These were the living creatures I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the River Kebar, and I knew that they were cherubim.
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.
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.)
TopicsBeings, Beneath, Chebar, Cherubim, Cherubims, Cherubs, Clear, Creature, Creatures, Kebar, Ones, Realized, River, Underneath, Winged
Outline1. The vision of the coals of fire, to be scattered over the city
8. The vision of the cherubim
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 10:5-22
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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