Ezekiel Chapter 10
This chapter continues Ezekiel’s vision of Jerusalem’s destruction. Verses 1-2 read,
“Then I looked, and behold, on the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire, in appearance like a throne. 2 And he said to the man clothed in linen, “Go in among the whirling wheels underneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.”
And he went in before my eyes.”
The Glory of God, His presence rose up out of the threshold of the temple and appeared above the cherubim in preparation to leave the temple. But before He went, He ordered that coals be taken from the between the cherubim and scattered over the city. Immediately I thought of Isaiah Chapter 6 when the burning coal is touched to Isaiah’s lips to atone his sins. The coals would burn the city, yes but they would also cleanse the idolatry, the dross, and the other impurities out of the city.
The chapter also describes the worst possible judgment for Jerusalem. Verses 18-19 read,
“Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. 19 And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out, with the wheels beside them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.”
The Lord left the temple, His presence had resided there since it was dedicated but He left. Because of the abomination of the idolatry, the temple was no longer sanctified, no longer holy, and the Lord would not let His glory be among anything unholy.
Would the priests notice? Had they noticed when they themselves defiled the temple? Would the people notice?
The Lord promises us He will never leave us nor forsake us. Hebrews 13:5-6 says,
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
But He does withdraw at times. He doesn’t leave, He just hides Himself, His will and His manifestation from us. He doesn’t pull away to be cruel. He is God. He is never cruel. He is Love. He is perfect love. He does what He does for us with purpose for our own good to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. The Lord knows there are times when He must hide His face from us. Isaiah 646-7 reads,
“We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
7 There is no one who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,
and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.”
It is not that He is not with us, it is that He doesn’t make His presence clearly known to us. He is always with us, always. Why? Why would the Lord do that?
Perhaps because we have been looking elsewhere for our answers. Maybe we have been meditating on something other than the Word of God to find peace. Or maybe we have been seeking provision from the 24 hour cash loan place instead of the Lord God Almighty. Maybe we’ve been looking for love through astrology instead of the King of kings. Whatever it is, we didn’t call on the Lord. So He in His infinite wisdom and unwavering persistent love hid Himself from us and let us see how idolatry would work out for us. Don’t think that anything done can be kept secret from God. We can’t put our hope in money and think that our prayers for help fool the Lord. He is not only there when we pray but always. In Jeremiah 23:23-24 the LORD says,
“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.”
When God steps back it is in order for us to learn and call on Him again. He is always with us. He always sees us. He always knows our needs. But we do not always know our needs. He loves us enough to teach us those things. The Lord is waiting for us to rouse ourselves to take hold of Him, to call on His name. When we do that we know He is there. James 4:8-10 reads,
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Do you feel as if God is far away from you? He is not. Maybe it is you who is far from God. Perhaps you’ve sought your sanctuary, your provision, your peace, and your joy elsewhere and so the Lord is allowing you to do that. The good people find outside of the Lord may look wonderful but it is temporary. Psalm 73-23-28 reads,
“Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all your works.
I encourage you today to stop finding answers outside of God. Stop seeking the comfort of the world and call on Him. He is with you, waiting for you to call on Him. Let Him be your Almighty God.