Summary: The prophet Ezekiel was considering a commission and a call. He was contemplating assuming the auspicious and difficult of leading God’s people.
The prophet Ezekiel saw a vision. He was considering a commission and a call. He was contemplating assuming the auspicious and difficult of leading God’s people. And as he lay there by the banks of the Chç - bar, assuming the position of total submission to God, God shared with him a vision. The purpose of the vision was to convince the prophet of the holiness and the exaltedness of God’s God’s-self. The vision was given to the prophet so that the prophet would never forget that the God he served was a god of HIGH, EXALTED, and LIFTED stature…HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the Lord God Almighty!
The vision was also to convince sinners that this is a God to be reckoned with. That you can’t live a life of sin when there is a God this AWESOME! And thirdly, the vision was to speak comfort to a people who felt abandoned by God. To a people who felt that God had turned His back on them and that they were just in exile from their homes and their loved ones. And I looked.
And as I looked, I saw a creature. The creature had the likeness of man. Every one of the creatures had four faces and four wings. Their feet were straight and the soles of their feet were like calves feet. They had hands like men; wings were joined together; and when they flew, they turned not where they went and everywhere they went they went straight. The Bible says, “they went where the Spirit went.”
Now that sounds very theological and very scriptural but could you break that down for me preacher. Well, as I was studying and preparing this word I noticed that the first thing that this creature was a mere likeness. This creature wasn’t the actual creature but it was the likeness. In other words, you see when you look at angelic-beings, when you look at God-sent people, all you see is the mere likeness of who they really are. See we are unable to really get a handle on when we look at the outside something, when you look at the physical manifestation, all we see is the likeness. So when you looking at that Tommy Hilfiger shirt, when you’re peeping those Nikey shoes, when you’re sweatin that BMW or that Lexus, all you are looking at is what is on the outside. But angels are spirits and God is a spirit and the essential essence of us as God’s people is spirit. In other words, all we see with the physical eye is the likeness. Which means that as I look at you I just can’t look at your physical traits…I know she’s fine but will she build you up or tear you down young man? Ladies, I know he’s got it going on but will he treat you like the queen you are? You see I can’t look at whether you’re a man or a woman. I can’t look at whether you’re short or tall. I can’t look at whether you’re black or white. I have to look at the spiritual dimension and understand that what I see is a mere likeness. Ah! But there is something on the inside!
Another thing I noticed is that these creatures of likeness came out of the mist of the fire. And anytime we see anything in the Bible associated with fire we must automatically assume and realize that God’s presence is there. And so not only is it just a likeness but it is also a likeness in the mist and presence of God. This is a divine creature.
And so we have first of all the likeness, which is spiritual; the presence of God, which is divine; and thirdly the creature was in the likeness of humanity. In other words we have to recognize that we, as people, are connected to both the Spirit and the Divine. That is why the hymnologist says that, “I’m an heir of Salvation, purchase of God, I am born of His Spirit, I’ve been washed in His blood.” Oh, but we often look at ourselves as nothing. Look at ourselves as low-life. Look at ourselves as incidental and non-significant but God is saying that this creature is in the likeness of humanity and humanity is an exalted divine state. Don’t you know that you and I were made just a little lower than the angels? Don’t you know that you and I are members of a Royal Priesthood? God is saying to us “that people are special in my sight.” Which says that when someone has His spirit and has been lifted up out of their despair then that’s someone special.
It means that we can no longer look for God in the vertical plane but the horizontal. See we get so caught up into saying, “God where are you?” and we’re looking up but God says, “No, you better look out and you better look around and notice that the folks that you are walking with that they may be angels in human form. Notice that the folk God has sent you, that these folk are special, if they have been touched by His spirit and if they have been walking with Him in a divine way. So we can’t mistreat our friends. We can’t mistreat our neighbors. We can’t mistreat anybody because EVERYBODY is special in God’s sight. I can’t misuse my bothers and sisters because they are special in God’s sight. I’ve got to walk right.