In Ezekiel 1, we are given a powerful vision of angels with multiple faces, robotic wheels, and rushing action that serves as a summary of everything God will ultimately give Ezekiel to do, almost an “executive summary.” Read it slowly and have a great and respected commentary with you to help explain the imagery. I view this entire chapter as an ultimate example of perfect unity with God.
Since unity with God is what Jesus prayed for in John 17 and what inspired everything that Streamside Unity is about, we see a new dimension here beyond space and time that fills us with wonder. What would it be like to experience something like this? I can offer only an inkling.
Here in eastern Colorado, we often have day after day spectacular sunrises, blending the deep azure blues of dawn with deeper crimson coals of fire, refracted through clouds at various heights above the horizon. More than once I have shed tears at the sight of such indescribable beauty.
Yesterday, just before I was to sit down and attempt to describe the indescribable vision of Ezekiel 1, our sunrise was something I have never seen before. I have seen in the past the sun’s rays projecting over the entire eastern sky from a point source just below the horizon, reminding me of something like the fingers of God reaching out to us. But on this day there was a dark gray cloud (by contrast) sitting on the horizon, and the finger-like rays of the not-yet-risen sun were projecting out from behind it. All of a sudden, and for just a minute or two before it passed, I was looking at an immense crown, a bit like the one atop the Statue of Liberty, but covering half the sky in various shades of crimson over deep blue background.
And quite unexpectedly, I found myself humming the old hymn from my childhood – “Crown Him with Many Crowns”, which is adapted from the Book of Revelation:
“His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name written that no one knows but Himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God” (19:12-13, ESV).
It made me wonder what the Son-rise of Jesus will look like just as he returns.
In Ezekiel 2, God commands him to go among the disobedient and disunified children of Israel to give them a stout warning of judgment far worse than the exile they were enduring.
Then in Chapter 3, to prepare Ezekiel, God gives him a scroll full of words of lamentation, mourning, and woe:
“Son of man…eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel” (3:1).
Ezekiel is told to fill his body and soul with the words of God, as must we. And Ezekiel reports:
“Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey” (3:3b).
Ezekiel was among rebellious people who might or might not listen to God’s warnings. But they would know, regardless, that a prophet had been among them.
What about us? Are our bodies filled with the never-ending love of Jesus that tastes as sweet as honey? Do even the rebellious ones among us know that a child of God has been among them? Would they acknowledge that we have completely digested the promise of our King:
“Crown him with many crowns/The Lamb upon his throne;
“Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns/All music but its own.
“Awake my soul, and sing/Of him who died for thee,
“And hail him as thy matchless King/Through all eternity.”
Are the words in us as beautiful as the Son-rise and as sweet as the honey of his never-ending love for to the lost and needy among us?