“And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there.” So ends the book of Ezekiel, a book that starts with Ezekiel’s vision of God in exile in Babylon, the God whose glory Ezekiel describes as leaving the temple in Jerusalem because of the sin of the people.

Ezekiel is a strange book, full of images, metaphors, visions and street theatre and it can be difficult for us today, living in relative affluence in a different time, to understand and relate to what is written. In our ignorance we try and make God and God’s story fit into our presuppositions about what life should be like.

 

A similar questioning can fill our minds when we read the end of the psalm set by the rivers of Babylon where Ezekiel sat, that talks of heads of infants being dashed against rocks. The psalmist is traumatised, exiled, weeping and angry and he is not hiding his pain but is demanding God’s justice.