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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. 

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Messages for the Modern World from an Ancient Prophet is the theme we are working through and is based on Ezekiel’s prophecies.

This prophet lived in a foreign country during perilous times.

He found God to be very real and present, just as we can find Him to be today.

Today we are talking about Finding God in the Storm.


Ezekiel 1:4 NKJV

4 Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.

Scripture Reading

Ezekiel 1:1-28 NKJV

Ezekiel’s Vision of God

1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. 

2 On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, 

3 the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.

4 Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. 

5 Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. 

6 Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. 

7 Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves’ feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze. 

8 The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. 

9 Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward.

10 As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. 

11 Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies. 

12 And each one went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went.

13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning. 

14 And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning.

15 Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold, a wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces. 

16 The appearance of the wheels and their workings was like the color of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. The appearance of their workings was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel. 

17 When they moved, they went toward any one of four directions; they did not turn aside when they went. 

18 As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were full of eyes, all around the four of them. 

19 When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. 

20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, because there the spirit went; and the wheels were lifted together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 

21 When those went, these went; when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22 The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads. 

23 And under the firmament their wings spread out straight, one toward another. Each one had two which covered one side, and each one had two which covered the other side of the body. 

24 When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. 

25 A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings.

26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 

27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 

28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.

Ezekiel Sent to Rebellious Israel

So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.


In Jesus name we pray.



The next nine Tuesday evening studies will be based on a contemporary application of the ancient preaching of Ezekiel.

If we were to take a poll among Bible believing Christians to discover which is the strangest and most difficult book in the Bible to understand, the prophecy of Ezekiel would be one of those vying for the number one spot.

Ezekiel was a young Hebrew priest who was a visionary and who had a vivid imagination.

He was a descendant of the family of Zadok, the notable Hebrew priest who could trace his lineage directly to Aaron, the brother of Moses.

The family of Zadok was one of the noblest families in Jerusalem.

Thus, born into his priestly family, Ezekiel became a priest when he was just a young man.

He was well educated and exposed to the highest culture Jerusalem afforded.

Then one day King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with his armies and laid siege against Jerusalem.

King Jehoiachin of Judah surrendered the city to Nebuchadnezzar, and seven thousand of the best people in the city, including members of priestly families, the nobility, the artisans, the skilled people, were taken away captive to Babylon.

Among these captives was the young priest Ezekiel.

Apparently Ezekiel was a man of some wealth, and doubtlessly he took a considerable portion of his wealth with him.

He had a home, a wife, and possibly a family.

He lived in comparative ease and comfort on the banks of the Chebar River near a place called Tel-abib, not too far from the city of Babylon.

The fact that these Hebrew exiles in Babylon were being treated well did not compensate for the inner agony of soul, the frustration of being torn away from their homeland.

They had to leave their beloved Jerusalem, the temple, and the presence of their God in the Most Holy Place.

In our day it is a bit difficult to understand the agony of young Ezekiel and his fellow countrymen.

But they were God’s unique and chosen people, even though they had sinned against Him repeatedly and now were suffering the consequences of their disobedience, they knew they were people of destiny. 

  1. Can we sense something of Ezekiel’s agony.

The opening of the book is striking.

The time is late in what we would call the month of June, 593 years before Christ was born.

A dust storm had swirled out of the desert into the flat, irrigated plain where, we might imagine, Ezekiel was working the sa]mall garden plot in which he grew vegetables for his family.

When a dust storm comes, most people hide their faces to protect their eyes from the dust particles.

But Ezekiel faced the storm, while it buffeted him in its fury, he saw light, motion, and glory.

As the vivid imagination of this young priest was activated, God revealed Himself to him out of this storm cloud!

As the Chebar River flowed through the fertile plains of Babylonia, it seems to be silently mocking Ezekiel.

“Your God has failed you! Where is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Where is the God who lives in your precious temple in Jerusalem?”

As Ezekiel faced the river, this is what it seemed to shout to him.

It was as though he was doomed to a biological existence until he died and his family laid his body in this foreign soil.

He had grown up believing himself to be an heir of God’s promise to Abraham, but the future contained no promise for him, no hope, no God.

