Monday, May 21, 2012

There Are Some Very Strange Things in the Word

In my personal Bible reading, I am now in the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel is a clear example of the fact that being called as a prophet of God was not a call to a life free of stress or trouble! The life of a prophet tends to be very hard, for they are called to frequently tell people things they do not want to hear.

Today what I am thinking about is the vision that Ezekiel was given when he was called to special service by God. To me it is both amazing and bizarre. If reading about it strikes me that way, what must it have been like for Ezekiel to experience it?! He must have struggled to find the right words to try to convey what he had seen.

This is the vision of the four creatures, human-looking bodies with calves' feet, each with four wings (two outspread and two folded along their arms), and, oddest of all, four faces. Each had a human face, a bull's face, a lion's face, and an eagle's face. They stood with their human faces looking forward, each creature facing a different way. Their outstretched wings touched at the tips, so that they formed a square. They glowed. They were accompanied by wheels within wheels, the wheels bordered by many, many eyes. Thus, they could move quickly in any direction without having to turn. And with the wings that were folded along their arms, they could fly when needed.

Well, this is just loaded with symbolism about the all-seeing, ever-present, all-powerful nature of God. I'll let you think about that for yourself. It stirs my imagination to wonder if the creatures are real, as well as symbolic. We know from the variety of creatures that live on our earth, and that have lived here but are now extinct, that God has a terrific imagination. So, perhaps, his own home is filled with even more wondrous, imaginative, beings!

Years ago I read a book by an author who was trying to prove that life on earth was seeded by an advanced race from another planet that had long since mastered space travel, and who periodically check back to see how their handiwork is doing (hence, the UFO sightings). This may have been the Chariots of the Gods book--it is an unbelievable mess, but one thing in it stuck in my memory. In order to try to prove his thesis, the author used this vision of Ezekiel. He believed that what Ezekiel saw was a UFO! One of the visitations from these aliens. Well, the messages Ezekiel received to pass on to his people were not at all supportive of this author's ideas. However, it does illustrate how these visions can capture our imaginations as we struggle to visualize and understand the mysteries of God.

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