And the LORD said to the man clothed in linen, "Go inside the wheelwork beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city." And as I watched, he went in.
I. GOD IS THE SUPREME KING BY UNDERIVED RIGHT. Earthly monarchs reign by right of conquest, or election, or inheritance. They come to reign, they begin to reign. In these respects there is contrast between the sovereigns who bear sway among men and the King of kings and Lord of lords; for he is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To examine, to question, to vindicate his right is an absurdity, an impossibility; it is the condition and foundation of all rights, and is indemonstrable and self-evident.
II. GOD IS SUPREME IN THE POSSESSION AND EXERCISE OF KINGLY POWER. Earthly sovereigns differ one from another in the military and naval forces they command, in the weight they bring to the councils of nations, in the respect and tear with which they are regarded. But there is no measure by which power such as emperors wield can be compared with Omnipotence. There is One, and there can be only One, who is almighty, who wields all the resources of the universe, and of whom it may be said that all the manifestations of his might are "but the whisperings of his power."
III. GOD IS SUPREME IN THE UNIVERSALITY OF HIS DOMINION. Vast as are the realms of the greatest of earthly potentates, these are but a speck, a mote, when placed beside the kingdom of the Creator. For this both transcends all and includes all the kingdoms of the earth: "His kingdom ruleth over all."
IV. GOD IS SUPREME IN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS CHARACTERISTIC OF HIS SWAY. The true glory of a prince does not lie so much in the extent of his dominions as in the justice of his rule and administration. All human righteousness is a mere reflection of the righteousness of the great King of heaven and earth. "A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." A throne is sometimes thought of in association with the arbitrary and despotic exercise of power; all such associations must be dismissed when we come to think and speak of the Occupant of the throne of heaven. There may be that in his government which perplexes and baffles us; but nothing is so certain to our minds as his unswerving rectitude, his inflexible justice. Our highest powers of veneration are inadequate to conceive and to adore his moral attributes. Our proper attitude is to fall down before him and acknowledge the insufficiency of our purest homage.
V. GOD IS SUPREME IN HIS CLAIM UPON ALL HIS INTELLIGENT CREATION FOR HONOUR AND GLORY. It is sometimes represented by utilitarian thinkers that men's faculties are misused and their time wasted in the attempt to "glorify God." But the view of human nature is indeed both superficial and radically false which admits of such an objection to the practice of devotion. The worship which consists only of words and gestures is indeed an unprofitable superstition. But the worship which is spiritual is both acceptable to God and profitable and elevating to man. It is well to conceive of God as a King as well as a Father. Many human relationships must concur in order to present to our minds the claims of God upon our nature. To Christians the throne of Christ is the throne of God. "Thou art the King of glory, O Christ!" - T.
Fill thy hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims and scatter them over the city.I. THERE ARE IN THE ECONOMY OF GOD, TERRIFIC FORCES FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF EVIL. The whirling globe of fire was but a symbol of the manifold elements that, through processes of pain, and it may be throes of agony, have punished and will punish sin. And very often those elements are just those that have been guiltily used by man. It was true of these Jews "that they had abused fire to maintain their gluttony, for fulness of bread was one of their sins; they burned incense to idols, and abused the altar fire which had been the greatest refreshing to their souls, and now even this fire kindled upon them." Thus, indeed, is it clearly taught in the prediction of Christ, "They that take the sword shall perish by the sword," that the implements of our evil become the engines of our punishment. And such engines have terrific force.
1. To avoid sin ourselves.
2. To believe in the final victory of goodness.
II. THE GREAT FORCES PROVIDED AGAINST EVIL WILL OFTEN BE USED BY THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF MAN. A man's hand was to scatter these coals of retribution. Thus it commonly is. As man is the tempter, so is man frequently the punisher of man. Chaldean armies are instruments of Divine righteousness. Human judges are often the swords of God: human revolutionists the vindicators of liberty against despots. It is for this hand sometimes to scatter the fires of retribution; but ever to scatter the fires of purification. The consuming of the sin — sin in thought, sin in feeling, sin in habit, rather than retribution, on the sinner, may perhaps be the higher and better teaching of this vision for all of us.
(Urijah R. Thomas.)
TopicsBeneath, Burning, Cherub, Cherubim, Clothed, Coals, Fill, Fire, Hands, Linen, Scatter, Spoke, Watched, Wheels, Whirling
Outline1. The vision of the coals of fire, to be scattered over the city
8. The vision of the cherubim
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 10:2
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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