EZEKEIL—PROPHET WITH PASSION

Have you ever met a person with passion?  Have you met a person who truly knows their purpose?  Have you hung out with a person with relentless drive to fulfil their purpose on earth?  Have you met a person who knows because they know God, the Creator of people, passion, purpose, and courage.  We are drawn to them!

Ezekiel is the man to come close to and listen.  He is an encourager to the suffering.  Ezekiel the priest and prophet assures his fellow Jews that God will one day return them to Jerusalem and restore the temple.  Don’t give up, I see visions of what will be as we journey through what is in front of us right now, he tells God’s people.  Yes, we would love hanging out with a person like Ezekiel, right?!

Ezekiel 1, The Message

Wheels Within Wheels, Like a Gyroscope

When I was thirty years of age, I was living with the exiles on the Kebar River. On the fifth day of the fourth month, the sky opened up and I saw visions of God.

2-3 (It was the fifth day of the month in the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin that God’s Word came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, on the banks of the Kebar River in the country of Babylon. God’s hand came upon him that day.)

* * *

4-9 I looked: I saw an immense dust storm come from the north, an immense cloud with lightning flashing from it, a huge ball of fire glowing like bronze. Within the fire were what looked like four creatures vibrant with life. Each had the form of a human being, but each also had four faces and four wings. Their legs were as sturdy and straight as columns, but their feet were hoofed like those of a calf and sparkled from the fire like burnished bronze. On all four sides under their wings they had human hands. All four had both faces and wings, with the wings touching one another. They turned neither one way nor the other; they went straight forward.

10-12 Their faces looked like this: In front a human face, on the right side the face of a lion, on the left the face of an ox, and in back the face of an eagle. So much for the faces. The wings were spread out with the tips of one pair touching the creature on either side; the other pair of wings covered its body. Each creature went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit went, they went. They didn’t turn as they went.

13-14 The four creatures looked like a blazing fire, or like fiery torches. Tongues of fire shot back and forth between the creatures, and out of the fire, bolts of lightning. The creatures flashed back and forth like strikes of lightning.

15-16 As I watched the four creatures, I saw something that looked like a wheel on the ground beside each of the four-faced creatures. This is what the wheels looked like: They were identical wheels, sparkling like diamonds in the sun. It looked like they were wheels within wheels, like a gyroscope.

17-21 They went in any one of the four directions they faced, but straight, not veering off. The rims were immense, circled with eyes. When the living creatures went, the wheels went; when the living creatures lifted off, the wheels lifted off. Wherever the spirit went, they went, the wheels sticking right with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When the creatures went, the wheels went; when the creatures stopped, the wheels stopped; when the creatures lifted off, the wheels lifted off, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

22-24 Over the heads of the living creatures was something like a dome, shimmering like a sky full of cut glass, vaulted over their heads. Under the dome one set of wings was extended toward the others, with another set of wings covering their bodies. When they moved I heard their wings—it was like the roar of a great waterfall, like the voice of The Strong God, like the noise of a battlefield. When they stopped, they folded their wings.

25-28 And then, as they stood with folded wings, there was a voice from above the dome over their heads. Above the dome there was something that looked like a throne, sky-blue like a sapphire, with a humanlike figure towering above the throne. From what I could see, from the waist up he looked like burnished bronze and from the waist down like a blazing fire. Brightness everywhere! The way a rainbow springs out of the sky on a rainy day—that’s what it was like. It turned out to be the Glory of God!

When I saw all this, I fell to my knees, my face to the ground. Then I heard a voice.

AND SCENE….More tomorrow from The Voice!

WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND TODAY?

Filled with bizarre visions and puzzling revelations from this prophet priest might intimidate and puzzle us at first reading.  But it shouldn’t. Let’s dig beneath the surface and uncover the timeless lessons about God and his relationship with us such as:

  • God would rather forgive you than judge you.
  • He remains faithful even if you don’t.
  • He can use anything—even something really bad—to accomplish his greater good. 

The NIV Quest Study Bible says Ezekiel wrote this book to the Israelites living in exile. They needed to know that the God of Israel was God even in pagan Babylon. Ezekiel warned the people that their idolatry would be judged. Later, after Jerusalem’s destruction, he wrote to encourage them that God would bring them back to Judah and Jerusalem.

We learn that God’s anger and discipline only lasts a moment, His love lasts forever.  Cling to this Truth and Promise from God as we read of the struggles in exile as God’s Chosen paying the consequences of their own sins of turning away from Him, committing murder of even their own, worshiping idols of all kinds, and living in evil, perversion—all that was not God.  All because of pride and arrogance that grows like weeds in humanity when we go our own way with no thought for anyone else.

Jesus came not to judge humanity but to save us.  Jesus came to serve, not to be served.  Jesus taught us how to love.  Jesus gave everyone he met dignity and worth when no one else did.  Jesus loved the unlovable.  Jesus completed his purpose and mission when he laid down and gave his life for our sins.  Yes, Jesus is proof that God can do anything! 

God will take the bad of this world and turn it all around to be used for our good and His glory.  The “wheels” could be representative of a never ending life with God.  We come “full circle” from where we were in sin to where we are when we repent in Jesus Name.  Bad to good—That’s God!

Israel was experiencing dark days.  But God was still with them.  The first truth Ezekiel needed to understand was that, no matter how discouraging the circumstances, God was still on the throne accomplishing His divine purposes in the world.  Ezekiel vision was recalling what he already had seen and knew as he identified the living creatures as the cherubim, heavenly creatures first mentioned in Genesis 3:24.  These would have been engraved on the Temple walls.  How assuring from this vision to recall where he met with God!

Wild “winds” of debilitating storms will come in our lives, but they won’t last forever.  God is still on the throne.  Nothing that happens is surprising to God or catches Him off guard.  Be assured, God knows and He cares.

If you are going through a really tough time right now, go to a place that helps you remember God is with you, wants to hear from you and will act on your behalf in His way that is best for you.  I will pray for you, too.

We all go through times that we wonder if God is still on our side, moving on our behalf.  The answer is and always will be—YES!

“The wheels symbolize God’s omnipresence, while the eyes on their rims suggest the God’s omniscience, seeing and knowing everything. Ezekiel was seeing a representation of the providence of God as He worked in His world.”  –Warren Wiersbe

“Noah saw the rainbow after the storm (Gen. 9:13–16), the apostle John saw it before the storm (Rev. 4:3), but Ezekiel saw it over the storm and in control of the storm. In His wrath, God remembers mercy.” –Wiersbe

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
–Psalm 30:5

Lord,

Thank you for all the lessons your Word teaches us each morning, proving you are who you say you are and do what you say you will do.  There is truly no one like you!  You are all I need for living this life on earth through good times and bad.  I praise and thank you for you have done, are doing and will do as you transform my life to be all you created me to be.  Thank you for being with me—always and forever!

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen—Yes, and Amen!

THE GLORY OF GOD!

Ezekiel will watch God’s glory leave the temple and go over the Mount of Olives, and he will also see it return to the kingdom temple. Because of Israel’s sins, the glory had left the temple; but God’s promise is that one day the city of Jerusalem and the temple will be blessed by the glorious presence of the Lord.

Ah…now we can begin to grasp the message that God was giving His prophet. Though His people were in exile and their land and temple and nation were about to be destroyed, God was still on the throne and able to handle every situation. In His marvelous providence, He moves in the affairs of nations and works out His hidden plan.

Yes, God is still here.  Yes, God is still able.  Same God then as now.  Trust Him.

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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