How does God speak to you? Ezekiel is the son of a priest and one of the four greater prophets. Ezekiel was taken captive eleven years before the destruction of Jerusalem. He was a member of a community of Jewish exiles who settled on the banks of the Chebar. It was by this river that God’s message first reached him. He is distinguished by his firm, inflexible energy of will and character, and we also observe a devoted adherence to the rites and ceremonies of his religion.
We forget sometimes that God is all knowing and ever present. Tam’muz (tam-uz) refers to the worship of this Babylonian deity in a vision of his apostate brethren who were enamored of this cult. The prophet saw the women weeping for this god at the North Gate of the Jerusalem Temple (Ezek 8:14). Tammuz was known by the Babylonians as the god of pasture and flocks, of subterranean water, and of vegetation. “Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them.”
The chastisement is because the Jewish people are not listening to God and are ignoring God’s Laws. Scripture implies that there is no reason to not listen to God. If God communicates with us, how is it done so that we will listen?
There are five Biblical ways that God comes unto the Christian. God sometimes meets us in God’s glory. Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18) After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. (Mark 9:2)
God appears in dreams and visions. Joseph: Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” (Genesis 37:9) In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
Sometimes God’s direction is found in a sign. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11)
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.
She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. (Revelation 12:1)
Sometimes God’s guidance is as simple as reading the Bible. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Feelings many times can be misleading but God can be found in feelings. Leading of the Holy Spirit gives us guidance. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:26)
God speaks in the quiet and reflective times of prayer. The LORD said to Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:3)
“A rabbi, went on a journey with the prophet Elijah. They walked all day, and at nightfall they came to the humble cottage of a poor man, whose only treasure was a cow. The poor man ran out of his cottage, and his wife ran too, to welcome the strangers for the night and to offer them all the simple hospitality which they were able to give in straitened circumstances. Elijah and the rabbi were entertained with plenty of the cow’s milk, sustained by home-made bread and butter, and they were put to sleep in the best bed while their kindly hosts lay down before the kitchen fire. But in the morning the poor man’s cow was dead.
They walked all the next day, and came that evening to the house of a very wealthy merchant, whose hospitality they craved. The merchant was cold and proud and rich, and all that he would do for the prophet and his companion was to lodge them in a cowshed and feed them on bread and water. In the morning, however, Elijah thanked him very much for what he had done, and sent for a mason to repair one of his walls, which happened to be falling down, as a return for his kindness.
The Rabbi Jachanan, unable to keep silence any longer, begged the holy man to explain the meaning of his dealings with human beings. ‘In regards to the poor man who received us so hospitably,’ replied the prophet, ‘it was decreed that his wife was to die that night, but in reward for his goodness God took the cow instead of the wife. I repaired the wall of the rich miser because a chest of gold was concealed near the place, and if the miser had repaired the wall himself he would have discovered the treasure. Say not therefore to the Lord: What doest thou? But say in thy heart: Must not the Lord of all do right?”