God’s glory and government infinitely transcend all the brightest ideas our minds can receive concerning them.
The wheels of his providence move with steadiness and regularity,
and all His disposals may be looked upon with wonder, for whatever He pleases He does.
1 Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.
2 And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.
3 Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.
4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’S glory.
5 And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.
6 And it came to pass, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.
7 And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out.
8 ¶ And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings.
9 And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone.
10 And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel.
11 When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went.
12 And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had.
13 As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel.
14 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
15 And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.
16 And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them.
17 When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them.
18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.
19 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD’S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.
20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.
21 Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.
22 And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.
Ezekiel 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Ezekiel 10:18—The glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold, and stood over the cherubims.
The gradual withdrawal of God from his house is described in vivid and awful minuteness. In Ezekiel 9:3, it had gone to the threshold; Ezekiel 10:4, it had mounted up; Ezekiel 10:15, the cherubim mounted up; Ezekiel 11:23, it passes from the city. It is well worth our while to ponder this deep and searching lesson. The light of other days fades but slowly: the year sinks by almost insensible gradations to the fall of the leaf; grey hairs besprinkle our heads without our knowing it; before ever we are aware of it, the train has borne us miles off the main line to the wrong station. So gradually our hearts may backslide. Satan is too knowing to lead us at a single leap into the precipice, but conducts us by a gradual incline. A little less Bible reading; a slight slackening in watchfulness and prayer; an imperceptible drift worldwards.
But turn to Ezekiel 43:2-4. The glory of the Lord returned to the renovated temple. Like the dawn of a new day; like the sound of many waters, it came, it came. God said (Ezekiel 43:7), “The place of my throne… shall the house of Israel no more defile.” Ah, backslider, God will come back to thee again. Thy repentance my be most inadequate; but if it be genuine, if thou dost truly turn to Him from thy sin, thy heart shall again become irradiate with his most blessed of holy light.
Without forcing, these words are also applicable to that coming for which we wait and long; when He who ascended shall descend again to be in us and with us for ever:–
“Hark! What a sound, and too divine for hearing,
Stirs on the earth and trembles in the air!
It is the thunder of the Lord’s appearing!
It is the music of his peoples’ prayer!” —Our Daily Homily