“Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain. So it was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and I heard the voice of one speaking.”
This is such a good verse at the end of a fairly confusing chapter. You read through Ezekiel 1 and your head might be spinning, trying to put all this imagery together. But part of the picture here is, is exactly what Ezekiel 1:28 is saying. Ezekiel is seeing the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord and he is in awe. He’s overwhelmed. He can’t wrap his mind completely around it. And that’s just the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
When God’s glory is described or seen, it leads to awe. The appearance of the likeness of God leads us to worship.
In recent days, I’ve been in Exodus 33 and Exodus 34 when God reveals himself to Moses. And 1 Kings 19, when God reveals himself to Elijah, but neither Moses or Elijah can see, behold the fullness of the glory of the Lord. So they get a partial view so to speak. Much like we see here in Ezekiel, the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. So all this to say and we see this all throughout scripture, God’s glory displayed, described in all kinds of ways that all lead to awe. That’s exactly what happens in Exodus 34. It’s exactly what happens in 1 Kings 19. It’s what happens here in Ezekiel 1. Think about Isaiah 6, whenever anyone sees the likeness of the glory of the Lord, they are on their faces. It’s all over revelation.
And then, so in light of all that, I just want to remind us where all scripture is headed, Revelation 22:4, not just scripture, all history is headed toward the day. When the Bible says we will be fully free from sin and sorrow and sickness and suffering and death and all the hard things in this world and we will be with God. He will be with us and Revelation 22:4, five of the most beautiful words in the Bible, “They will see his face.” Okay. I want to encourage you with this hope today. One day, we’re going to behold the glory of the Lord. And so today in view of that day, open up the Bible. Ezekiel 1 and all kinds of different places and hear this one speaking, that’s what Ezekiel says, “When I saw the light of the glory of the Lord, I fell on my face and I heard the voice of one speaking.” Just picture it. When you open up the Bible, the God of the universe whose glory you could not be able to see in this world, he is speaking to you.
I was at the coast recently. I was looking out over the horizon, just seeing this what looks like an infinite expanse of sea and sky. And I’ve got my Bible open and I realized the God who created this is speaking to me. He’s listening to me as I’m praying. He loves me. He cares for me. And I just want to pray that over here. Oh God, I pray that every single person listening right now would know, one, that your glory is beyond our comprehension. That there is no way we can even imagine your greatness and your beauty and your splendor and your wonder. God, I pray that you would help us never, ever, ever to be casual with you, to have a small view of you. God, give us a glorious view of yourself. Help us to realize that your glory, even the likeness of your glory would bring us to our faces in awe.
And in a sense, thus God, we pray that you would make us a people who spend time on our faces before you in awe of you. And then to open your word and to hear you speak to us. God, may we never ceased to be amazed by your love for us, by your voice in our lives, by your care for us. You’re listening to us. You, the creator glorious God overall, you are listening to us right now. You are with us. Your spirit dwells in us. God, we are in awe and we pray. You help us to live with this sense of awe and to love your word as the one who’s speaking to us. And God, we pray that you would kind of form us more and more and more in the process to the likeness of Jesus. Just like 2 Corinthians 3 says, “Beholding your glory. Transform us our lives from one degree of glory to another. Make us more and more holy, make us more and more loving, make us more and more like you.” We pray in Jesus’ name.