Read: Ezekiel 1:1-3
Ezekiel the prophet states that he is amongst the exiles in Babylon (at the Chebar River) when a vision comes to him. He receives a vision, not an audio-message. He sees things, and the prophet attempts to offer a description using words which will prove inadequate. The reader tries to visualize what the prophet’s words describe. From vision to words; from words back into a vision.
The book of the Revelation will be visual in nature as well.
The revelation granted to John is delivered to him while he is on the island of Patmos, presumably a place to which he has been exiled “due to the word of God” (v.9). John is not on the island as part of a holiday getaway. Like Ezekiel before him, John was in a tight spot. It is into such dire straits that the Spirit of God delivers these sorts of visions to restore and refresh.
December 1st: We are now moving deeper into the darkness and the cold of winter. In spite of our electric lights, our well-heated homes, and our means of entertainment (comforts that our predecessors did not have available to them), December can prove to be a difficult time of year for us. We might feel like an animal burrowing into some subterranean retreat to hibernate through the winter, hopefully to emerge with the spring.
It is in tight places that our Lord enlightens us with visions and realities that display far more than we see in the mundane world of the everyday. The visions that Ezekial and John attempt to relate may strike the reader as fantastic. That is part of the point. There is something much more fantastic going on around us than we at first perceive. The wild visions that these tour guides present us with are not to be thought of as ‘some other place’ or ‘some other time’. These are images of our own times. Whatever is going on around us–it is certainly not dull. There is a dramatic story being played out in each of our lives, filled with fantastic battles and ferocious monsters that would frighten and imperil us. With the book of the Revelation we step into another world which is really our world. It just takes stepping away and coming back to get a second look to see what is really taking place.