Have you ever noticed how many times it is that before God sends a messenger, He first impresses the messenger with a glimpse of His glory? Here are some examples: (1) Moses (Exodus 3); (2) Isaiah (Isaiah 6); (3) Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1); (4) Saul (Acts 9). In this writing, we will consider Ezekiel’s vision.
Ezekiel saw a storm coming from the north (Ezekiel 1:4). God’s wrath was coming on Jerusalem from the north (cf. Jeremiah 4:5-6, 13; 23:19-20). Babylon would come from the north (cf. Jeremiah 1:14-16; 6:1; 25:8-9, 11).
Ezekiel saw, within the storm, four living creatures (Ezekiel 1:5-14, ff). These creatures had four faces (Man=possible reference to intelligence. Lion=possible reference to ferocity or strength, apex predator. Ox=possible reference to strength, endurance. Eagle=possible reference to swiftness, good eyesight, apex bird of prey). Their feet were like calves feet (possible meaning strong, not tender). These creatures were cherubim (cf. Ezekiel 10:15, 20).
Ezekiel saw these creatures pulling a chariot or wagon (Ezekiel 1:15-21, ff). There were four wheels, each was like a wheel within a wheel (possibly suggesting the ability to move in any direction). However, it was moving straight from the north (Ezekiel 1:9, 12, 17; 10:22). The wheels were full of eyes (possibly suggesting awareness, alertness, vigilance). The chariot or wagon was God’s chariot or battle wagon (cf. Ezekiel 1:22-28; Psalm 18:10; Isaiah 19:1; 2 Samuel 22:11; 1 Chronicles 28:18).
Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon) was coming. However, he was only an instrument in the hands of an angry God (cf. Jeremiah 25:8-9, 12; 27:6; 43:10; 51:20-24, etc.).
Ezekiel saw the throne of God, and got a glimpse of the glory of the LORD (Ezekiel 1:22-28). It overwhelmed him. He said, “So when I saw it, I fell on my face…” (Ezekiel 1:28b).
The vision prepared Ezekiel for his work. Frank Chesser has written, “When Ezekiel saw the cherubim of God (Ezekiel 1:4-14), the chariot of God (vv. 15-21), and the throne of God (vv. 22-28), he was changed forever. His mind was as open and receptive to every word from God as are lungs to the air they breathe. Viewing the symbolic siege of Jerusalem (4:1-3) as ‘child’s play,’ physical posture (4:4-8), diet restrictions (4:9-15), and the expunging his hair and beard with a sword, knife, and fire (5:1-4) as unreasonable, and the death of his wife as cruel (24:15-28) were alien thoughts to the mind of Ezekiel. On his face and trembling before God, as he is portrayed in this chapter, Ezekiel was left with Samuel’s spirit who exclaimed, ‘Speak; for thy servant heareth’ (1 Samuel 3:10). The momentous nature of this vison of God and Ezekiel’s need of it is seen in its multiple occurrences in the book” (Frank Chesser, The Man of Chebar, p. 15-16).
It is interesting to note that the one on the throne was in the likeness of a man (Ezekiel 1:26). Could this be a reference to Jesus?
Ezekiel was showed a scroll and told to consume it (Ezekiel 2:8-3:3). He was to eat the book before speaking to others. God told him, “Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 3:1). Ezekiel said, “So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness. Then He said to me: ‘Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them’” (Ezekiel 3:3-4). One cannot teach what he does not know.
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me” (Ezekiel 3:17). It was time to get to work. Go speak “My words to them” (Ezekiel 3:4).
Ezekiel is called “Son of Man.” This phrase is applied to him more than 90 times in this book. Daniel is also referred to this way (cf. Daniel 8:17). Jesus is also so described, usually self-described (e.g. Mark 2:10; John 3:14; Matthew 16:13). The language is of humanity (e.g. Numbers 23:19; Psalm 8:4; 144:3-4; Isaiah 51:12; 56:2). Every preacher should understand that he too is a man. The message applies to him (cf. Romans 2:21-24). He too is accountable (cf. Ezekiel 3:17-19; Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-2).
It is important that one gain an understanding of who God is. God reveals Himself today to us in three ways: (1) by nature (cf. Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:20); (2) by scripture (cf. Psalm 19:7-11; Acts 17:22-34; 1 John 4:8); and (3) through Jesus (John 1:18; 6:46; 14:8-9). Understanding who God is will motivate and embolden one to speak God’s word.
One should feed upon God’s word (cf. Job 23:12; Psalm 19:10; Matthew 4:4 cf. Deuteronomy 8:3; 2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 5:12-14; 1 Peter 2:1-2). One cannot teach what he does not know. If we truly care about others, we should prepare ourselves to teach.
It is needful for us to get to work. Ever learning and never proclaiming is not enough. The members of the early church “went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). So should we. Where is the evidence that God is pleased with any less?
Excellent review brother.
I am glad that you got something from it. I hope all is well, Bryan