A Life Changing Picture – Ezekiel 1

April 26, 2023

A Life Changing Picture

Ezekiel 1

We continually need a good picture of God, especially when thrust from our comfort zones. In Ezekiel 1, God bestowed a life-changing picture (or better yet vision) of Himself to His people. They were miles away from home, captive to Babylon, with no temple (no presence of Yahweh), and confused about their national identity. It is here that Yahweh gives a clear and life changing vision of Himself. To westerners the picture is bizarre, but to the Jews in Babylon, it was life-changing.

The vision, extensive and detailed with ancient imagery, broadcasts that Yahweh reigns from His throne. The throne pops amidst the whole vision, shining out as a precious and beautiful blue stone (lapis lazuli). Under the throne is a platform like ice pictured as the floor of heaven. Holding up the platform are the living creatures with four faces (lion, eagle, ox, and man) indicating that Yahweh rules over all creation in every direction. He is over the ferocious lion, the swift eagle, the domestic ox and the most dignified and noble of all God’s creatures—man. Pictured as carrying Yahweh’s throne, these living creatures (which are revealed as cherubim in Ezek. 10) declare the transcendent attribute of omnipotence.

The Jewish exiles would be able to, once again, answer questions they already knew the answer to. Did the god of Babylon beat Yahweh? The vision shouts no. Are we destined to be here forever? The vision proclaims no. Yahweh rules over all things, even other lands and supposed gods. Not all questions are answered, but they are framed to be answered through where all power truly resides.

Questions about your situation must be framed through Yahweh’s omnipotence. He is not being arm wrestled by someone else. He is not being pushed around by someone else. All situations and things are underneath His power; not next to it and not above it. Let us place nothing as equal to or above Yahweh’s power. There is no such thing.

Yahweh communicates one last important reality in this vision—wheels. The wheels went where the living creatures went, and they went wherever the Spirit went. The Spirit was in the living creatures and in the wheels. The wheels, powered by Yahweh’s Spirit, visualize His ability to be everywhere at once. Even though the exiles are away from the temple, Yahweh is still with them in Babylon. There is no physical place where we can be away from Yahweh. He meets us in all locations.

A good picture of God is one where He is reigning, everywhere in all power, both transcendent and immanent—this is the picture in Ezekiel 1. His throne is the framework by which our lives must live and our questions must be asked. His throne is the framework by which we find comfort, hope, and faith. We live and continue to live because He reigns! Let us not lose sight of this picture—Yahweh reigning on His throne—and all that it does for us.

While not perfect, HERE is an artist’s redarning of this vision.