KNOWING GOD IN HIS GLORY
(The judgment of God brings about the knowledge of God)
God is God
Jerry A Collins
® What is the glory of the Lord?
® What is the providence of God?
® What does God want to teach us thru Ezekiels vision?
When we consider our God the overarching reflection must be on the primacy of Godís glory. All that God creates and does has as its objective to call attention to His greatness. Altho we are created in His image we are creatures. He is the creator. Our interests are tied to His interests. You will only make sense out of life by understanding that your purpose, happiness and hope are firmly attached to Godís plan to bring glory to Himself. Our eternal happiness and temporal joy is the outgrowth of His glory. We worship a God who is holy, transcendent and eternal. The miracle is that He is willing to have a relationship with us sinners bound by limitations of being a creature incapable of initiating a relationship with our creator. Never lose your awe of it all.
Ezekiel has a vision of God. While the vision unfolds and teaches us about Who our God is, there is no explanation of the vision until the end of it when Ezekiel acknowledges that it was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord (vs 28). So what is the glory of our God like for His glory is the revelation of who He is.
1. SYMBOLS OF JUDGMENT 1-4
Ezekiel: (1) was a Babylonian captive in exile taken in 597BC (2 Kings 24:14). (2) He receives this vision 5 yrs into his exile (592BC) 700 miles west of Jerusalem. (3) He is a priest and as such these symbols were well known especially to one in the priesthood (Ge 3:24; Ex 25-26 & 40; 1 Kgs 6; Psa 18). (4) Impending judgment on Jerusalem coming in 587BC and God using Ezekiel as the messenger.
The approach of judgment vs 4: The vision begins with a windstorm from the north. The significance of the north is that the impending judgment upon Judah is going to come from the north, Babylon. The symbols of a great cloud, fire flashing and a brilliant center glowing metal all symbols of the approach of judgment.
Nobody is smart enough to out-smart God. As ridiculously obvious as this appears people live as though they believe they can. In† our disobedience to God we plant the seeds of His judgment. They will sprout into consequences that we cannot foresee or anticipate. But they will come. For Israel that will mean their final and complete destruction. For us it will be Gods temporal discipline that often brings regret into our lives even though our confession has delivered His forgiveness. God will not deliver you from the consequences of your sin. The damage is done. Never rationalize breaking the commandments of God. As sure as you do you invite the consequences of that compromise too!
2. BEHIND ALL EVENTS ARE THE OPERATIONS OF HEAVEN† 5-25
Here we have a revelation of the Cherubim (chp 10). Four living creatures, actual beings who appeared in Genesis guarding the gate to Eden and reappear in Revelation as mysterious guardians of the throne of heaven (Rev 4). Here then are a number of symbols, likenesses to express to our human minds the nature and function of these heavenly beings.
(1) Four faces meaning strength at its greatest, service at its meekest, intelligence at its fullest, spirituality at its highest. Each being had a wing on all four sides and a hand on the same symbolizing a fullness of capacity for service (6, 8).
(2) They went every one straight forward (vs 12). Symbolizing their undeviating prosecution of the Divine will.
(3) Their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like lightening and they ran and returned as appearance of a flash of lightening (vss 13-14). Symbolizing their complete holiness and swiftness of action.
(4) Four awesome wheels are beside each of these beings (vs 15). The size and sweep are vast reaching down to earth and up to heaven. These four wheels connect these heavenly beings with the earth. It appears as if a wheel is in the middle of a wheel (vs 16). These wheels turned straight forward (vs 9, 12, 17).
(5) Full of eyes (vs 18) The rims were full of eyes and these countless eyes looked simultaneously in every direction from the crosswise rims. They saw everything. Nothing could be hid from them a symbol of omniscience and omnipresence.
(6) These wheels filled with the life of the living beings themselves (vs 20). These wheels expressed the will and movement of these 4 living beings (vs 21).
So, behind the events taking place on earth, in our lives, are the operations of supernatural powers of heaven! The wheels of divine providence run with resistless, lightening like swiftness in all directions over all the earth. They never need to turn since God sees everything, everywhere, every moment. The 16 faces of these living beings looked in every direction at the same time indicating that God sees and acts in His strength, service, intelligence and nature simultaneously in His administration of His purpose in the universe (3 oís & jesuithil). Nobody controls his own life. Did you determine when you were born, parents, color of eyes, skin, hair, country, gifts, abilities, intelligence, circumstances that flow thru your life? In all probability you will have no say over when you die. Most of life is spent deciding how you will respond rather than initiating what you will do. By and large it is only our attitude over what you cannot control is what we can control. Jesus is lord whether you admit it or not. We are well served yielding to His authority in this life since He is. Like Adam & Eve, our temptation will be for autonomy, resisting Gods control.
3. ALL EVENTS SERVE GODS WILL AND PURPOSE† 26-28
Over the heads of the cherubim Ezekiel hears a voice (vs 25). He sees the likeness of a throne and a fire-enveloped likeness of a man on it. The imagery is of a solid canopy overhead with radiance like as of a rainbow emanating from above. We have an image of a throne chariot manifesting all of the attributes of God in His character. At the appearance of the likeness of God Ezekiel falls prostrate before it.
God will execute His will in the world and in our lives. And He will do that thru all of the events that happen in our lives. You cannot alter the plan of God for you either by your opposition of your inattention. When God presents us with an opportunity to participate with him in what he is doing we can either cooperate or be passive. The only person we hurt by disobedience is you since God is not dependent on me to accomplish His purpose. Like Ezekiel, I should only fall prostate in submission not erect in rebellion or passivity!†