Faithlife Sermons

Called At the Right Time

Ezekiel   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

This Year

Today we embark on a new year. Many of us have been blessed beyond measure, meanwhile experiencing some of the most heartbreaking loss known to man. It’s an interesting thing about the purpose that God puts on your life, it is a reminder that purpose and the call of God is never location specific or absent because we are going through various trials and tribulations. This year we are going to take a step back and reset, reevaluate and reconsider. While we are doing this one word I want you to focus on this year is hope. Hope for us as Christians and hope that this world becomes a better place in the midst of racial tension, violence, and poverty. Hope that through our efforts lives will change and communities will become better.
Our theme for 2022 is “The Year of Redemption, Restoration and Renewal.” Ezekiel 36:26 reads: “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” We encourage everyone to continue steadfast in prayer as we embark on a journey as Christians and as people who understand that hope is essential to our faith. As we strive to be truly redeemed, we must also understand our spiritual condition. The world needs to be restored and the church should point people to God as the place of renewal. No one is too far from God to get a second chance. This year we will walk through this text to understand what it means to hold leaders accountable in hopes that new leaders will emerge to work hand in hand with the leaders already in place.


Ezekiel is a priest and prophet during Israel’s Babylonian exile. A young prophet that came from an influential priestly family. A married man who in the midst of serving the people dealt with the grief of losing his wife.
It’s a very difficult job to minister to the people during any season of life but more importantly, Ezekiel had to minister while mourning and in the midst of captivity.
Ezekiel’s call and vision happens throughout the first three chapters of the text. This call is the combination of two elements; God’s glory and the nature of his mission that was to be carried out. As Christians we must understand that regardless of the task God gets the glory. Regardless of what the people are going through God providing us with a leader in the midst of perilous times is a testament to his power and grace and unwillingness to forsake his children.

The Call of God Can Happen Even in the Worst of Times

Ezekiel 1:1-3 “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. On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, 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.”
Ezekiel was in captivity as well. Imagine being 30 years of age held captive by a foreign land and you receive this vision from God.
The call can come at anytime we just have to be ready to respond regardless of where we are in life.
Understand that captivity does not keep the heavens from opening up to show you that you are protected.
Similar to the vision that John had in Revelation 1:9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice as of a trumpet, saying I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, and what you see write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia.
Some of the most encouraging scriptures we read are during a period of imprisonment, forced servitude and trial. Responding to God’s call is not always the easiest thing to do, but what it lets us know is that God is always there to respond even when we do not know we need him.
What I want us to walk away with today is the idea that God’s protection, position and power has reach far beyond our captivity.

God’s Protection

Ezekiel 1:5-11 “Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. 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. The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward. 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. Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies.”
Understand that even in the midst of a storm God is still in control. What looks like a storm to us, what looks like chaos to the world can be a tool of God’s protection. It may be too much for us to understand now but with everything going on around us sometimes it’s a testament to the fact that we just have to let go and let God.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
All things work together for those who love God.
That means stormy nights and sunshine filled mornings. That means sad days and frustrating afternoons. That means during peaceful times and turbulent times God is still in control.
Not only is Ezekiel in captivity but he is in captivity under the leadership of an unstable ruler.
2 Kings 24:8-12 “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done. At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, as his servants were besieging it. Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner.”
Even in the midst of poor and unstable leadership God will still provide a leader to rise in the midst of instability to ensure that his people have someone to look to in effort to walk in the right direction. The captivity was the consequence of disobedience.
Understand that God’s protection is a testament to what He fights with is greater that what man can oppress with.
These angels had four faces and four wings, they had the faces of man, a lion, a bull and an eagle. They were unified in movement and had the ability to move fast like lightning bolts.
Understand that even in the midst of captivity God is always going to provide us with seeing where the protection is!
You might even ask the question, where is God, was he with the people? How could God allow pagan armies to occupy the land? Understand that we cannot dismiss the ramifications of disobedience. Punishment is not an indicator that God is not around sometimes the punishment is proof that God is teaching a lesson by allowing us to go through various things.
God has the power to use whomever He desires to carry out his will. Understand the blessing here, this is comforting because it confirms by God showing up that He cares for his people. Storms often times have the ability to redirect our attention to the things that are important. Some of life’s toughest questions God answers through a storm.
Job 38:1 “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:”
Psalm 29:3-5 “The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; The voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon.”
I’m reminded of when Elijah was on the run because prophets were being executed God showed up in the midst of a storm. This year do not run from your storm seek God in the midst of your storm, because in your storm might be the answers you are looking for.
God’s protection is always available. These angelic creatures were divinely appointed guardians of the Holiness of God. Their mission was to prevent anything unholy from coming into the presence of God.
Ezekiel 10:5 “And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, like the voice of Almighty God when He speaks.”

God’s Position

Ezekiel 1:22-27 “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. 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. 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. A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings. 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. 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 o…”
It may look like Nebuchadnezzar is ruling everything but God was still on the throne. It’s not that all hope is lost it’s that we are not looking high enough to see where God really is.
God’s throne sits above any congressional seat, presidential seat, bank account or Fortune 500 position. Set your mind on things above!
Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
This is what makes God so powerful, what man sees as a position of weakness God can use as a tool of strength.
1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;”

God’s Power

God’s power is shown by His use of angels but I want to turn our attention to God’s power in the form of grace. God has the power to extend Grace during captivity.
Ezekiel 1:28 “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. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.”
Noah witnessed a rainbow after the storm was over, Ezekiel saw the rainbow during the storm, that encircled the throne. This symbol of God’s grace is assurance that the Lord is with us and will not forsake us even in the midst of captivity.
Some of us are being held hostage right now by things that have such a tight grip on us we do not know where to turn. We have to start looking up, and we have to quit running from every storm, sometimes we need to stand in the midst of that storm and wait for the answers of God. His power transcends every situation, problem or issue. God shows us when He wants to show up, you might be in a storm right now, God will show up, you might be dealing with life altering situations, God will show up. You might be knee deep in the consequences of your sins, just know that even in consequences and punishment God will show up!
Even in captivity, Ezekiel was called to lead the people of God back to Him. Even in the midst of being conquered God is still in control! When Jesus was on the cross at the expense of our sins, what man thought was victory was actually a tool of salvation for God to use to save the entire world! A storm is not the end of a story, a storm might just actually be the very beginning!
Related Media
Related Sermons