Ezekiel 47:13 – 48:35
The culmination of the book of Ezekiel describes the division of the land in Israel. It partitions out land to various tribes and reminds the Israelites that the land they are receiving is an inheritance from God. The land is a gift to be cherished and used to enjoy and survive in.
Central to the land is a 12-gated city named: “The Lord is There.” This is how the book ends, the naming of a restored city in a future vision. Ezekiel is not standing in the midst of this city but God lets him see it. Ezekiel can rest in the promise that God is there. He can also rest in the assurance that God has been with Ezekiel the entire term of his prophetic ministry.
If you would allow me to recap this ministry, I would like to remind us of what Ezekiel has been called to and endured for this season: called to be watchman to Israel through visions, lies on his side cooking on dung for over a year, prophesies the destruction of his people, prepares for exile, is told not to mourn the death of his wife, prophecies and laments the judgment of all surrounding nations and their rulers, renewed calling as the watchman, the promise of renewal, and the vision of a new temple, new city and a restored Israel.
The timeline of Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry spans approximately from 593 BC to 573 BC. 20 years in 48 chapters of a book that has the 4th most amount of words of any book in the Bible. Ezekiel is obedient and Ezekiel has visions and Ezekiel remains hopeful. He is not a messianic prophet like Isaiah, rather an eschatological/kingdom of God prophet. He is more optimistic than Jeremiah likely because he is not as persecuted and sees the spiritual picture clearer.
Ezekiel is the watchman and a watchman is attentive and a watchman has to be at his post which is why Ezekiel doesn’t travel much unless it’s in a vision. He is conveniently where God wants him to be and likewise his desire as indicated by the end of the book is that God would be with the children of God in the place where the Lord is.
To sum up the message of Ezekiel: God has always been here; acknowledge God, obey God and you likewise will find yourself aware that you are with God.