It came about in the [b]sixth year [of the captivity of King Jehoiachin], on the fifth day of the sixth month, as I sat in my house [near Babylon] with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord [c]God fell on me there. 2 Then I looked, and behold, a likeness [of a man] with the appearance of fire; from His [d]loins downward He was like fire, and from His loins upward He had the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal (bronze). 3 He stretched out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of hair on my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner courtyard, where the seat of the idol (image) of [e]jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located. 4 And behold, the glory and brilliance of the God of Israel [who had loved and chosen them] was there, like the vision which I saw in the plain. – Ezekiel 8:1-4
The Spirit was bringing Ezekiel to God’s view of Jerusalem. Throughout the scriptures Jerusalem represents the bride of Christ (Rev. 21:2). Jerusalem was the center and heart of Judah where the temple and the Presence of God dwelt. God wanted Ezekiel to see Jerusalem (the bride) from His view. During Ezekiel’s life and ministry, the condition of Jerusalem and the people of Judea were at their all-time lowest. The people had forgotten God days without number and given themselves to idolatry. Jerusalem and the temple were being plundered and destroyed while the people were being exiled to Babylon. If there ever was a time for a spirit of criticalness and condemnation towards God’s people to flourish, it would have been during Ezekiel’s life. In fact, the rest of the verses in chapter eight define just how defiled the temple had become with the people’s idolatry and unfaithfulness. God would eventually cause Ezekiel to look deep within the temple walls and see the great depth of defilement that was occurring within God’s own house. But before allowing Ezekiel to look at such things, God went to drastic measures to cause Ezekiel to see His people from His heart.
All great souls have moments of supernatural ecstasy. Handel said he did not know whether he was in the body or out of the body when composing the Hallelujah Chorus of “The Messiah.” “The heavens are nearer to us than we think, and may open to pious souls in moments of transcendent spiritual exaltation more frequently than we imagine.” — Geikie.