In his first chapter, the prophet Ezekiel describes his Vision of God. When We read the account, We are Not sure whether We are standing Straight, or on Our Heads!
This article is the sixth in the series on Bible Study.
- On Bible study
- The Problem of Suffering
- My Journey on the Road to Peace
- The Answer to the Problem of Suffering!
- Understanding the Bible
- Ezekiel’s vision of God
- The Bible and History
The last three pertain to Bible Study, per se. The Others deal with the Use and the Advantages of Studying the Bible.
God Experience is No Simple thing. Shankaracharya himself has described it as An Elephant getting into a Tent. Since I could not get a satisfactory image of that, am presenting You one of ‘The Bull in the China Shop!’ No Irreverence is intended. God is the Creator of Humour too, and would want that We Smile!
Image courtesy: en.paperblog.com
The point is that The Poor Human Brain has the Hardest time in coping with God Experience, As the Shankaracharya himself witnessed. This happened to Ezekiel too, as We shall see further. For all that, he went on to complete 48 great chapters.
Let us go to Ezekiel’s Vision now:
- He starts off, in Verse 1 of his First chapter, by saying that he had a Vision of God.
- Taking only the Salient points, in Verses 4 and 5, he sees a Storm, and, in that, Four Living Creatures in Human Form; but,
- (Each of these Human forms) Having Four Faces and Four Wings! Verse 6. (Howzzat! Pretty cool vision of GOD, huh? But it goes further).
- They had Hoofs like those of a Bull! Verse 7.
- Among the Creatures was Something that looked like A Blazing Torch, Verse 13.
- The Creatures Darted to and fro with the speed of lightning. Verse 14.
- Then he saw Four Wheels! Verse 15.
- Each Wheel had another Intersecting it at Right Angles. Verse 16.
- The Rims of the Wheels were Covered with EYES. Verse 18.
- And, towards the end, “a figure that looked like a Man!” Verse 26. Surrounded by Dazzling light and all that.
- And Finally Ezekiel says that This Dazzling Light showed the Presence of the Lord. Verse 28.
But, Wheels Intersecting at Right angles? Wheels covered with Eyes? Symbolism, for Sure. But Ezekiel had it tough, and makes it Tough.
My recounting above is Not to make a Mockery of the Word of God, but to show that the Man of God having a Vision has the Hardest Time even grasping it. And then, as in these cases, he is expected to Convey it!
And it was not Ezekiel alone. The Great Isaiah says: “I am Doomed; I have seen the Lord God Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5).
Moses and Daniel fall flat on their faces.
There is a Very Important Lesson in all this:
The Prophet had to Use his Human faculties to Imbibe, Register, Remember, Recall and Recount his Experiences.
As such, one cannot Rush into the seeming meanings of words or passages. Ezekiel’s account of his Vision of God is Ample Proof of that.