In the sky I saw a man sitting on a throne. His appearance was of fire and electricity and splendor. A vibrant rainbow outlined his figure in the clouds. This could only be the likeness of God in his glory. I fell to my knees and bowed my head. Then a voice like thunder filled the air. “Son of man, stand up! I wish to speak to you.”
I felt a powerful force stand me back on my feet. I was trembling too much in fear to lift myself up. The voice spoke to me again. I did not know what was going to happen, so I tried to stand still and just listen. “I am sending you to the Israelites, rebels who have rebelled against me. Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they.”
I could not help but be filled with amazement. Was this Yahweh, the Lord God, who was speaking to me in this way? Me, Ezekiel, son of Buzi, a priest of Israel? And if God wanted me to speak to Israel, why would they believe that God had chosen me? The Lord must have been listening to my thoughts and doubts.
“You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God!’” God was giving me the authority, rather he was ordering me, to speak in his name. But I still wondered if my people would listen. Would they believe me? Again the Lord spoke to reassure my fears.
“Whether they heed you or resist, for they are a rebellious house, they will know a prophet has been among them.”
Me, a prophet?
“Neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their looks for they are a rebellious house. Speak my words to them whether they heed or resist, whether they contradict you or reject you.” But the Lord had some words that were meant directly and only for me. “As for you … ” I know I must have gasped in a moment of fear, but the Lord ignored my reaction. “As for you, obey me when I speak to you: be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I give to you.”
I wondered what the Lord meant by that, when a hand appeared in the air in front of me. It was holding a scroll. The scroll unrolled and I could see it was covered with writing. So I ate the scroll and it tasted like honey.
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. What did Ezekiel see in the sky?
2. What did the Lord tell Ezekiel to do?
Biblical historians and archaeologists consider Palestine the region that borders the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This would include the cities of Samaria, Damascus and Jerusalem and the countries of Jordan, Israel, Syria and Lebanon.
When the French General Napoleon controlled Palestine in 1799, he commissioned surveys and maps of the region. Almost 40 years later an American scientist named Edward Robinson made further geographical studies, and he verified the locations of more than 100 biblical sites. Archaeological research and exploration since then have discovered artifacts that are thousands of years old.
Palestine is bordered by a sea on one side and a desert on the other. The Dead Sea, which is near the Mount of Olives and which is named because its salt content is so high it cannot support marine life, is the lowest body of water on Earth.
Simon Peter, a fisherman from Galilee, was one of the first 12 Apostles chosen by Jesus. Although he was one of Jesus’ closest friends and present at some of the most important moments in Christ’s life, he denied he knew the Lord three times before the crucifixion. He later cried from the shame of what he had done.
Yet it was also Peter who spoke what is called the great proclamation of faith, when he told Jesus, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” Jesus said Peter was like a rock, which is the meaning of his name. The Acts of the Apostles records how Peter played a leadership role in the early Christian community after Jesus had ascended into heaven. He wrote three letters which are part of the New Testament. Unverified accounts say that Peter died a martyr, nailed to a cross, hanging upside down. We honor him on June 29.