem were living. This was a place down by the Kebar River (“Chebar” in some translations) in Babylon, and this was the location at which his duties for the Lord were to begin.
Before Ezekiel actively began prophesying to the people of Israel down at the Kebar River, however, the good Prophet ran into somewhat of a snag. It appears that his encounter with The Holy One of Israel had had such a profound effect on Ezekiel that in his book he conveys how upon his arrival at the Kebar River, he, “…sat among them (the exiles) for seven days — overwhelmed” (Ezekiel 3:15 NIV – parenthetical comment mine).
Now this is a Prophet we are talking about. A professional speaker, and this one, unlike a couple of the others (such as Moses) had made no complaints to God about being chosen TO speak. He was a trained priest (also unlike a couple of the others), so he had been trained to talk. But encountering God, in what has to be at least ONE of the friendliest “meet-and-greet” scenes recorded in the Bible, left this professional speaker speechless. Not just momentarily speechless either, but without words for an entire week! For seven days and seven nights Ezekiel sat there completely awed by what he had seen.
What that reading told me was that I NEVER want to meet God when He’s angry, because He wasn’t angry at Ezekiel, and look at the result of that FRIENDLY encounter. It also made me realize once again that I owe to my Lord Jesus every last ounce of gratitude that I can muster, “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled¹ to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled¹, shall we be saved through His life!” (Romans 5:10 NIV – footnotes added).
1. reconcile(d): Make friends again. – The Gage Canadian Dictionary – (1983)
So I for one, am certainly very glad that having lost our original status of friendship with God, no thanks to the efforts of a certain serpent, and the original sins of our first parents, in a certain garden so long ago, that we can now receive that friendship once more by faith in, and the following of, the Lord Jesus Christ.