Year 3 Day 29
Read - Ezekiel 1
Message - Alan Burke
Alright today’s passage is a biggy. I’m not going to try to go through everything that is said in these verses because what I have discovered in the past few days is that there are many weird and wonderful theories of what Ezekiel saw, hovercrafts, spaceships, aliens but some of the more imaginative theories. Did you notice though in this passage many times there are words for example “like”, “likeness", “appearance”? What we have is Ezekiel who saw this vision of God, as he dictates it to us it is as if words fail him to portray the truth of the full wonder of what he saw. Nothing that Ezekiel had previously experienced had prepared him for witnessing the awesome approach of the glory of God (4-28).
The truth is that those weird and wonderful theories miss the point, Ezekiel tried to explain what he saw but words failed him, the wonder, the magnificence, the splendour of it all. As the Lord gave this vision to Ezekiel, and as he thus gives us this description of what it was ‘like’, as he describes the ‘likeness’, the ‘appearance’ of the approaching glory of God it is described to us here giving us a literally picture. There are no images, photographs, no drawings or doodles, yet it is vivid picture that is full of the Glory of God and as he approaches.
What we have here in this vision is the coming of the Living God, who is far beyond what our finite minds can even begin to comprehend. Here Ezekiel tries to portray some of the glory of God, some of the glory that he displayed in this theophany, that is a visible manifestation of the Lord our God and we have the following; v4-14 The Living Creatures v15-21, The Wheels in Wheels, v22-24 The Expanse Above, v25-27 The Throne And The One Seated On The Throne, v28b Ezekiel’s Response.
Ezekiel gives a wonderfully vivid description, detailed of all these things, notice what happens when Ezekiel hears the voice (v25). When the Cherubim hear it they lower their wings, all becomes still and Ezekiel, with this his gaze returns to the platform above the heads of these Cherubim. There he saw the throne made entirely of sapphire we are told, but rather it is literally lapis lazuli, lapis is a stone that is prized for its intense colour of blue one of the most precious stones known to the ancients.
Yet the throne cannot keep Ezekiel’s gaze no matter how wonderful it was, for seated on the throne was a regal figure, like that of a man, but he was no ordinary man, he was one who was enveloped, who was surrounded by light. This vision closes on a glorious note, as the prophet speaks of the rainbow on a cloudy day shining forth in brilliance. The rainbow a reminder of God’s promise-making and promise-keeping character (Gen 9:16). It was an affirmation that the one who came in all this wonder and glory was the God of hope.
As Ezekiel saw this vision of God, as he dictated it to us, the picture described is so wonderful, four creatures holding a glorious crystal platform with a throne of blue lapis, and stead there was the Lord in human form. The wonder of this vision is one that we might think if only Ezekiel had left us a photograph, some video footage of the multi sensory experience that he had, so vidvid and descriptive even though he struggles to portray the full wonder of what he saw having to use like, likeness, appearance to describe this vision to us. To this vision Ezekiel responds by falling face down.
From this vision of Ezekiel, know that, God is not like us, he is Holy, Omnipotent meaning all powerful, he is Omnipresent, present with us in what we face, and he is Sovereign working out his purposes as divine ruler of all. This is the God that we come before today, the one that we can come before, the one that we can stand in his presence, bringing our petitions to Him in prayer all in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, worked in us by the Spirit that we come into the presence of the living God with reverence and awe The God of all the Earth!
Q33 What is justification?
Justification is an act of God’ s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, (Rom. 3:24–25, Rom. 4:6–8) and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, (2 Cor. 5:19,21) only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, (Rom. 5:17–19) and received by faith alone. (Gal. 2:16, Phil. 3:9)