He is the Call from Sin
A little bit about Ezekiel
Ezekiel lived in a time when the whole of the nation of Israel saw a national and an international upheaval. The Northern Kingdom (the Kingdom of Israel) had been conquered by the Assyrian Empire; which, in turn led the way for the Babylonian Army to conquer the Assyrian Empire. With the Medes by their sides, the Babylonians crushed the Assyrians. Egypt, under the leadership of Pharaoh Neco II, marched northward in an effort to regain their influence over Canaan and Aram (or Syria). It was in a battle between Egypt and Babylon that King Josiah, king of Judah (the Southern Kingdom) lost his life.
The son of King Josiah, Jehoahaz ruled in the Kingdom of Judah; but, only for three months. At that time, Pharaoh Neco II set Jehoiakim, also a son of Josiah, on the throne as the Egyptian representative in Jerusalem. When Nebuchadnezzar became the king of Babylon, King Jehoiakim changed his allegiance from Pharaoh Neco II to King Nebuchadnezzar when the Babylonians defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish. Egypt and Babylon met another time, a few years later, at which time King Jehoiakim again changed his allegiance.
This infuriated King Nebuchadnezzar and an army was sent against Jerusalem, at which time there was the capture of Jehoiakim's son, Jehoiachin, and about 10,000 other Jews, including Ezekiel. At this time, the Babylonian king appointed Jehoiachin's uncle, Zedekiah, as king of Judah; but, after some years, King Jehoiachin also rebelled against the Babylonian king. A full-fledged siege of Jerusalem began in 588 B.C., and by the middle of 586 B.C., the city was plundered and burned, along with the Temple.
The reign of the house of David had come to an end, and the Kingdom of Judah ceased to be known as an independent nation. Jerusalem and her Temple lay in ruins.
It was during his exile in Babylon that Ezekiel received his call to become a prophet. Ezekiel 1:2-3--"On the fifth of the month-it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin-the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians [or Chaldeans]. There the hand of the Lord was upon him." Ezekiel did have a wife; but, later, the Lord tell him that his wife is about to die. Ezekiel 24:15-18--"The word of the Lord came to me: 'Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears. Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover the lower part of your face or eat the customary food of mourners.' So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded." Ezekiel did have his own house, and with many other exiles at the time, enjoyed a fairly free existence, though confined to Babylon. Ezekiel 3:24--"Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: 'God, shut yourself inside your house.'"
A little about the book of Ezekiel
From the first chapter of Ezekiel through to the last chapter of Ezekiel, God's sovereignty is made known. There are about 65 occurrences, or some variation thereof, of the phrase "they will know that I am the Lord." God resolved that He would be known AND acknowledge, not only by the nation of Israel; but, all the nations in all the world. God was to be revealed in the fall of Jerusalem, and He was to be revealed in the destruction of the Temple. His judgments on all the nations would teach the nations of His sovereignty as well. And, as God is revealed in His judgment on all the nations, He would also be known throughout the restoration and renewal processes.
As we look upon the sovereignty of God in His wrath and judgment on the nations, we also see that He is a mobile God. He is NOT limited to a temple in Jerusalem; He responds to the sins of His people by leaving His holy sanctuary and giving grace in His visits to His children while they are in Babylon.
And as God shows His sovereignty and His mobility, He also judges. And, though He judges the nation of Israel harshly, there is a redeeming grace at the end of their season.
The book of Ezekiel, as Ezekiel writes, is somewhat similar in style to some of the other prophets; but Ezekiel's focus tends to be solely on Israel as God's chosen holy people who have a holy temple and live in a holy city which is in a holy country. When Israel defiled herself in her worship at the temple, Israel created in herself an uncleanliness, as well as an uncleanliness in the Temple, in Jerusalem and in Israel. God had no choice at that time to withdraw and judge His people through a national destruction at the hands of other nations.
As always, though, God remains faithful to the covenant He made with Abraham. He desires to save His people. He desires to revive His people. He desires to shepherd His people with compassion and mercy, and cleanse them from their defilement. He desires to set His throne under the house of David. He desires to display His glory among His people AND among the nations of the world.
In Daniel, He is the Stranger in the fire. The main theme of Daniel is that God is THE Most High God and is sovereign over all nations of the world. Daniel shows God as a triumphant God during the climax of apocalyptical events happening at the end of time to come. The kingdoms of the world become the Kingdom of God when Jesus comes as King to reign supreme forever.