The Vision of Jehovah

Text: Ezekiel 1:1-28


I.         This vision takes place on the fifth day of the fourth month of the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile (Ezekiel 1:2) - December, 7, 594 BC

            A.        The overall meaning of the vision is a vision of God (Ezekiel 1:1)

II.        Storm cloud from the north

            A.        God’s presence seen as a storm cloud

                        1.         Dark cloud on Mt. Sinai - Deuteronomy 4:11, Psalm 18:11

                        2.         God travels on the clouds - Psalm 104:3

                        3.         Jesus coming on the clouds - Matthew 24:30

            B.        Because of the desert and sea on either side, invading armies generally struck Israel from the north, hence a symbol of coming destruction - Jeremiah 1:14; 6:1; 10:22; 46:20; 47:2; 50:3

            C.        The storm of the Lord has gone forth in wrath - Jeremiah 23:19

            D.        Lightening is also a symbol of God’s judgment - Psalm 144:6; Matthew 24:30

            E.        Ezekiel 43:3 - A vision of when God came to destroy Jerusalem

III.       The living creatures (later identified as cherubim in Ezekiel 10:20)

            A.        They are described several times in Ezekiel, but the details change depending on the context.

                        1.         Description in chapter 1

                                    a.         Overall, human in form

                                    b.         Four faces: man, lion, bull, and eagle

                                                (1)       Man - Intelligence

                                                (2)       Lion - Strength, kingship

                                                (3)       Eagle - Swiftness

                                                (4)       Bull - Strength, patience, service, sacrifice

                                    c.         Four wings with hands under the wings

                                                (1)       Two stretched out and two covering the body

                                    d.         Straight legged with feet like a calf’s hoof

                                                (1)       Round - any direction is forward

                        2.         Description in chapter 10

                                    a.         Four wings with hands under the wings

                                    b.         Faces: cherub, man, lion, and eagle

                                    c.         Completely covered with eyes

                        3.         Description in chapter 41:18-19

                                    a.         Two faces, a lion and a man

                        4.         Revelation 4:6-9

                                    a.         Full of eyes, front and back

                                    b.         Six wings

                                    c.         Each different

                                                (1)       One like a lion

                                                (2)       One like a calf

                                                (3)       One with the face of a man

                                                (4)       One like a flying eagle

                        5.         This indicates that it is not a literal physical description

            B.        Other mentions of cherubim

                        1.         Guarding Eden - Genesis 3:24

                        2.         Guarding the mercy seat - Exodus 25:18-22; 37:7-9

                        3.         Guarding the holiest of holies - Exodus 26:1, 31; 36:8, 35

                        4.         Guarding Solomon’s temple - I Kings 6:23-28; 8:6-7; II Chronicles 3:10-13; 5:7-8

                        5.         Surrounding the throne of God - Revelation 4:6; 5:6; 14:3

            C.        Similar to Seraphim - Isaiah 6:2

            D.        Interesting mention: I Chronicles 28:18

                        1.         The mention of a chariot seems to indicate that cherubim were associated with the transportation of Jehovah - Psalm 18:10

                        2.         Myriads of chariots - Psalm 68:17

                        3.         See also Ezekiel 11:22-23

            E.        God enthroned above the cherubim

                        1.         I Samuel 4:4

                        2.         Psalm 80:1

                        3.         Psalm 99:1

                        4.         Ezekiel 11:22

                        5.         God in the midst, seen in Israelite camp (4 sides) - Numbers 2:1-29

IV.      The wheels

            A.        One other description of wheels on God’s throne - Daniel 7:9

                        1.         God is not fixed in one place

            B.        The wheel within a wheel description is vague

                        1.         Can be two intersecting wheels

                        2.         Or two concentric wheels, like the rims on a chariot wheel.

            C.        The material for the wheel is not precisely known. Commonly translated as Beryl or Chrysolite.

            D.        The wheels moved as the spirits of the cherubim directed - Ezekiel 1:20-21

            E.        There seems to be no consistent thought as to what the wheels represent. Every commentary is different and none based their guesses upon Scripture.

V.        The expanse above the cherubim

            A.        Other references

                        1.         See description of God’s throne in Exodus 24:10

                        2.         Echos of the sea of glass on which God’s throne appears - Revelation 4:6

                        3.         Mentioned again in Ezekiel 10:1

                        4.         Same word is used to describe the sky

            B.        The noise

                        1.         God’s majestic voice - Job 37:4-5; Psalm 29:3-4; Revelation 1:15

                        2.         Later reference - Ezekiel 10:5; 43:2

            C.        A reasonable view is that the expanse is the separation between God and the world

                        1.         Sea separates the throne from the rest - Revelation 4:6

                        2.         Martyrs standing on the sea of glass - Revelation 15:2

                        3.         Ceases to exist in heaven - Revelation 21:1

VI.      The throne above the expanse

            A.        God reigns as King

VII.     A likeness of the glory of God - Ezekiel 1:28

            A.        This is not an exact representation. God is not physical.

            B.        Appeared like a man, but glowing like hot metal

                        1.         Also Ezekiel 8:2

                        2.         Deuteronomy 4:2; Hebrews 12:29 - God is a consuming fire

            C.        He is surrounded by a rainbow

                        1.         Revelation 4:3

                        2.         The rainbow was a sign of God’s promise - Genesis 9:13

            D.        This is the likeness of the glory of God

                        1.         Ezekiel 3:23

                        2.         Ezekiel 8:4

            E.        Ezekiel’s reaction is stunned amazement and he falls down

                        1.         Much like Isaiah - Isaiah 6:5

VIII.    Summary

            A.        God is not bound by any one place, such as Jerusalem, but is present everywhere

            B.        God is greater than man can describe since Ezekiel had to resort to saying it was like ...

            C.        God is awesome in his might and splendor