“Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell of my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking”. (Ezekiel 1:28)
Everything had changed. Picture it. As Ezekiel stood looking out across his new home around the Chebar canal, he knew the world was never going to be the same again. It had been a long 5 years on the other side of the world. Reaching his 30’s made him stop to think about what could have been. Trained as a priest, ready to fulfil his calling; but that had all disappeared.
All of this is true, but… this was not the end of the story. No, the God who had been faithful in the past was well aware of where his people were in the present. They may be in a different geographical location, but that did not mean that he was unaware of them.
In fact it was quite the opposite; he had sent them to Babylon. And so we are invited by Ezekiel to witness this somewhat unbelievable vision of the glory of God. Now let’s be clear; our role is not to number the feathers on the wings of cherubim or to investigate the physiology of heavenly beings, that is to miss the point. So what does God want his prophet to know?
Well they are now a peripheral people so they needed encouragement that the God of their fathers was alive and well. No political circumstances would push his purposes to the side. Yet there is another dimension which must be addressed and it is far closer to home. The people of God have disobeyed the one who made them and who had established them as a people in the first place.
On most of our devices there is a little reset button that we need to push. Doing that clears the previous actions and returns the correct settings. What Ezekiel needed was God to hit the reset and give him a reminder of what was really real. Seeing something of the likeness of the glory of God seated on a throne which could travel in any direction is certainly a good way to get the right perspective again.
As this new year is well under way one question it is good for us to ask in this ministry among East Asian’s is this. Have we allowed God to hit the reset button for us? This doesn’t mean stopping and doing nothing. Rather it is about being captivated once again by his character. The splendour of his glory and holiness, the reality that there is nobody and nothing which controls him.
I’m sure we are all well aware that times are changing in many areas of East Asia and even around us in the UK. So instead of despondency, I want to invite us to take encouragement from this awesome and beautiful vision of the God who is never off his throne to a people in exile who didn’t know what was going on.
As we pray lets come with confidence in the sovereign Lord who knows the end from the beginning, who sits on the throne and who is present in every situation across this world.