God’s glory is breathtaking
1 Now it came about in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there. 2 Then I saw and behold the appearance of fire: from his loins downward, fire; and from his loins upward brightness as the color of amber. 3 And he put forth the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looks toward the north; where the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy. 4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
- Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne that looked like a sapphire stone: and on the throne was the appearance of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from his loins upward, and from his loins downward, I saw the appearance of fire, and it had brightness surrounding. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
5 Then he said to me, Son of man, raise your eyes the way toward the north. So I lifted up my eyes the way toward the north, and behold, in the entrance, to the north of the altar gate was this image of jealousy. 6 Furthermore he said to me, Son of man, Do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make me go far away from my sanctuary? But turn again, and you will see greater abominations.
- God does not feel at home in His house when it is full of idols.
- Our hearts are the same.
- Ephesians 3:17 tells us that God dwells in our hearts by faith.
- When we trust something more than God we have set up an idol in our hearts.
- Hebrews 13:5 Let your way of life be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. 8 Then he said to me, Son of man, now dig in the wall: and when I had dug in the wall, behold a door. 9 And he said to me, Go in, and look at the wicked abominations that they are doing here. 10 So I went in and looked; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed around the wall. 11 And seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel stood there before them, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, every man with his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12 Then he said to me, Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, every man in the room of his carved images? For they say, The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the earth.
- Other gods did not make us; they do not sustain us. They don’t give us life.
- It is high insult to God to worship something less than our Almighty Creator.
- Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
- Exodus 20:3 You are to have no other gods but me.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
13 He also said to me, Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing. 14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’s house that was toward the north; and, behold, women sat there weeping for Tammuz. 15 Then he said to me, Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, and you will see greater abominations than these. 16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five-twenty men with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. 17 Then he said to me, Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations that they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, look, they are putting the branch to their nose. 18 Therefore I will deal in fury: my eye will not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in my ears with a loud voice I will not hear them.
- Devils are behind all false worship (1 Corinthians 10:20, 21, 1 Timothy 4:1).
- Jesus enlightens every man that comes into the world (John 1:9). Therefore evil is a personal choice and an enlightened choice.
- Evil leads to death whereas following God leaves to life and blessing.
- Everything in this world that ignores God and His truth is inspired and driven by evil.
- The only way to avoid following evil is to follow God’s word.
- John 17:17 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
- Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desiretruth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
1 Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, Draw near O overseers/executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand. 2 Behold, six men came from the way of the upper gate which faces north, and every man with a shattering weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn was by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brass altar. 3 And the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen that had the writer’s inkhorn by his side.
- The overseers of the city were unseen angels.
- God and His angels are very involved what is happening with man on earth.
- The glory of God is awesome. It is described in Ezekiel as a sapphire throne high above with the form of a man sitting on it the color of fiery amber flashing forth rainbows (Ezekiel 1:26-28).
God destroys evil but protects those distressed by it
4 And the LORD said to him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry because of all the abominations that are done in the midst of it. 5 And to the others he said in my hearing, Go after him through the city, and strike: do not let your eye spare, do not have pity: 6 Utterly slay old and young, both maidens and little children, and women: but do not come near any man on whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men that were before the house. 7 And he said to them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go. And they went out and killed in the city.
- This occurred after 861 years of warning from God.
- God only destroys evil, and then only after a very longsuffering warnings.
- These people were leading their little ones to eternal death. The children would go to be with God.
8 And it came about, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell on my face, and cried, and said, Oh Lord GOD! Will you destroy all the rest of Israel in pouring out of your fury on Jerusalem? 9 Then he said to me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness/the twisting of judgment: for they say, The LORD has forsaken the earth, and the LORD does not see. 10 And as for me also, my eye will not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will repay their way upon their head. 11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen that had the inkhorn by his side reported the matter, saying, I have done as You have commanded me.
- Justice was not being done but idolatry, extortion, and murder.
- Proverbs15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
- Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what the LORD requires of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
1 Then I looked, and behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them a sapphire stone like a throne. 2 And he spoke to the man clothed with linen and said, Go in between the wheels under the cherub and fill your hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in my sight.
- Ezekiel’s vision of God in chapter 1 explains that this is the Lord’s throne and the glory of the Lord is the one sitting on this throne (Ezekiel 1:26-28).
3 Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. 4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’s glory.
- The Lord’s glory is the fiery amber form of a man flashing forth rainbows of light.
- Remember that God was in the cloud that led Israel out of Egypt and through the Red Sea and the wilderness.
- Deuteronomy 1:33 Who went in the way before you, to search out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to show the way to go, and in a cloud by day.
5 And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard even to the outer court like the voice of the Almighty God when he speaks. 6 And it happened when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels. 7 And one cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubims into the fire that was between the cherubims, and took from it, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out. 8 And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings. 9 And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was like the color of a beryl stone. 10 And as for their appearances, the four had one likeness, like a wheel in the midst of a wheel. 11 When they went, they went on their four sides; they did not turn as they went, but to the place where the head looked, they followed it; they did not turn as they went.
- Nothing distracts their attention from God and His purpose.
- Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
12 And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes all around, even the wheels that the four had. 13 As for the wheels, it was cried to them in my hearing, O wheel. 14 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
- ‘Full of eyes,’ symbolizes that they see and understand many things.
- The more that you see about God the more you understand everything.
- Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
15 And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar. 16 And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels did not turn from beside them. 17 When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted themselves up also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them.
God departed from His house when they filled it with idols
18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. 19 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD’s house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.
- Remember that God took Ezekiel in a vision back to Jerusalem to the temple and showed him it was full of idols.
- God wants to be with us; idols are a stench to Him because they are lies that cause suffering and death.
- God’s glory was seen by the shepherds at Jesus’ birth.
- Luke 2:9 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were greatly afraid.
20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims. 21 Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings. 22 And the likeness of their faces was the same faces that I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: every one went straight forward.
SUMMARY: Ezekiel 8-10
- God’s glory is breathtaking
- God destroys evil but protects those distressed by it
- God departed from His house when they filled it with idols