Sermon: In the Shadow of His Wings

Bible talk by Steve Millay

In the Shadow of His Wings
September 12th, 2013 7:31 pm     A+ | a-
Reading: Ezekiel Chapter 1

There are a lot of people who don’t believe in God. They have their reasons for not believing. Maybe they are turned off by the hypocrisy of churches, maybe they don’t want someone to dictate to them how they should live, maybe they are too busy to worry about God. Whatever the reason, the saddest thing in this world is when a living being dies not believing in the Creator. Life is so precious and the news is filled with heart breaking tragedies that just tears us apart. It is sad to see lifeless corpses that will never breath again. Corpses of men, woman, children, husbands, wives, grandparents. No longer speaking, no longer breathing.
One of the strongest reasons I believe in God is this book called the Bible. This is not just any ordinary book. Many religions elevate books as being holy. But none of those books, written by men, even comes close to the deepness of the wisdom, the abundance of the knowledge, the abundance and accuracy of the prophecies written by God. I find that the deeper I dig, the more I find and I am just amazed at the level of the knowledge of our God that comes out in this book. I have been left breathless, realizing that this isn’t just any book, but this book is alive, and powerful.
I don’t hold to the thinking that there is nothing new for us to learn from the Bible. That early pioneers discovered all there is to discover in this great book. The Lord reveals the things concealed in this book to his servants, and I believe that there is so much that is yet to be understood. The more we set on heart on learning from God, the more He blesses us with this wonderful knowledge that comes from above. Today I would like to share with you a subject that touches on how great and awesome this book of God is. It has convinced me even more that this is truly the book of the living God and the prophecies in it are very real.
We read in Ezekiel Chapter 1 about what is described by some as “Ezekiel’s unidentified flying object”. And we are left considering this strange but amazing creature that is described. There are a lot of thoughts about what this creature is. In Chapter 10 of Ezekiel we learn that this creature is the cherub or cherubim. Some feel that this creature is an angel of God. But nowhere in scripture is the Cherubim referred to as an angel. Instead, I believe that this creature represents the role of Christ as the protector of the tree of Life. Let’s begin by trying to visualize this creature in our minds.
The creature is described as having 4 heads. The gospels depict these same heads as the 4 roles of Christ. The lion of the tribe of Judah, the future king of Israel. The ox, as a servant burdened with our sins. The man, bearing our very nature, sacrificed. The eagle, the son of the living God
The creature has wings covering it's body. This represents the covering of the body of sin. A Human hand appears out of the wings. This shows the role of a man in the redemption process. There are wings that spreading upward, and is connected to the other cherubs. This depicts unity of purpose. There are wheels that are full of eyes. This signifies the spirit of God. The creature is moved by the spirit. It stays on course with its purpose, it doesn’t change direction. It’s legs are firm (not weak).
The symbols all define the role of Christ and the manner of salvation. Ezekiel is given this vision during the captivity of Judah into Babylon . It shows that God purpose was still actively at work in the earth and those who understood the vision would find comfort.
The first time we meet this creature is in the very first book of the bible. Here in Genesis chapter 3:24 the Cherubim is placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden and it is the role of Cherubim to GUARD THE WAY OF THE TREE OF LIFE.
This garden is eastward of Eden; a river goes from Eden through the garden and then parts into 4 heads. Pison [Dispersive/Spreading] (Gold, good), Hiddekel [Rapid Tigris] (Goes to east of Assyria , conflicts, wars), Gihon [Stream] ( Ethiopia , famine), Euphrates [Great Stream] (Great river, endless).
The Cherubim is another proof that right from the beginning – God had a plan in place for our redemption, that is a way for us partake of the tree of life. The Cherubim itself is a symbol of that plan, and because Christ is typified in the Cherubim, the Cherubim has a very central role in our salvation.
When Moses was given instruction about making the fixture for the tabernacle, he was specifically told to make a Cherub on each end of the mercy seat and to have the wings spread to heaven. Their faces are to look toward the mercy seat. Ex. 25:19 Moses is told “I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim’s which are upon the ark of the testimony. In fact: This is where I will give you all the commandments unto the children of Israel .”
So the Cherubim’s looked over and guarded the Ark of the Covenant. Their shadow fell upon all who entered the most holy, and it was between the Cherubs’ that God spoke to the people.
So impressive was this creature that David wrote about it in many of his Psalms:
Psalm 61:4 “I long to dwell in your tent forever, and take refuge in the shelter of your wings”
Psalm 36:7 “The children put their trust under the shadow of they wings”
Psalm 57:1 “Have mercy on me…I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings”
Psalm 63:7 “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings”
Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge"
Psalm 18:6 “In my distress I called to the Lord, I cried to my God for help.  From his temple he heard my voice…he parted the heavens…he mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind, he reached down from high and took hold of me and rescued me from my powerful enemy.”
When Solomon made the temple, he place in the inner sanctuary of the temple 2 cherubim’s made out of olive trees. Each Cherub was about 15 feet high. The wings of these cherubim’s each were almost 8 feet long and they reached from one end of the sanctuary to the other. Again when one went into the most holy, this creature stood there as a guard. He was a witness to all that took place there. And it was between his wings that God spoke with man. This creature very much was keeping the way, guarding the way to the tree of life. This creature very much was involved in the covenant between God and man. 
In the book of the revelation we come to chapter 6 and read about the following prophecy: (Verse 1 to 8)  
Seal one – White horse, rider holds bow, given a crown, rode out to conquer.
Seal two – Fiery red horse, rider takes peace from earth, causes men to slay each other.
Seal three – Black horse, rider holds pair of scales, measures wheat and barley, not hurt oil/wine.
Seal four – Pale horse, rider named Death. Hades follows. Given power over a fourth of earth to kill with sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. 
Note the role of the living creature! COME, first voice like THUNDER. The seals that are spoken of are being broken as the book of life (which no one was worthy even to look upon) is being opened. Therefore, keeping the prophecy in context with the rest of the prophecy, the seals have to do with the opening up of the way to the tree of Life. This is why the living creature is actively involved in the opening of the seals. The living creature is showing the way to the tree of life, describing who will make it and what conditions will exist as part of the new covenant. There are some very interesting similarities between the four horses and the four rivers of Eden. Consider the following:
River: Pison
Gold, good White
The bow represents the covenant, the crown is the crown of life, these are those who are redeemed in Christ. They are the blessed by the living creature to be the conquerors.
River: Hiddekel
conflicts, wars
Red As part of the new covenant, it is decreed by the living creatures that there would be conflicts, and men would use the great sword (the word of God) to actually slay one another.  Christ spoke of this when he said in Matt 10:34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth:  I came not to send peace, but a sword."  Only those who conquer will avoid being drawn into this type of murder.
River: Gihon
Black Oil and wine represents that which is used for medicine and healing.  The living creatures decree that the medicine (grace and mercy) would be abundant.  However, the wheat and barley would be precious.  Under the new covenant the wheat and the barley (the good crops - Gideon is liken to a barley loaf, Christ fed the people with barely bread) would be few.  "Many are called, few are chosen"
River: Euphrates
Great river, endless Pale
The living creature also teaches that even under the new covenant, a fourth of the earth would die by sword, famine, plague and wild beasts.  This fourth is liken to the great river Euphrates.  That is that which is outside of the promise land of Israel.  This teaching stresses that only those in Christ will be saved, while those outside of spiritual Israel would suffer these four dreadful judgments.  (See Ezekiel 14:21)
The way to the tree of life is a very central theme throughout the book of the revelation. This is why in the last chapter of the book it is written: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life”
The Cherub also is spoken of as having a place in the Kingdom age. Ezekiel 41 describes the Cherub as having a place in the temple of the future. In this vision, there are a lot of Cherubim’s carved throughout the holy place. They are on the doors and the wall. These Cherub’s only have 2 faces though. The face of the lion and the face of the man. One reason for this may be that these Cherub’s represent those who have been redeemed and who now keep the way of life. They are men crowned as kings.
From the garden of Eden, to the tabernacle. From the writings of David to the temple of Solomon . From the prophecies of Ezekiel to the prophecies of the Revelation, we have written throughout the pages of scripture information about a symbolic, but very important creature in the plan of God. And even now, as we prepare to break bread, we do so symbolically under the wings of the Cherub. His role is to shelter us, and protect us. His role is to declare holiness unto the Lord, and to keep us in that way which leads to life. Each time we approach God, each time we turn to him in prayer we should do so as if we were standing beneath the wings of this creature, because….
Hebrews 12:22-28 “we have come to Mount Zion , to the heavenly Jerusalem , the city of the living God. We have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn. We have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant. See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks (between the wings of the Cherubim). If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he will shake not only the earth but also heaven. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” 

Steve Millay
Older Post Home Newer Post