Crisis that are almost intolerable come into all our lives.

Eventually we adjust to the tragedy of losing a loved one.

But “living trouble” never goes away.

This was Ezekiel’s plight.

He could not turn away from his bitterness, this loneliness for his homeland and for his God.

But many of his people were adjusting, and it seemed to Ezekiel that the terrible cancer of complacency was eating away at them.

But wait!

Let’s look again at this despondent, heartbroken man.

Suddenly we see him squat his shoulders, as if to say, “No! I will not give in to my feelings! I will not say, ‘its all over’! Our God is the only God, and He is all powerful, and He knows where we are!”

2. Thus we have the ecstasy of Ezekiel.

As this lonely young exile stood on the river bank, he saw a dark cloud coming down from the north.

The storm cloud is what people now call a “dust devil.”

There are times during the day when a dust devil may be filled with strange, iridescent colours and the sun shines against the sand particles filling the cloud.

Ezekiel watched, afraid but fascinated, while the storm cloud drew nearer.

Slowly, with the eyes of spiritual vision, he began to see shining through this dust cloud the infinite glory of God!

And to Ezekiel it was the blazing, dazzling flame of hope.

Most of chapter 1 describes the chariot throne upon which this glory rode.

Kings rode in chariots in those days, so Ezekiel saw a conqueror’s chariot coming down from the home of the Babylonian gods who dwelt, according to pagan belief, in the mysterious mountains to the north.

With the Spirit of God activating the creative imagination of this young priest, Ezekiel set about to describe what he saw.

Sometimes it is difficult for us to understand the symbolism of Ezekiel.

But we need to remember that Ezekiel was using all that he had, human words, words invented to describe what a person sees and feels around themselves, to describe the glory of God.

Can you imagine the frustration he felt as he began to probe into his vocabulary trying to come up with words with which to describe God?

What does it boil down to?

Man cannot describe God!

But we can experience Him and commune with Him in our souls.

We can know that He knows us and can reveal himself to us in His own unique way, even in a dust storm!

So the first chapter in Ezekiel’s book is symbolism.

It is designed to help us think about the majesty, the glory, and the awesomeness of God.

What is a symbol?

It is the use of one thing to suggest another.

There are three things we need to remember about symbols that will help us understand not only Ezekiel but many other portions of the Bible.

First, a symbol doesn’t need to look, sound, smell, or taste like the thing symbolised.

All it must do is suggest an idea.

Second, a symbol speaks to our imagination.

When the captain of a ship see a green light in the darkness, he imagines another ship and can tell in what direction it is going.

Third, a symbol can have many meanings, and not always does it symbolise the same thing.

Jesus used symbols often, “I am the door,” He said.

We understand that.

Symbols of God in Scripture bring us close to Him.

3. God in the storm as Ezekiel describes Him to us.

All through the Bible we find rich symbolism in numbers.

The number four usually represents this world, the four corners of the earth, the four winds, the four seasons.

This chariot throne Ezekiel saw in the mist of the storm cloud is described in terms of four.

There were four living creatures, each with four faces and four wings.

They were piloting a four wheeled vehicle.

What did it mean?

It meant that the glory of God filled the whole earth.

He was not confined to a temple or a church, nor was He enthroned in some distant heaven.

He was here, by the Chebar River, ready to comfort and strengthen Ezekiel.

He is here by my river of crisis, of trouble, of heartbreak, whatever it may be!

And what else do we see about Ezekiel’s chariot?

It had wheels.

The wheel is a symbol of motion.

We do not worship a God who is impassive.

He is a God of personality, who loves us and knows us by name.

He is a God of action, of accomplishment.

The eyes in Ezekiel’s vision symbolised the all seeing God, a God of total awareness concerning His creatures.

Through this experience, Ezekiel came to know God, not just about Him.


Ezekiel and his people  knew the facts of faith.

But the they came to the Chebar River and all that it represented, facts were not enough.

They needed a first hand meeting with God.

You see, when we surrender to Him.He teaches us to open our eyes while the sandstorm is blowing, and through all of that chaos and horror, He shows us His glory, and we hear Him say, “I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us


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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia

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