A Vision of the Lord’s Glory
Open Your Bible
Ezekiel 1:1-28, Ezekiel 2:1-10, Revelation 4:1-11
BY Seana Scott
Our checking account dwindled. Job options fizzled. My husband received a full-tuition scholarship for seminary, but how would we pay rent? Fill the tank with gas? Buy bread? I sat on the bathroom floor and begged God for help while my toddler played in the next room.
Later that day, my phone rang. A mentor sent a text that said something like, “My wife was praying for you and thought I should ask how you are financially?”
I honestly replied, and a big check arrived a few days later. The rectangle paper with numbers and an ink signature felt miraculous, like a glimpse of God’s glory. I dropped to my knees in awe.
I imagine the awe I felt that day was only a sliver of the way Ezekiel felt when he saw the glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 1). Before the vision, he probably felt sorrowful. The only place Israelites entered the presence of God was in the holy of holies in the temple. Now they lived in exile—away from God’s presence—and Ezekiel could not serve as a priest, a vocation for which he had prepared himself for most of his life.
And then God showed up. God revealed His glory to the Levite as he sat next to the Chebar canal (v.1). Ezekiel saw “the appearance of the likeness of the LORD’s glory” (v.28).
God revealed His glory in a way that showed His attributes, without revealing Himself completely, like a child using a kaleidoscope (Exodus 33:20). The scene was so mysterious and illuminating; the prophet struggled to describe the brilliance of God’s throne. He used the metaphorical terms “like” and “likeness” numerous times to convey the magnificence. Even the energy emanating from the throne could only be described as a rainbow—by both Ezekiel and, after a later revelation, by the apostle John (Ezekiel 1:28, Revelation 4:3).
I think maybe one of the reasons God gifted Ezekiel with this radical revelation was because the Lord called him to radically demonstrate God’s message. God would call Ezekiel to do some bizarre tasks (like eating a scroll, Ezekiel 3:1–3), but first, God gifted Ezekiel with the vision of His glory. That vision doubtless inspired him in his difficult and strange work we’ll read about in this book.
Meditating on the description of the Lord’s throne from Ezekiel 1 can inspire us in our service, whether that service feels like some of Ezekiel’s tasks or more mundane——as we bake chicken, type emails, launch ministries. God is more than an idea—more than a theology. He is the Holy One of Israel, worthy of our hearts to let go of all kinds of idolatry (Ezekiel 2:1–8).
We might not be called to the prophetic ministry Ezekiel was, but when we keep God’s glory in view, the tasks before us—if performed as an offering to Him—can take on vibrant colors this season of Lent.