Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.
I. See what a Divine work creation is. Here, in this human hand beneath the angel's wing, do we see the procedure of the Divine work. All God's most beautiful things are related to use. Beauty and use are God's two anointed ministers to the world. In the gospel of utilitarianism, there is the hand without the wing; in the gospel of mysticism there is no man's hand under the wings.
II. See what Divine providence is. Man is the one manifold. (1) In the multiplicity of Divine operations we see the human hand beneath the angel's wing. From His exalted concealment God is constantly energizing by the human hand. This in all ages has been. (2) And is not our redemption a hand, the human hand beneath the Divine wing—a hand stretched out, the "likeness of a man's hand beneath the cherubim"? What is the humanity of Jesus, but the human hand beneath the Divine wing? (3) This thought rebukes the many false modern notions of God. See in this God's own picture of His providence, and never be it ours to divorce that human from the Divine in God's being.
III. See in the human hand beneath the wing of the angel, the relation of a life of action to a life of contemplation. In our most exalted flights we need the human hand. And by the hand understand deeds,—they administer even by bodily administration; but the hands under the wings show how they surpass the deeds of their action by the excellence of their contemplation.
IV. In a word, see what religion is. It is the human hand beneath the angel's wing. Has your religion a hand in it? It is practical, human, sympathetic. Has it a wing? It is lofty, unselfish, inclusive, Divine. Has it a hand? How does it prove itself? By embracing this hand, laying hold upon, by works. Has it a wing? How does it prove itself? By prayer, by faith, by heaven.
E. Paxton Hood, Preacher's Lantern, vol. i., p. 321.
Reference: Ezekiel 10:8.—Homiletic Magazine; vol. x., p. 203.
Ezekiel 10:13(Ezekiel 37:9)
If the wheel be taken as representing the whole scheme and fabric of nature, geological, astronomical, and elemental; and the breath, as the secret of life and motion, you have a philosophical conception of the universe. But if you contemplate the mechanism of nature, apart from the intelligence and vitality of the breath, your unphilosophical method of thought will confound your reason, and make the rational apprehension of anything an impossibility.
I. Consider the mystery of evil as included in the great whole and circuit of universal existence. Let us learn to contemplate the fall and the death of man, together with his new birth and resurrection, his ascension and glorification, as comprehended in the wheel of God. "O wheel!" Oh, endless round, from God, into the limitations and weaknesses of selfhood, into the mistakes and wilfulnesses of selfhood, and thence into exhausted powers, into weariness and suffering, and through weariness and suffering into reconciliation to the redeeming mercies of eternal love, and then onward and onward through successive purgations and renewals, towards rest and home in the fixed righteousness and blessedness of the Divine-human, the eternal-human, life.
II. What the human soul, all the world over, needs is not to be harangued, however eloquently, about the old accepted religion; but to be permeated, charmed, and taken captive, by a warmer and more potent breath of God than they ever felt before. The Divine breath is as exquisitely adapted to the requirements of the soul's nature as a June morning to the planet. Nor does the morning breath leave the trees freer to delight themselves and develop themselves under its influence, than the breath of God allows each human mind to unfold according to its genius. Nothing stirs the central wheel of the soul like the breath of God. The whole man is quickened, his senses are new senses, his emotions new emotions, his reason, his affections, his imagination, are all newborn; the change is greater than he knows, he marvels at the powers in himself which the breath is opening and calling forth.
J. Pulsford, Our Deathless Hope, p. 278.
Reference: Ezekiel 11:5.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. x., No. 591.
And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.
Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.
Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD'S glory.
And the sound of the cherubims' wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.
And it came to pass, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.
And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out.
And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man's hand under their wings.
And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone.
And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel.
When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went.
And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had.
As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel.
And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.
And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them.
When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them.
Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.
And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.
This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.
Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.
And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.