Ezekiel 1:15–28

Read the passage.

I must have been really tired when I wrote the last entry because I didn’t discuss the wheels from the latter part of the passage at all. So we’re overlappingo on the passage a bit today. Ezekiel goes into some detail about these wheels that accompany the four living creatures, but it seems like he doesn’t answer any of the questions we could have about them. Are they alive? How does “a wheel within a wheel” actually work? It sounds to me like Ezekiel is trying the best he can to describe what he sees, but he doesn’t have the vocabulary or even the categories for it. In all likelihood, we wouldn’t either.

We start to get clues as to what purpose the living creatures and their wheels serve in the following verses. Above the heads of the creatures is an expanse of crystal, or something very like it. The living creatures appear to be holding up this expanse with their wings, and a very loud and awesome voice from above the expanse commands the creatures to start and stop. “Like the sound of the Almighty” (v. 24) is a very big hint.

Finally in verse 26 Ezekiel tells us there is a throne on the expanse, made entirely out of precious jewels. So then, the living creatures are holding up the platform of the divine throne and the wheels are the literal wheels of God’s carriage. Which is a strange thing for God to have when He is present everywhere at all times; He doesn’t need to travel anywhere. Yet it is a way for Him to show His majesty to us and to make statements, as we shall see in chapter 10.

Seated on the throne is Someone who looks like a human, but glowing and polished like metal and blazing with glory. Ezekiel calls this the “appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh”. Within a vision, that’s three steps of indirection from saying what God looks like, which is entirely appropriate for sinners such as us. Moses asked to see God but was allowed only to see the afterglow of His passing, because anything more would destroy him. In response to catching a glimpse of the Lord, Ezekiel falls on his face, which is the only thing any of us can do when confronted with God’s infinite holiness.

You are majestic and have total supremacy over everything.

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