1Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.Next Verse 2
The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Tanakh and one of the major prophetic books in the Old Testament, following Isaiah and Jeremiah. According to the book itself, it records seven visions of the prophet Ezekiel, exiled in Babylon, during the 22 years 593-571 BCE, although it is the product of a long and complex history and does not necessarily preserve the very words of the prophet.
The visions, and the book, are structured around three themes: (1) Judgment on Israel (chapters 1–24); (2) Judgment on the nations (chapters 25–32); and (3) Future blessings for Israel (chapters 33–48). Its themes include the concepts of the presence of God, purity, Israel as a divine community, and individual responsibility to God. Its later influence has included the development of mystical and apocalyptic traditions in Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism and Christianity.
Ezekiel has the broad three-fold structure found in a number of the prophetic books: oracles of woe against the prophet's own people, followed by oracles against Israel's neighbours, ending in prophecies of hope and salvation:
Thank You for this Saturday. We come today with hearts so full of gladness and appreciation for the friends You have given us in this world. We know that the church is Your heart, and that You have called us to come together in unity to follow You.
Help us to reach out to and pour into others. By Your Holy Spirit, guide us so that we may bless those around us with the grace and love You so freely give to us.
Help us to live by the Golden Rule when it comes to others. Move in our hearts and lives, creating opportunities for us to connect with those we do not know in order to cultivate new relationships and tend to well established ones. Community is Your heart, Lord, and we pray today that You would move in our hearts so it becomes a great desire in our own natures as well.
In Jesus' name,