What Can We Learn From Ezekiel?

“When the creatures stopped, they lowered their wings …”

CHAPTER 1 – SYMBOLS

During the 30th year of the Babylonian captivity of Israel, God gave the prophet Ezekiel a vision, which he describes in Ezekiel, Chapter 1. You are personally invited to dive deep with me into the powerful meaning behind some of his words, filled with intriguing symbols, revelation and ancient wisdom.

Symbol: Stormy Wind

In the midst of a stormy wind, Ezekiel saw a cloud with flashes of fire and seemingly glowing metal, surrounded by bright light.

Lessons

Sometimes, our circumstances seem like a storm with no end in sight and that all is lost, as if burned up by fire. What we don’t see is that the storm is surrounded by God’s light, for He sees all. If we look intently within, we’ll catch a glimpse of His throne in the middle of the storm.

Symbol: Four Creatures

Ezekiel saw four living creatures. Each creature had four wings, two of which were used to cover the creature, and the remaining two touched one of the other creatures.

Lessons

The fact that two of the creatures’ wings covered themselves is symbolic of us covering ourselves spiritually: by believing in God, receiving his son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and having an intentional relationship with Him.

The other set of wings touching another creature signifies us touching other people, not only physically but spiritually. We are to have relationships with others and to encourage one another. God has something very specific to say on the subject: “When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Symbol: Sparkling Wheels

In Ezekiel’s vision there were wheels beside each creature. In each wheel he saw a second wheel crossways inside the first. All wheels sparkled, appearing as beryl gems, and the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When the creatures moved, the wheels moved; when they stopped, the wheels stopped; and when they were lifted up, the wheels were lifted up!

Lessons

I believe these creatures were following in whatever direction their spirit heard, and wherever they went, their spirit went. Likewise, we also should follow wherever God leads us. We are body, soul and spirit, and God’s Holy Spirit speaks to us through our spirit. When He says “jump,” we need to say, “How high?!” The benefits are plenty when we tune our spirit to God’s Spirit — and then follow where He leads.

You will notice in Ezekiel’s vision that the wheels were beside, not attached, to the creatures. They were high, frightening and sparkled like beryl, a gem that forms many of the precious gemstones we know. In other words, the wheels commanded attention. These characteristics remind me of someone I know: He has promised to never leave nor forsake us; He is definitely ‘high’ in every way; reverently speaking, He is ‘frightening’; and He “sees everything you do,” and “watches where you go” (Proverbs 5:21).

Symbol: Roaring Seas

The wings of the creatures had a sound as a roaring sea and was compared to an army, as well as the voice of God. I believe this represents the collective praise of the people of God. He is a God worthy of worship and praise 24 hours a day, not only with our lips, but in everything we do. Imagine if every child of God around this world praised Him at the same time … can you hear a sound, both pleasant and powerful, like the roaring waves of the sea?

Lessons

When the creatures stopped, they lowered their wings. Why? I believe they needed to quiet their sound in order to hear clearly from the One who sits on the throne. While praise to God should always be on our lips (Psalm 34:1) — audibly or in spirit — there are also times when we should stop, become quiet … and listen.

Symbol: The Throne

Ezekiel ends this first chapter by describing a throne that looked like sapphire, the stone associated with wisdom, royalty, prophecy and divine favor. Upon the throne sat a figure that appeared human, glowing like metal on top and fire on the bottom. Furthermore, a bright light surrounded the throne and reminded him of a rainbow on a rainy day.

Lessons

Details often reveal keys that open the doors we need to walk through. Ezekiel obviously paid attention to the details. This simple practice ensures we understand the messages we are given that set us on the right path, less we miss them altogether, travel down the wrong path and waste precious time in our lives.

The splendor of the throne compelled Ezekiel to bow face down on the ground, since, for him, it represented the glory of God. And then he heard God’s voice speaking. We can see the glory of God every day of our lives if we are humble enough to look. He created everything, and He is everywhere. If we search for Him, He is easily found. Selah.

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Question for You

Do any of these symbols in Ezekiel’s vision stand out to you? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments. Grace & peace.

Listen: Mountains & Hills

… many people were running into the forest, most with just the clothes on their backs …

A Dream, an Interpretation, and a Word

The Dream
Scene 1:

I was outside, very high up on a mountain with jagged edges. I could see other mountains all around me, some snow-capped. There were children playing around me, various races. They were running to and fro, chasing each other, and running  dangerously right up to the edge. It appeared as if they were running to the edge on purpose, pretending as if they were going to run off and fall, and then another kid running directly behind them would pull them back just in time. I was observing them and wondering why they were being so careless with their lives. They were laughing a lot and seemed to be having a lot of fun. They were not taking the danger seriously at all; in fact, it seemed as if they were being flippant about it.

Scene 2:

I was outside, this time on ground level. There was a hill nearby, maybe a couple hundred yards away. There were several people standing in various places on the hill. All of a sudden, it began to move as if someone were on the other side pushing it. The people began to run down the hill to get off it because it was moving. They were afraid. I began running as well with them. The only place to go was into a forest. The forest was not very thick, but many people were running into the forest, most with just the clothes on their backs, and some with a few items they had grabbed before running from wherever they came from. As we ran deeper and deeper into the forest, we ran across several areas where people had decided to just camp out where they could. I kept going until I got to an area that looked safe, a clearing of sorts. In this section, the forest floor seemed to be carpeted, with some soft material over the ground, with various pastel colors, going around trees as if perfect circles had been cut out for the trees. Several people were laying down and some were asleep. It was quiet and peaceful, and so I decided to stay there as well.

Scene 3:

I was some place inside with another female and a  guy I was dating. He seemed rather young. I was sitting across from the other two on a small couch. The scenery appeared to be a sitting area inside the lobby of a building. I believe other people were milling about around us, but not closely. Apparently, I had, had a  serious  argument with my boyfriend. He and I, as well as the other lady, had some sort of short swords in our hands. Both of them held the sword out in the center toward me. Somehow there was an agreement that if I also touched my sword in the middle with theirs, that he and I would be finished and could kill each other or fight to the death. I don’t believe I wanted to, but I think I felt forced to also put my sword out and touch his. And everyone knew what that meant. However, the next minute our swords were down, and he began walking toward me, but not in a threatening way. He came closer and closer so that his face was very close to my face, and our lips were almost touching. I stood very still and didn’t say a word. Then he puckered his lips to brush mine briefly, and I hesitated slightly but also followed suit. So, then we were OK and were no longer going to fight or kill each other.

The Symbolic Interpretation of This Dream
  1. We are ‘playing dangerously’ with the things of God. To choose Him is to choose eternal life, but not to choose Him is to choose  ultimate and final death. People are laughing at this concept, ignoring its truth, and don’t realize how dangerously close they are too losing their life, for all eternity—when they could actually save it.
  2. God gives us warnings in life. If we heed the warnings, we will arrive at a safe place in Him. Although chaos will occur around us in the world, we will have peace.
  3. There will come a time when others, including people you are close to, will be at great odds with you about God, maybe even to the point of threats against you. However, if you  remain steadfast in the ways of God, even in the midst of such turmoil, all shall be well.
A Word
Listen to what the Spirit of the Lord has spoken:

Naked you are before me. I see all. I hear your thoughts before they become words. There is no rock on earth I cannot see. No sea who’s depth I do not know. No bird flies or eats without my knowledge. Do you recognize who I am? I am your loving God—with an outstretched hand before you. Will you choose my eternal love? Or will you wait and test my wrath?