Archive for December 13th, 2016

Ezekiel 1

Ezekiel 1 contains the beginning of God’s call to a new prophet.  “The word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the Lord came upon him”.  God’s Word came directly and expressly to Ezekiel.  And thus begins a new chapter in who will speak God’s truth to the people and record it for all time.  Ezekiel lived in a Jewish settlement that bordered the Chebar River. He had been in Babylon five years and was now thirty years of age, the age at which he normally would have begun his priestly service in the temple in Jerusalem.

But he had no chance now of returning to Jerusalem. The city had been destroyed and most of God’s people captured and spread out. Instead God called him to be a prophet, who would take his message to his people in Babylon.  The call came as Ezekiel was watching a storm approach across the desert. He was looking with particular interest at the startling changes of colour produced across the sky by the reflection of the lightning in the dark thunderclouds. Just then he saw something that appeared to come out of the clouds.  “As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire”.

Ezekiel would soon discover that the object was a fiery chariot, but his first observation was that it was in the shape of a hollow square, with a living creature standing upright at each corner. These living creatures were of an order of heavenly beings known as cherubim.  “Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. Each of them had four faces and four wings”.  Lightning flashed from something that looked like burning coals or a blazing torch.  It had to be quite a sight for the prophet to see and understand.

At each corner of the square was a wheel, which actually looked more like two wheels, one at right angles to the other. By now he could see clearly that the fiery object was a chariot, and the wheels enabled the chariot to move freely in any direction.  “Whenever the living beings moved , the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also”.  Above the heads of the creatures was a shining platform that supported the throne of God. Seated above this throne and surrounded by a rainbow was a fiery figure, human in outline but so dazzling that Ezekiel could not describe it.  It was the glory of the Lord.  Overcome by this awesome vision, he could only fall down and listen to the voice speaking to him.

%d bloggers like this: