God in the Valley: His Hand, His Voice, His Glory

God called Ezekiel to go and be a prophet to the people of Israel exiled in Babylon. They had rebelled against God, were immoral and were following false Gods. God was sending Ezekiel to be his messenger and warn them to turn back to God or they would die in their sins (Ezekiel 3:18).

This was a scary proposition for Ezekiel because he knew all too well what happened to the prophets that came before him. They were not popular among the rebellious people and many were killed. The “kill the messenger” reality concerned Ezekiel, as he started out in “bitterness and turmoil.” (Ezekiel 3:14). However, Ezekiel was obedient because the hand of God was upon him prompting him forward into his destiny of becoming a great and effective prophet. Ezekiel means “God Strengthens.”

Ezekiel 3:22-23 (NLT) says, “Then the Lord took hold of me and said, ‘Get up and go out into the valley and I will speak to you there.’ So, I got up and went, and there I saw the glory of the Lord.”

 

 

when God calls you to go and advance his Kingdom, take comfort in the three main points we learn in these two verses:

1. The Lord has a hold of you. He has you in the palm of his hand. He is holding you safe and sound.

2. You won’t know the rest of God’s plan until you obey and go into the valley. There, God promises to speak to you. We all want to hear from God. In the valleys of life we can count on God speaking to us.

3. Once you have obeyed his call and gone into the valley, you’ll see God’s glory. We all want to see God’s glory show up in big ways, don’t we?

Oftentimes it looks like God is sending us into the “valley” where it doesn’t look too promising and we can be attacked on every side from the enemy.  Who wants to leave comfort and go there? But Ezekiel writes, “Then the Lord took hold of me and said get up and go out into the valley.” Don’t you know that he’s got you in the palm of his hand. Don’t you know that when you’re advancing his kingdom that you are a part of his church with Jesus at the head and Jesus said that the gates of hell will not prevail against his church? Don’t you remember Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  In Ezekiel 2:6 God told Ezekiel not to fear anyone where he was sending him even though their threats will surround you.

Yes, God’s got some valleys he wants us to go through but he’s got a hold of us during our entire journey. We are safe in the palm of his hand through the valleys, through the storms.  And if that weren’t good enough, God promises to speak to us in the valley. Though we often fail and are not faithful, God is always faithful to his promises and who among us doesn’t want to hear from God? Perhaps we should be eagerly looking for some valleys for God to send us to.

And finally, the power of God comes to us in the valley. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. It’s a beautiful thing when you witness the power and glory of God and the miracles and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, guarding our hearts and minds when we live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

God has some valley’s ahead of us to face, but he also has some high points for us too! He has mountaintops waiting for us to climb and we will feel like we are top of the world, reaching heaven. We will experience God’s presence, power and glory on the mountaintops but we will first be tested and refined in the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10). 1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold, though your faith is far more precious than gold.”

Isn’t it great to know, as we learn in Ezekiel 3 and Psalm 23, that we need not fear the valleys because God is with us, protects us, speaks to us and shows us his glory even in those dark valleys of life, and then he will lift us up to the mountaintops, all because we obey with faithfulness and trust in the Lord.