November 3, 2017
Ezekiel was among the second group of exiles taken into Babylonian captivity along with their Judean king, Jehoachin in the year 597 BC. He wrote this record “in the sixth year” of their exile. This was six years before the complete destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in the year 586 BC. As the exiled elders sat with Ezekiel, they must have been heartsick for their home. They must have felt forsaken of God. Yet, the “Lord God fell upon” Ezekiel in their midst and carried him in a vision to Jerusalem to see that they were actually the ones that God had preserved. For Jerusalem would soon be destroyed because of its violence and idolatry.
Jerusalem had the prophet Jeremiah warning them to repent and submit to Nebuchadnezzar in order to live. While the exiles in Babylon had the prophet Ezekiel revealing to them the reason for God’s judgment. The elders in Jerusalem thought their Temple protected them, that God would never allow it to fall, but they were wrong. His eye was actually on the exiles as the remnant that He would preserve. He would call them 70 years later to return and rebuild the Temple in preparation for the Messiah’s arrival.