Ezekiel has reached the age of priestly service to God but has been cast from his homeland and is a stranger in a strange land. Then his life is completely changed. He sees a vision which...goes beyond even my imagination.
He struggles to find the words to describe what he sees--"it was like...a flashing fire, and a stormy wind, and a great cloud!" Over and over he uses the term "likeness," and the phrase "as it were." He tries to describe four fiery angels who have a human likeness, but are so different from us! They glow like bronze, having four faces and four wings. They dart to and fro continually as a unit like flashings of lightning. They are somehow intrinsically connected to wheels...within wheels...that are covered in eyes...and that glow!
Then the expanse above their heads! It shone like awe-inspiring crystal! And the sound of their wings was like...it was like...many rushing waters, and a tumultuous army, and the voice of God! But when they stopped moving...they put their wings down and another sound and image captivated the attention.
Ezekiel looks up...
and sees a throne.
The One Who sat on it had the appearance of a man...but He gleamed like metal. And the BRIGHTNESS! And the appearance of FIRE!
Ezekiel tried to describe the living creatures in great detail. But when his eyes behold "the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD"...he falls to his face.
This God that we serve deserves our reverence and our respect...but also our fear and awe! We cannot fathom or comprehend His glory! We cannot become accustomed to His splendor! We cannot even describe what He is like!
Ezekiel knows his place and falls to his face. We too must prostrate ourselves before this AWESOME, HOLY, GLORIOUS, BRIGHT, OVERWHELMING, TERRIBLE, SHINING GOD Who cannot be comprehended.
But then, as I was reading Ezekiel 1 this morning...I remembered something incredible.
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.
Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time."
Because of the blood of Christ, we can walk right up to the throne of God because He is our Father. I can boldly enter this heavenly scene in my blood-cleansed white robe, walk right past the fiery angels, and see my Daddy.
The combination of awe and affection, fear and familiarity, glory and grace....is too much for me to comprehend, to fathom, to describe. And yet this is my God. My Father. The Sovereign Ruler. My Friend.
If that doesn't fill you with hope and joy, I don't know what will!