“And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. – Ezekiel 1:5-6a, 10 ESV
Ezekiel is giving us a glimpse into the Spirit World! We serve a GOD OF PURPOSE. A picture is worth 1000 words, and God speaks to us in imagery because our FINITE minds cannot grasp ALL that HIS INFINITE mind has to offer! God uses things we know to give us a SHADOW of what we DON’T know and might have a hard time understanding. The four living creatures bear the appearance of a man- LIKE the appearance of the ONE on the throne above the living creatures: “…upon the likeness of the throne was One in appearance like a man” (v.26).
Leader, many Bible scholars believe this is a representation, the expression of our Lord- Jesus, the One on the throne, is manifested in His Humanity, the GOD-MAN! In the gospel of Matthew 13:55, we are told; “Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers–James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas”. The primary face of each of the four living creatures is that of a man. This typifies the Lord’s normal human life that we read in the Gospels. Even though Christ was fully man He was also fully God and possesses all HIS POWER and ATTRIBUTES. The faces are depictions of HIS TRAITS.
Conduit, As king of the ‘Jungle’, the LION rules supreme! Our Lord is called the LION from the Tribe of Judah! (See Genesis 49:9-10, Revelation 5:5) The lion’s face on the right side is counter-balanced by the ox’s face on the left. The ox is a beast of burden, willing to serve, work, and sacrifice for others. (See Mark 10:45) The eagle signifies strength, power and vision- swiftness of flight, it sets it’s nest in HIGH PLACES. This “ravenous bird” is a symbol of those nations whom God employs and sends forth to do a work of destruction, sweeping away whatever is decaying. God’s care over his people is likened to that of the eagle in training HIS young to fly! (Is 40:31) From the book; Life Study of Ezekiel; “We need to be like an eagle, not allowing anything to hold us, to suppress us, or to depress us. This means that we should be able to overcome both persecution and praise…Whether we are persecuted or praised, we need to be able to fly away on eagles’ wings. We should be buoyant and transcendent.” Today, be like JESUS; Serve, Soar, Save and SUCCUMB- to the will of the FATHER!