-Ezekiel, the priest and son of Buzi, is called by the Hand of the LORD to be a prophet in the land of captivity in Babylonia when he was 30 years old. This occurred in the fifth year of King Jehoicachin’s exile on the fifth day of the fourth month (Tammuz) in the Hebrew lunar calendar. This would date his prophetic call to the year approximately 597 B.C., or about 9 years before the final fall of Jerusalem in Judah. Ezekiel was likely born and raised in the land of Judah, but carried away into exile during the time spoken of in 2 Kings 24:10-14. There in Babylon he joined the likes of Daniel and the other captives that had proceeded them in the approximate year of 605 B.C. (Daniel 1:1-4). Ezekiel gets this apocalyptic vision along the river Chebar that is connected into the mighty Euphrates River where there was apparently a Jewish exile settlement. His writing style is akin to that of his contemporary, Daniel, and later the Apostle John of Revelation.
-He observes, in his vision from the LORD, a storm wind coming from the north, “a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire (Ezekiel 1:4).” Within this storm were figures resembling four living beings in human form, but with four faces (one in the front of a man, one on the right of a lion, one on the left of a bull, and one in the back of an eagle) and four wings. Their legs were straight with calf’s hooves for feet, and they gleamed with radiation like burnished bronze. They had four sides with human hands under their wings. Their wings touched one another, and their faces did not turn but looked straight forward when they moved to and fro like bolts of lightning. “Each went straight forward; wherever the Spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went (Ezekiel 1:5-14).”
-Now as Ezekiel keeps looking at the living beings, there was one wheel on the earth beside each of these living beings. These wheels had the appearance of sparkling beryl in the same exact form as if one wheel were within the other’s unit. These wheels could move in any of their four directions without turning sideways as they moved. The rims of these wheels were described as “lofty and awesome,” and they had eyes filling the rim round about. “Whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also. Wherever the Spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels (Ezekiel 1:15-21).”
-Over the heads of the living beings there was a large expanse opening up like the awesome gleam of crystal, and it spread out over their heads. Their wings made sound under the expanse as they were stretched out straight, one towards the other in twos with the other two wings covering the bodies of the living beings on one side and the other. The sound was like the voice of the Almighty and abundant waters, like the sound of a tumult in an army camp. But, when they stood still, they dropped their wings. God was getting ready to speak from above the expanse and all became still in reverence and awe. Above the expanse, which was above the living beings heads, was a vision of something resembling a throne. It was like lapis lazuli in appearance, and a Figure in the appearance of a man was seen high up. His loins and upward and downward had the appearance of something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within It, and there was radiance around Him. “As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I (Ezekiel) saw it, I fell on my face and heard a Voice speaking (Ezekiel 1:22-28).”
-*Application* Ezekiel was about to get his call to action in a dramatic and profound way as he witnesses the King of glory with some of His heavenly hosts. Our call may not necessarily be as overwhelmingly incredible, but it has the same implications none the less. What God calls you to do, do it with all your might (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Notice also the response from the called out one. He fell on his face in awe, fear, and reverence. We should do the same when we hear the Voice of the LORD calling us.
Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 1:3