Ezekiel 10:4 Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD .
As in Chapter 1, Ezekiel is given another strange but powerful vision of the LORD in all his glory. The context here in Chapter 10 is his unimaginable devastating Judgement on his own glorious, sacred City, Zion. This city was to be the SYMBOL of his Church – HIS PRESENCE among his chosen people.
It is hard – in fact, impossible – for us to re-create what he saw in the image of the creatures and the moving wheels-within-wheels, because the prophet is being asked to describe what is indescribable in terms of our limited space-time perspective.
What we ARE to be crystal clear about from his word-picture, is that GOD is in total control, that HE is absolutely sovereign in all the affairs of the Universe he has made, and that even the things that seem unlikely, or even impossible, from our perspective and framework, are nevertheless in HIS hands! The ‘radiance of the glory of the LORD’ is the pure, unapproachable light in which he dwells; the ’cloud [that] filled the temple’ is the gracious covering he provided to protect his faithful servant from this unapproachable light.
Commenting on this passage, Matthew Henry says: ‘Nothing is more clear than THAT God is, nothing more dark than WHAT he is.’ This God has given us a clear indication in Scripture of what his Judgement will be like when Jesus returns: a longed-for experience of his glory for those who are his, and a dread-ful experience of his glory and holiness for those who have rejected his rightful rule in their thinking and behaviour. The first step in crossing over from the latter to the former is recognising JESUS as the ONLY Saviour and Lord.
Ezekiel, like Jeremiah, before him, was not popular for delivering this ‘picture’ of God to people who wanted to continue in their old God-less lifestyle while resting in their own, more comfortable ‘picture’ of God – a ‘God’ of their own creation. But Ezekiel had no choice but to declare it (cf 2:6-7).
“Eternal light, eternal light! How pure the soul must be, when placed within your searching sight it shrinks not, but with calm delight, can face such majesty! The angels who surround your throne may bear the burning bliss, but that is surely theirs alone, since they have never, never known a fallen world like this. O how shall I whose native sphere is dark, whose mind is dim before the ineffable appear and on my naked spirit bear the uncreated beam? There is a way for man to rise to that sublime abode: an Offering, and a Sacrifice, a Holy Spirit’s energies, an Advocate with God. Such grace prepares us for the sight of holiness above; the sons of ignorance and night may dwell in the eternal light through the eternal love.” (Thomas Binney).