a coming storm wind
Ezekiel 1:4-14 (JDV)
Ezekiel 1:4 I looked, and noticed a storm wind coming from the north, a huge cloud with fire flashing back and forth and brilliant light all around it. In the center of the fire, there was a gleam like amber. Ezekiel 1:5 The likeness of four living beings came from it, and this was their appearance: They looked something like a human,Ezekiel 1:6 but each of them had four faces and four wings.Ezekiel 1:7 Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the hooves of a calf, sparkling like the gleam of polished bronze. Ezekiel 1:8 They had human hands under their wings on their four sides. All four of them had faces and wings. Ezekiel 1:9 Their wings were touching. The creatures did not turn as they moved; each one went straight ahead. Ezekiel 1:10 Their faces looked something like the face of a human, and each of the four had the face of a lion on the right, the face of an ox on the left, and the face of an eagle. Ezekiel 1:11 That is what their faces were like. Their wings were spread upward; each had two wings touching that of another and two wings covering its body. Ezekiel 1:12 Each creature went straight ahead. Wherever the wind would go, they went without turning as they moved. Ezekiel 1:13 The likeness of the living beings was like the appearance of blazing coals of fire or like torches. Fire was moving back and forth between the living beings; it was bright, with lightning coming out of it. Ezekiel 1:14 The creatures were darting back and forth like flashes of lightning.
a coming storm wind
What could the vision of these four living beings represent? Notice that they came from an approaching storm wind. In Jeremiah, a storm wind was a symbol of judgment (Jeremiah 22:22).
The four faces were faces of those beings who were supreme over the four realms of creation. The lion reigned over the wild land creatures, the ox over the domestic, the eagle over the sky creatures, the human reigned over them all.
Also, the storm wind brought with it fire and lightning. Later in Ezekiel, Yahveh instructs the prophet to burn some of his shaved hairs, telling him that a fire will spread to all the house of Israel and that he will execute judgment among them while the nations watch (Ezekiel 5:1-8).
This inaugural vision demonstrates our God’s sovereignty over all, and his coming judgment upon all.
LORD, give us the wisdom to submit to your sovereignty, and so be prepared for your day of judgment.