Display the splendor of the Taj Mahal, boast about the opulence of the Burj Khalifa, lay out the most scenic landscapes and gaze upon the lofty arenas of our world and you will find ruins amongst the riches. The round world has spun through the seasons of time. From one century to another, we have made significant advancements, and acquired accolades and awards. Technology, has called in speed and speed has gotten us father than we used to be. We run faster, but cover little ground. We talk more but speak less truths. We exchange more data but less love. We have come along long way, and every step of the way, the ruins have been a part of our world.
Notice that man’s face in Ezekiel chapter one was at the front of the living creature. The controversy on earth surrounds humanity, and the last battle fought will be for humanity. That God took time to reveal all these details to Ezekiel means that He wants to send us a profound message of who He is and what He is about. Throughout Ezekiel God constantly reveals the following about Himself.
God’s work is foremost: Those who are called to do God’s work, must find focus in the things of God. What Ezekiel had or didn’t have wasn’t important. He even lost His wife, in the midst of a ruinous mess just to preach and teach a powerful message of loss and hopelessness. Distractions are all around us, but we have to learn not to look to the left or the right but straight forward, keeping our eyes upon the hills from whence cometh our help.
God is detailed: God does nothing just for show and tell. Every detail mentioned in Ezekiel is attached to the redemption story from creation to Christ return and only an in-depth study will uncover those meanings. Chapter 1 begins with an elaborate description of living creatures, having four faces, each face bearing a significant meaning. Throughout the book, God used such colorful, sometimes mucky imagery to reveal sin, to bring home the point of sinfulness. Though the unquickened mind will not move, though the untouched heart will still wander away, God has made sure that He has left enough details, to uncover sin and to point the way out of the ruins.
God is firm: God judges with a firm hand. He loves with a steadfast love. His holiness cannot let sin go undisciplined, His mercy cannot let sin go unforgiven. He is firm in justice and judgement, but firm in love.
God has Agents: So many times, angelic creatures precede the spectacle of God’s glory. Angelic host sang when Jesus was born, thousand and ten thousands of angels will surround Him when He returns. These angels knew the significance and holiness of their mission. Nothing could turn their tunnel vision view of God’s work. Nothing could remove the passion, love and reverence they had for the God, for whom the cherubim’s cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Would men assume this passion, would their love have this sincerity and reverence for God, the great commission would have been fulfilled.
God is unity: The wheel inside of the wheel, is a powerful statement of unity. The living creatures moved in a synchronous dance in response to the task at hand. The circular element of the wheel is a perfect and precise representation of how God works in union with those whose heart is united with His. Unity is the theme of heaven, and earth will not be removed unless disharmony collapse and unity has taken an immovable stance.
God’s Spirit is life: The Spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels, is another profound representation of how God works. God’s Spirit gives life and animates man into an intelligent and responsive being. However, he gives life so that we can live purposefully for His work. And, without His Spirit, what is Life?
God is Glorious: Ezekiel fell on his face, when God appeared in a flame of fire. In God’s presence there is inexplicable glory and holiness. Man is unworthy to fathom the enormity of such holiness. Ezekiel found the words he could, based on his meager capabilities to describe the indescribable. God wants to reveal to us a bit of His glory to humanity.
God is our Heritage: God wanted to show that without Him we are nothing. We will be nothing until He restores. We are like the graveyard of bones. However, He loves us enough to quicken us, to sprinkle us with clean water and give us a new robe and new home with Him. Put aside all the things of this world, because He should be our possession first; He is all that we need.
Essentially, the gist of Ezekiel is: God is Lord of Ruins, God is Holiness, and God is all we need.
Psalm 96: 9, “O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.”