Wednesday, December 05, 2007
In chapter one, verses 4-28, Ezekiel describes a vision shown to him by God. The first part of the vision describes four beings which are most likely some sort of angelic being. Each one had four faces and four wings. If you were looking directly at the being, the face of a man was in front, the face of a lion was on the right, the face of a bull on the left and the face of an eagle in back. I won't continue to describe the creatures or their movement because that is plainly described in the text.
What fascinates me is what one set of wings is doing. One is covering their bodies, but the other set is holding up an expanse. This is an interesting word that is only found in Genesis 1:6-8 where its function is to separate the waters above from the waters below. Why would this word be used? I believe that can be answered by what is resting atop the expanse. On the expanse was a throne and sitting upon the throne was a figure with the appearance of man. This was God and His appearance was like glowing metal (a Hebrew word that some translate as bronze but it is an unknown metal). There was a radiance about Him. Ezekiel, through the brightness could see a form, but nothing else. I believe that this separation is there to show Ezekiel that there is a separation between God and man. Israel had continued to shows their disobedience time and time again. God is preparing to give Ezekiel his life's work and the grounds for that work is that Israel was separated from God and had no communion with God. God wants a relationship with His people. He wants Ezekiel to understand the great gap between man and God so that he can be more effective in his ministry to the people of Israel.