Summary: to stress the sovereign nature of God
God Is Still On His Throne
Primary Purpose: To stress the sovereignty of God
This book opens during a time when Ezekiel has been in Ezekiel for 5
years after King Jehoiachin’s surrender. This is a particularly bleak time in
Israel’s history. In 2 Kings 24:10-16 it tells us that this is when all but the
poorest of the people were carried off into captivity. This is the second time
the city has been attacked. All the articles in the temple are carried off to
Babylon. It would be fair to say that the people who did surrender were
literally starving to death after years of war and famine. It was a time of great
sorrow for the exiles also. This is captured in Psalm 137:1-6. This illustrates
their sorrow over what had happened.
Ezekiel was a priest and his father had been a priest. He hears the
stories the false prophets are telling about going back to Jerusalem soon and
Babylon falling. At this point, the people of God still have not repented of
their sins. Ezekiel goes to the place of prayer, near the River Kebar and there
Everyone is questioning whether or not they will be in exile a long time, or if
they are still the people of God. God reveals himself to Ezekiel in a unusual
way. He reveals that He is still on His Throne. He reveals that He is on His
throne in Babylon just as He is in Jerusalem.
1. God reveals himself in a windstorm v.4 - with lightning and brilliant
light. God revealed himself to Job this way Job 38:1. Yet, their experiences
differ somewhat. God revealed himself in a way that was unique to Ezekiel.
God reveals himself to people in all sorts of ways. God had specific things he
wanted Ezekiel to remember about His nature. So he reveals himself with
power and authority. When times get tough, God wants Ezekiel to know that
God has the power to protect him and to do what He says He is going to do.
God often appears in a cloud in the Old Testament. The Jews called in
the Shechinah glory of God. He appears in a cloud and pillar of fire at night
to the Jews in the wilderness. He appears in a cloud when Solomon dedicates
his temple. 1 Kings 8:10-13. God comes in great glory and power.
2. God revealed himself on a throne v.26. Ezekiel would forever
remember that though things seemed out of control, God was still on his
throne. The Babylonians thought they were on the throne, but the
Babylonians only had power because God gave it to them as a tool of
judgment. God is Sovereign. God is in control
I heard it said that God’s Sovereignty means that “God created the
world and all that is in it. He sustains the entire created order in existence.
He guides the affairs of human beings and nations. He providentially
interacts with all that takes place. He works for the good of the world and
finally will bring all things to a satisfactory conclusion. Because he is God,
he has the absolute right to work his will.”
This doesn’t mean you have a free will. God gives us all the ability to
accept his leadership and Sovereignty or to rebel against him. But, if we
rebel, there are consequences. One of those consequences is hell. God
doesn’t desire for you to go to hell. He desires for all to be saved. He
desires for you to be saved. But, he won’t force you to believe in Him. That
is your choice.
Isaiah 6:1- Isaiah also saw God on a throne.
Rev 4:2-8 - God is pictured on a throne.
3. God revealed himself with fire. v.27 Heb 12:29 says our God is a
consuming fire. This symbolizes the judgment of God. The judgment of God
is a product of God’s holiness. He cannot condone sin. God gave the
children of Israel warnings starting with Moses, but they would not listen, so
he judged them for their lack of repentance. God expects his children to
mourn over sin and repent of it. God expects us to repent of our sins and to
ask him for forgiveness. He has made forgiveness available to all through the
cross. At the cross, is where His holiness and His love meet.
4. God reveals himself in a rainbow v.28. The rainbow is a reminder
of God’s covenant of grace. It symbolizes the mercy of God. Even in
judgment, God remembers mercy Rev 4:3. God doesn’t desire to condemn
anyone. He didn’t wish to send his people into exile. He doesn’t desire for
any to go to hell.