Friday 17 February 2017

Bible Book:

“Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house and stopped above the cherubim.” (v. 18)

Ezekiel 10:4-22 Friday 17 February 2017

Psalm: Psalm 107:17-32


Ezekiel states that he has seen the same living creatures(verses 15, 20, 22) that he saw in his first vision (Ezekiel 1). However on this occasion he clearlydescribes them as cherubim. The word itself has links with thewords 'to bless', 'to intercede' and 'to be almighty', whilst theirrole is thought to be a combination of worship and protection of aplace where God dwells. The cherubim also seem to be described asbeings on which the throne of God sits and this is certainly thecase in this passage.

We see again the strange imagery of four faces, although thefact that one face is a cherub rather than an ox is put down toscribal error rather than anything significant. We read once moreabout wheels within wheels which seem to suggest an ability to goin any direction. It is, however, difficult to imagine what thislooked like and we have to remind ourselves that this is a visionof God.

The priestly man in linen has now been given another task whichis to take burning coals from within the wheeled throne (verse 6).Previously (Ezekiel 10:3) he had been told to scatter themover Jerusalem, reminiscent of the burning coals that destroyedSodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24). We must assume this happened,although Ezekiel does not record it in his vision.

The final act in this great drama is that the glory of the Lordleaves the temple and rises up into the air, presumably because ofthe idolatry that has already been recorded. If the cherubim have aprotective role over the dwelling place of God then this has beenremoved as well - a devastating turn of events for the nationallife and identity of Israel. But Ezekiel is at pains to tell usthat the living creatures were the same as he saw in Babylon,perhaps offering hope that God's people have not beenabandoned.

To Ponder

  • How do you respond to this image of a God of judgement?
  • The glory of the Lord left the temple. What modern parallelsmight there be?
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