Ezekiel 1 & Psalm 37

Ezekiel 1

    In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.

    As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. 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, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf's foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. 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. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.

    Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

    Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads. And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its body. And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings. And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.

    And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.

    Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

(Ezekiel 1 ESV)


Psalm 37

 Of David.

    Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
        be not envious of wrongdoers!
    For they will soon fade like the grass
        and wither like the green herb.
    
    
    Trust in the LORD, and do good;
        dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
    Delight yourself in the LORD,
        and he will give you the desires of your heart.
    
    
    Commit your way to the LORD;
        trust in him, and he will act.
    He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
        and your justice as the noonday.
    
    
    Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
        fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
        over the man who carries out evil devices!
    
    
    Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
        Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
    For the evildoers shall be cut off,
        but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
    
    
    In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
        though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
    But the meek shall inherit the land
        and delight themselves in abundant peace.
    
    
    The wicked plots against the righteous
        and gnashes his teeth at him,
    but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
        for he sees that his day is coming.
    
    
    The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
        to bring down the poor and needy,
        to slay those whose way is upright;
    their sword shall enter their own heart,
        and their bows shall be broken.
    
    
    Better is the little that the righteous has
        than the abundance of many wicked.
    For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
        but the LORD upholds the righteous.
    
    
    The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
        and their heritage will remain forever;
    they are not put to shame in evil times;
        in the days of famine they have abundance.
    
    
    But the wicked will perish;
        the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures;
        they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
    
    
    The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
        but the righteous is generous and gives;
    for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land,
        but those cursed by him shall be cut off.
    
    
    The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
        when he delights in his way;
    though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
        for the LORD upholds his hand.
    
    
    I have been young, and now am old,
        yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
        or his children begging for bread.
    He is ever lending generously,
        and his children become a blessing.
    
    
    Turn away from evil and do good;
        so shall you dwell forever.
    For the LORD loves justice;
        he will not forsake his saints.
    They are preserved forever,
        but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
    The righteous shall inherit the land
        and dwell upon it forever.
    
    
    The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
        and his tongue speaks justice.
    The law of his God is in his heart;
        his steps do not slip.
    
    
    The wicked watches for the righteous
        and seeks to put him to death.
    The LORD will not abandon him to his power
        or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
    
    
    Wait for the LORD and keep his way,
        and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
        you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
    
    
    I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
        spreading himself like a green laurel tree.
    But he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
        though I sought him, he could not be found.
    
    
    Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
        for there is a future for the man of peace.
    But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
        the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
    
    
    The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
        he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
    The LORD helps them and delivers them;
        he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
        because they take refuge in him.

(Psalm 37 ESV)

Wait Patiently

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! (Psalm 37:7)

 

It is a common concern among Christians, but one that Scripture is not ashamed to address — What are we to do with the fact that evil people seem to prosper in this world? This particular psalm offers us wisdom in this area and immediately informs us to not fret over it or become envious of evildoers. 

How many times do we get so tired of seeing good things happen to bad people that we find ourselves tempted to compromise our own goodness in order to get a taste of the success they seem to be feasting on?

Scripture tells us to not stress over this and to not be surprised by this either. The arena of this world where evildoers seem to excel is a battleground for the faithful to prove their trust and commitment to our Lord. We must learn to be still before our Lord and wait patiently for Him to act. We must learn to avoid anger and always do good. We must not indulge ourselves with what this world may have to offer us but instead feast on faithfulness to our Lord no matter what it may cost us. And so may we delight in our Lord and wait patiently for Him to give us the ultimate desire of our heart — the promise that we as His people will one day inherit the entire new earth.