In chapter 12, God commands Ezekiel to pack up his belongings and act as though he is going into exile. God uses this as a warning to the people that they would be going into captivity. Ezekiel listened to God, and he served as a sign for the people that destruction was coming soon. Ezekiel also did what God commanded him as a way to show the rebellious people God’s sovereignty. In chapter 13, God tells Ezekiel about the false prophets and their false visions. God makes it clear that these false prophets are telling lies and that their visions will not come true because they are not from God. He also talks about his brutal punishments for these false prophets, and he says that this will let people know that he is the true God. In chapter 14, elders of Israel approach Ezekiel. They have been worshipping idols, so he asks God if he should let them speak to him. God tells Ezekiel to tell them to repent and turn away from idols. God says that he will take care of it and he will cut off these people. In chapter 15, God compares the people of Jerusalem to a vine that is only good for burning in a fire. He goes on to explain that the vine would burn in a fire and then would be useless after that. The people of Jerusalem have been rebellious and unfaithful, so God is going to consume them with fire. While this is a harsh judgment, God uses this analogy to exemplify his anger with their rebellion and emphasize his great sovereignty.
A key verse from these chapters is Ezekiel 12:1-3, which says:
“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house. As for you, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile’s baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight. You shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house.’”
This verse changes my vision of God, as it serves as a reminder to seek God first in every circumstance. The people of Israel were rebellious against God. They had the word of God, the priesthood, the prophets, and the temple. They had all the resources around them to see and hear the truth, yet they chose not to see or hear. This verse encourages me to examine my own heart and turn back to God. If we are not paying attention to God and his will for our lives, then what are we doing with our time? What are we saying to God when we choose to watch a Netflix show for hours upon hours yet we cannot give God a minuscule amount of time each day? We need to repent and listen to what God says in his word. This reading serves as a great reminder that God always remains faithful to us even when we do not seek after him in every circumstance. God is always there for us. As I reflect on this reading, I will go with God and seek after God when I feel exiled or lost in the daily tasks of life. I will strive to turn back to God, and I know that he will be there.
I see Jesus in Ezekiel 12:23-24, which says, “The days are near, and the fulfillment of every vision. For there shall be no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel.” Jesus was the ultimate vision for the people. The people no longer needed prophets, temples, or animal sacrifices. The people had the son of God. God knew from the beginning that his ultimate plan was to bring Jesus to walk among us. Every vision was fulfilled with Jesus’s sacrificial love for us. Jesus is the ultimate vision for all of us.