“And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it” (Ezekiel 1:26).
An old Englishman, Sir John Lubbock, said; “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” Paraphrasing, “We see what we want and look for ways to get it.” Part or all of the two statements may hold true in the first few days of the New Year 2012. Too much of humanity has not seen God and consequently, have either stopped looking for him, thrown in the towel or no longer look to Him through Christ Jesus as the means to a better place and quality of life. The prophet Ezekiel was a man available to God and the Lord chose to use him as a messenger to the people of Israel. The world is waiting to hear from Christians this year that there is something better, a better way, a better future and a better hope.
An honest artist will tell you it is impossible to paint a picture that you have not seen, either in your mind’s eye or the eyes to the left and right of your nose. Ezekiel paints a wonderful and colorful picture of his heavenly vision: “And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about” (Ezekiel 1:27). Can you see the picture? This is only the background, the beginning of a spiritual and divine tapestry.
Ezekiel continues his description with more and greater detail: “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake, and he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the Spirit entered into me when he spoke unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me” (Ezekiel 1:28). Ezekiel observed what no other human has ever been privileged to see and live to write about. John 1:18 clearly states; “No man has seen God at any time.” What Ezekiel sees and hears is a vision revealed by the Spirit of God, human eyes and ears cannot peer into the spirit realm.
After the great flood of Noah’s time God declared the rainbow to be His symbol of an unbreakable covenant (agreement) with the children of men. In this vision the rainbow surrounds the throne of God and Ezekiel tells us “this was the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” Now we know what the glory of the Lord looks like, it is the symbol of permanence, of faithfulness and it surrounds the Throne of God. Christians can freely approach this throne surrounded by the symbol of promise. Ezekiel’s vision of this throne is very detailed—and real to the point that he is awestruck and falls upon his face in humble submission to the vision.
Ezekiel is awed not only by what he sees but also by what he hears. This year let the Spirit of God show you a vision and speak words of encouragement to the promises of God being fulfilled in your life in 2017. God has something He wants to say to each of us, humble yourself before the throne and hear the voice speaking to you. Stand before Him and plead for forgiveness, salvation and the blessings that only He through the sacrifice and faith of His Son Jesus can you receive. Let the Spirit of Jesus enter your heart and mind’s eye, taste and see that the Lord is good.
In spite of our open rebellion and obstinacy God has a message for you this New Year: “For I know the thoughts that I have towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s promise is rooted in love and we are called to do our part to receive the promise. “Then shall ye call upon me and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13). As we enter into this New Year (2017) filled with many desires and expectations it is my sincere prayer Jehovah our God will answer our prayers as we walk along the path He has set before us and “do the things we ought”.
“Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place. And the hand of the Lord was there upon me” (Ezekiel 3:14). Let us search our hearts and minds and question our ways and methods, and turn again to the Lord. Under- standing God does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. Let us lift up our hearts with our hands unto Jehovah our God and Father who is in the heavens. Knowing that He is holy and faithful, we have every reason and right to be confident the God of our salvation will not disappoint us.
“Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:17). Lift up your hands today and every day for He is worthy of our praise, honor and glory. Through Jesus Our Christ and by the Spirit of God may this year be everything you hope and pray for. May the hand of the Lord be upon you and blessings that only He can bestow as you bless someone in Jesus’ name. Have a Happy New Year in Jesus Our Christ—Savior of the whole world.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