The prophetic book begins with an introduction, Ezekiel was a priest living among the Babylonian exiles in the Canal of Chebar. God gave him a vision of Heaven. He saw Heaven above and Earth below but together, close and simultaneously.
The first thing that Ezekiel saw was an immense storm cloud. Verse 4 describes it,
“As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal.”
This isn’t any ordinary cloud with lightning. Ezekiel would have described lightning as what it was. This cloud was greater than an ordinary cloud, more than that and it signified coming terrible tribulation. But from the midst of the cloud Ezekiel saw four living creatures. Angels and his description of them is fierce. He describes them for ten verses. They each had human form, four faces each, two sets of wings, one set spread out and touching the wings of the creature next to him and one covering his body, straight legs and shiny feet shaped like a calf’s. They moved wherever the spirit led without ever turning. Verse 10 describes their faces,
“As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.”
Their movement on the earth is signified with a gleaming wheel within a wheel surrounded by eyes for each of them. The wheels were on earth and the creatures were in Heaven, but the spirit or life of the creatures, was in the wheels. Wherever the spirit led, the angels went unified and without turning. Verses 17-20 describe it.
“When they went, they went in any of their four direction] without turning as they went. 18 And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. 19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. 20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.”
The angels carried out God’s will without turning, questioning, or division. They did whatever work He commissioned them. They came out of the fiery storm cloud to do it. God’s work whether it seems good or bad to us, such as sending an army to destroy or allowing turmoil, brings about His will.
Ezekiel’s vision saw above the angels to the throne of God. He saw Jesus, our Lord, God’s glory. He described in verses 26-28,
“And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27 And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. 28 Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”
The suffering we may rail against, brings about His will. Knowing God’s sovereignty even in the worst of situations makes faith easier. If Jesus is above the angels ordering their movement, if the Spirit of God is leading them, then we know that the love of the Father is with us. The suffering and tribulation we face is ordained and if it is ordained, God is with us. However bad the situations we face, God will be with us through it all. He loves us and He has purpose. He is disciplining, testing, purifying and shaping us. He is bringing people to the place they need to be in order to recognize Him and their need of Him.