Ezekiel – A man in lockdown

Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house. (Ezekiel 3:24)

We are all living in strange times. The world as we know has stopped – we may hope that it is just a temporary pause, and that normal service will shortly be resumed, but there are also concerns that life after Covid-19 may well be somewhat different to life before. Many of us are worried for loved ones, worried for ourselves, worried for the world in general, and unsure quite what we should do from day to day. However, we can find examples of others in similar situations in our Bibles.

Unexpected circumstances

At the start of the prophecy of Ezekiel we are told that he is 30 (1:1) and a priest (1:3). At that age he should be starting to work in the temple at Jerusalem, but he can’t. He has been taken captive and transported to Chaldea (on the other side of the Arabian desert) and the temple has been destroyed. It is simply impossible for him to do the work he was expecting to do.

But God had a different plan for Ezekiel – to be a prophet. To be a man of the word of God, and God didn’t leave him to work out what that meant. God started by giving Ezekiel a vision of His glory (chapter 1), and then a clear outline of who he would speak to – the children of Israel (2:3). God would also give him the words to say (3:27).

Life in lockdown

The verse we referred to at the start shows that God also told him to shut himself in his house. Many of us are shut in our houses at the moment, at the request of the government, and as much as we respect that, it must be said that Ezekiel’s instruction comes from a higher power – God Himself. And yet Ezekiel’s internment didn’t stop him from preaching God’s word.

Ezekiel also did many things that we are doing at the moment. He did some arts & crafts (4:1-2). He baked bread (4:9). He gave himself a haircut (5:1). While we may be doing these things to survive, or stay sane, God had a reason for Ezekiel do to all these things, and a message He wanted Israel to learn by watching what Ezekiel did. And Ezekiel did eventually leave his house, but God had a message in that as well, and told Ezekiel to leave by digging through the wall, rather than going out the door (12:5).

The Way Out

There is still a message from God in these days. It’s not a promise about Covid-19 or any of our daily problems, but one that addresses our biggest problem – our sin. That disease of the soul which leaves us locked out from the presence of God for all eternity. The message is put clearly by the apostle Paul in Acts 16:31 – Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.

The way out of the current situation may be long and complicated, but the way out of sin is “only a step”. Ask the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart, into your life, and you can know your sin taken away.

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