Ezekiel can largely be broken into 4 sections.
Chapters 1-3 – call of the prophet
Chapters 4-24 – Judgment against Israel
Chapters 25-32 – Judgment against other nations
Chapters 33-48 – Hope and Restoration of God’s People
Chapter 1 contains one of the most amazing descriptions of God’s throne in all the Bible. The chapter begins by pointing out that Ezekiel is in exile. This is important because it shows us that God’s throne is not limited to the land of Israel, the city of Jerusalem, or the temple mount. God’s throne reigns over all creation at all times, it is not limited to certain geographical locations. This glorious picture of God’s throne is certainly one of grace for those in exile. And it is a wonderful reminder for us that God reigns at all times in all places. When we experience, pain and suffering, God reigns. When we experience rejection and loneliness, God reigns. When we experience hardship in relationships or in finances, God reigns.
The vision Ezekiel had of God’s throne is breath-taking. Here’s a brief list of what he saw:
- A stormy wind comes from the North.
- A great cloud with brightness comes with lightning shooting all around.
- 4 living creatures come forth with 4 faces (human, lion, ox, and eagle) and 4 wings (2 wings covered their bodies and 2 spread out touching the wings of another).
- The creatures went straight ahead and had the appearance of burning coals. They moved like lightning.
- Their were 4 wheels, one for each creature. The wheels were covered with eyes and they moved with the living creatures, never turning.
- Over the heads of the creatures and above the wheels their was an expanse like crystal.
- Above the expanse was a throne and seated on this throne was one with human likeness.
- He had the appearance of gleaming metal and fire and He was surrounded by brightness.
- The brightness that surrounded Him was like that of a rainbow.
And so what does Ezekiel do? He falls downs on his face. So here, Ezekiel is in exile, he see’s that His God still reigns and He worships Him. Yahweh had not been defeated by the Babylonians; Yahweh had not been killed by the enemies gods. Yahweh reigns and He has come to strengthen His people.
Here when Israel feels hopeless, lost, alone, and defeated. God has come riding forth in all His glory and splendor that His people would still trust in Him. It’s good news that we can worship God in all circumstances. We can worship Him in the good, the bad, the pleasant, the painful, times of laughing, times of crying, in life and in death.
I love that our God is not distant. God’s people have been disobedient. They have forgotten Him and worshipped false gods. They have whorred themselves to the nations. God does not sit back and with a callous, “i told you so” heart, throw judgment at His people. But rather he draws near and He gives great and magnificent promises. We’ll explore those promises as we journey through Ezekiel. But one promise I love comes from Revelation 3:21, in John’s letter to the church of Laodicea. There he writes, “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on His throne.” This throne that is majestic and glorious is promised to all who believe in Jesus Christ. One day, all who believe in Jesus will sit with Jesus on throne with the Father. Praise God.