As I watched, the cherubim lifted their wings and rose up from the ground, with the wheels beside them as they went. And they stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the LORD, with the glory of the God of Israel above them.
I. THE EXPRESSION CASTS LIGHT UPON THE NATURE OF GOD. The voice is, among all the inhabitants of this earth, man's prerogative alone. And for this reason - man alone has reason, and therefore he alone has speech. There are noises and sounds, and even musical sounds, in nature; but to man alone belongs the voice, the organ of articulate speech and intelligible language. When voice is attributed to the Almighty God, it is implied that he is himself in perfection that Reason which he communicates to his creature man. Our intellect and thought are derived from his, and are akin to his; our reason is "the candle of the Lord" within.
II. THE EXPRESSION CASTS LIGHT UPON THE INTERCOURSE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. The purpose of the voice is that man may communicate with his fellow man by means of articulate language, and by means of all those varied and delicate shades of intonation by which we convey our sentiments, and indicate satisfaction and disapproval, confidence and distrust, tenderness and severity, inquiry and command. Now, where we meet in Scripture with the phrase, "the voice of God Almighty when he speaketh," we are led to think of the purpose for which he utters his voice. It is evidently to communicate with man - mind with mind - that we may be acquainted with his thoughts, his wishes, his sentiments with regard to us, if we may use language so human. The whole of nature may be regarded as uttering the Divine thought, though, as the psalmist tells us, "there is no speech nor language, and their voice cannot be heard." But his articulate speech comes through the medium of human minds - the minds of prophets and apostles, and (above all) the mind of Christ Jesus. The Word speaks with the Divine voice; in him alone that voice reaches us with all the faultless tones, and with the perfect revelation which we need in order that we may realize and rejoice in the presence of the Divine Father of spirits, the Divine Saviour and Helper.
III. THIS EXPRESSION CASTS LIGHT UPON THE DUTY AND PRIVILEGE OF MAN.
1. It is ours to listen with grateful joy to the voice of God. "The friend of the bridegroom rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice." Christ speaks, and his utterances are welcome to every believing and sympathetic nature; they are as the sound of a voice long expected and wished for, as it now fails upon the listening and eager ear. The sinner may well dread the voice which can speak to him as with the thunder of threatened vengeance. But the Christian recognizes the tones of love and the accents of gentleness.
2. It is ours to listen to the voice of God with believing submission and obedience. God's voice is always with authority. Because he reveals himself as our Father, he does not cease to command. "Ye have not heard his voice at any time," was the stern reproach addressed by Jesus to the unspiritual Jews. The exhortation comes to us all, "Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." - T.
Then the glory of the Lord departed.1. How unwilling the Lord is to depart, and leave that people He hath dwelt amongst, and been engaged unto!
2. There is no visible church but may fall, and cease to be. God is not tied to any place, to any people; but if they corrupt His worship He may withdraw: He did depart from Jerusalem, from the temple, and they were unchurched.
3. When the Lord goes from a people, then the protection and benefits they have by the angels go away. When the sun is gone from us, we have short days and long nights, little light but much darkness; and when God departs, you have much night and little day left, your comforts fade suddenly, and miseries come upon you swiftly. When God and His angels go from a church, the dragon and his angels get in; when men's inventions prevail, they are subject to all woes and miseries (Hosea 9:12).
4. God would have men the notice of His departure. The cherubims stood at the door of the east gate, and there the glory stood over them; that gate was so seated in Mount Zion that they might see the entrance by it from most parts of the city, and here the glory now stood; it was come forth from the temple, and now exposed to public view, that they might inquire what was the matter, use all means to recover the glory which was going.
(W. Greenhill, M. A.)
( M. Henry.)
TopicsBeside, Cherubim, Door, East, Entrance, Forth, Gate, Glory, Ground, Lifted, Lord's, Mounted, Rose, Sight, Spread, Stood, Stopped, Wheels, Wings
Outline1. The vision of the coals of fire, to be scattered over the city
8. The vision of the cherubim
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 10:19
To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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