Ezekiel is my new favorite book. As I have mentioned, maybe a bajillion times (sorry for that), we are reading through the Bible in a year as a church. And I am reading through the Bible more carefully than I have before, because I am reading everything aloud to the kiddos. We look at the footnotes and pour over any drawings or charts or maps – BTW love that ESV Study Bible (amazon link)! This is one of the blessings of homeschooling – we have time to study longer selections than we did when they were going to traditional school. Even if you are reading alone, I would recommend reading God’s Very Word aloud‘¦unless this is socially awkward – like you are at a quiet coffee shop or in your cubicle at work. 😉
The LORD utters a phrase repeatedly in Ezekiel: “and you shall know that I am the LORD” or, similarly, “then they will know that I am the LORD.” I read somewhere that the phrase “know that I am the LORD” appears over 70 times in the Book of Ezekiel. And I just keep coming back to the knowledge that “LORD”, in all small caps, is Yahweh, or the Great Name of the God… which means “I AM”. Remember Moses talked with God about this:
“If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘˜The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘˜What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM Who I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘˜I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘˜The LORD (I AM), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my Name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations (Ex 3:13-15).
Yahweh, Hebrew for I AM. This Person – the Creator, not one created – He is today, He is yesterday, He is tomorrow. As the Creator of time, He transcends past tense, present tense, future tense. He just IS. He IS eternally present, eternally existent. He is I AM. This is His Name. His Name is His promise, His reputation, and His character…It is the enigma, wrapped in a riddle; but He gives it to us – that we would know Him.
In the time of Ezekiel, the people had really strayed from the path of righteousness. God tells Ezekiel that the people are so evil, that no righteous man can save this nation of idolatrous and treacherous people. He says: even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord God (Ez 14:14) – BTW, this paves the way for the One Who Can Save, the One Righteous Man, Jesus. But at this time, God’s people had an identity crisis. They forgot their who they were, and Whose they were. They forgot God.
So God reminds Ezekiel of Who He is. Every time Ezekiel sees the Glory of the LORD…He. Falls. To. The. Ground. Face. First.
And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD… And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking (Ez 1:27-28).
Ezekiel can’t forget the LORD, Who He Is. But Israel does. And God explains again and again that He will punish them and “then they will know that I am the LORD” (Ez 25:7) and, also that when they remember Him, He will rescue them, and then “The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD, their God, from that day forward” (Ez 39:22). It is like He is saying “they will know that I am ‘I AM who I AM‘”. In Hebrew, repeating a word or phrase three time connotes infinity. Wrapped in His Name is His identity.
Remember. God wants us to always remember, and to never forget, Who He IS. I am giving my children His Very Word, to Know Who He is. And it helps us to remember, and not to forget, He IS. There is so much more to say…but I would love to hear from you instead – do you ever forget…Who He IS? What helps you remember?
Britta ~ I am justAgirl…just like you!