Americans pride themselves on being a rebellious people...since 236 years ago...the Declaration of Independence from the King of England and a nation of rebels was born. The Civil War...rebels of the South. We're not as self-reliant as we want to think. We're dependent upon manufacturers, government. Rebellious, yes; independent, not as much as we'd like to think. Israel also fell into this rebellious category. Israel had been wiped out by the Babylonians, including Ezekiel. God shares His Glory where Ezekiel is. It looked like, was in the appearance of; comparing the glorious vision to something we might know. God Himself descends into the presence of Ezekiel who hears God's voice. Ezekiel will preach: "Thus says the Lord God..." to a nation that God had delivered, made prosperous, had decided they no longer needed/wanted God. God brought Israel to ruin because they had rebelled...does that sound like any country we know? a country that lost passion for the God who gave them prosperity and freedom. We need to be Ezekiel s and proclaim in our homes, workplaces "Thus says the Lord God." We are to use our voice as an Ezekiel and vote. We like to think we are independent, but we're not. We're desperately dependent upon God. Through Baptism God makes us His own...His work in us, not our work. The very throneroom of god descends to us in Baptism and makes that person an heir to the kingdom of heaven. We are rebellious, hard-hearted. At our Baptism the Spirit enters into us, sets us on our feet so that we may hear the voice of God who calls us, sets us on our feet. God's Son, Jesus Christ, lowers Himself to us to live among us and call us to repentence, laying down His life that a wicked, rebellious people might live. We are rebellious but not independent. As a country we rejoice in our independence; as those who have been saved by the grace and mercy of God we rejoice in our dependence on Him. When we depend on God, ONLY THEN are we truly free.