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The Trial of Ezekiel (9 of 15)
The Trials of Great Bible Characters
Clarence E. Macartney
The Lord is there!'' That is the way the book of Ezekiel comes to a close. That is the impression that it leaves on one's mind, after all its visions of glory, its predictions of battles and slaughters, its soaring eloquence, its strange symbols, its extraordinary dramas - ''The Lord is there!'' And that is the impression, too, which the great book leaves about the prophet Ezekiel, that God was with him, and in his message. Any book, prophet, preacher, providence, experience in life that can say that to you, that can tell you that life is more than meat and the body more than raiment, that can persuade you that life has spiritual outgoings, and that the destiny of the soul is something more than just a struggle in the darkness in the defiles of this world's wilderness, after which silence and nothingness - any book, any friend that can say to you ''The Lord is there'' is well worthy of your attention and your gratitude.
Ezekiel is one of the major prophets, and there is no doubt about his right to that title. He is one of those ''dead, but sceptered sovereigns'' - real sovereigns of the world-''who still rule our spirits from their urns.'' He had been taken a captive down into Babylon some years before the final destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah, who remained in Jerusalem to the end, and probably had heard Jeremiah preach at the temple. Ezekiel lived with the captives on the banks of the river Chebar, a hundred miles or more up the Euphrates from Babylon. There he shared with them their sorrows and their exile. Like another great deliverer, he was ''touched with the feeling of our infirmities.'' He says of them, ''I sat where they sat.'' It was then that there came to him the series of extraordinary visions which are related in his book, and it was there he acted out those extraordinary dramas, messages of jud ...
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