Valley of Vision in Scripture

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

Valley of Vision – Puritan Prayer

A wonderful prayer, and quite famous as well, but let us see this “Valley of Vision” in Scripture…

 

In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there. Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man.Below what appeared to be his waist was fire, and above his waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal. He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the valley.

-Ezekiel 8:1-4 (ESV)

The oracle concerning the valley of vision:… For the Lord God of hosts has a day of tumult and trampling and confusion in the valley of vision… In that day, the Lord God of hosts called for weeping and mourning for baldness and wearing of sackcloth; and behold joy and gladness, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine. “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.”… In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father’s house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. In that day, declares the Lord of hosts,the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the Lord has spoken.”

-Isaiah 22:1a, 5a, 12-13, 20-25 (ESV)

Pretty cool stuff! Seeing God in the valley of vision, both a sarcastic name for Jerusalem (Mount Zion, full of people who don’t see impending judgment), and a reality in the midst of our suffering, as the Puritans most definitely saw. Amazing use of Scripture on their part. Ezekiel is a little less clear in a way, but the Isaiah picture is so sharp and the Puritans didn’t miss a thing, by the grace of God!

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