What Is God Like? Rugged Determination – Ezekiel 1

“As I looked at the creatures, suddenly there was a wheel on the earth corresponding to all four faces of the creatures. The appearance and composition of the wheels were like sparkling topaz. There was one shape for all four of them, as if one wheel were inside another. When they moved in any of the four directions, they moved without swerving. Their rims were tall and terrifying, because all four of them were filled with eyes all around. When the creatures moved, the wheels moved next to them. Whenever the creatures rose above the earth, the wheels also rose up. Wherever the wind would appear to go, the wind would make them go there too. The wheels rose up beside them, because the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels. When they moved, the wheels moved; when they stood still, the wheels stood still; and when they rose above the earth, the wheels rose up along with them, because the spirit of the creatures was in the wheels” (Ezekiel 1:15-21, CEB).

What if God threw open the gates of heaven and let you see what He was doing. How would you describe it? The words or analogies you would use to describe it would be limited by your own personal experiences and understanding. Maybe you would use unusual descriptions of what you’re familiar with to describe what you’re not familiar with.

And, could you take it all in at once? Perhaps you would focus on a few aspects of the scene that stand out to you the most.

That’s what happened to the prophet Ezekiel when he got a glimpse of what God was doing. His description is rather perplexing. It almost seems like he’s describing a UFO sighting or a scene from a Star Wars movie with ancient terminology!

Ezekiel saw something that looked like a tornado or whirlwind moving closer to him. As the storm moved closer he was able to observe more precise details and features of what he saw.

As it moved even closer Ezekiel saw that the whirlwind was actually caused by heavenly creatures in chariots moving in all directions. When it moved very close, Ezekiel was able to describe the appearance of the creatures. At the point where Ezekiel was closest, he described the wheels of the chariots as he observed them from where he was positioned.

What’s notable about his vision is his descriptions of the four-headed creatures driving the chariots and the chariot wheels. They seem to have some common features or at least a shared purpose.

Whenever the creatures moved, the wheels moved. Whatever direction the creatures moved, the wheels moved in the same direction. It’s as though the movement of the creatures steered the wheels of the chariots. When the creatures moved left, right, forward, back, up or down the wheels moved correspondingly.

So, what does this bizarre description of these heavenly creatures tell us about God? What theological explanation avows Ezekiel’s vision?

God is constantly watching over His creation. In fact, God sees and is in control of everything in His creation by his ubiquitous presence and sovereign will!

You might say that God rules over His creation with a rugged determination!

God is determined to restore His fallen creation to Himself. He is determined to bring human beings into a relationship with Himself. Although human beings rebelled against God, God still loved us unconditionally.

So, restoring His creation is God’s constant purpose. This restoration can be a messy process–you can read all about it in the Bible–but nothing can or will stop the sovereign and determined God from accomplishing His good purposes.

I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created. (Romans 8:38-39, CEB)

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