Ezekiel 10 & Psalm 49

Ezekiel 10

    Then I looked, and behold, on the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire, in appearance like a throne. And he said to the man clothed in linen, “Go in among the whirling wheels underneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with burning coals from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city.”

    And he went in before my eyes. Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the house, when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court. And the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub to the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD. And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks.

    And when he commanded the man clothed in linen, “Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim,” he went in and stood beside a wheel. And a cherub stretched out his hand from between the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim, and took some of it and put it into the hands of the man clothed in linen, who took it and went out. The cherubim appeared to have the form of a human hand under their wings.

    And I looked, and behold, there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub, and the appearance of the wheels was like sparkling beryl. And as for their appearance, the four had the same likeness, as if a wheel were within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went, but in whatever direction the front wheel faced, the others followed without turning as they went. And their whole body, their rims, and their spokes, their wings, and the wheels were full of eyes all around—the wheels that the four of them had. As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing “the whirling wheels.” And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was a human face, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

    And the cherubim mounted up. These were the living creatures that I saw by the Chebar canal. And when the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them. And when the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the wheels did not turn from beside them. When they stood still, these stood still, and when they mounted up, these mounted up with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in them.

    Then the glory of the LORD went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out, with the wheels beside them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the LORD, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.

    These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the Chebar canal; and I knew that they were cherubim. Each had four faces, and each four wings, and underneath their wings the likeness of human hands. And as for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the Chebar canal. Each one of them went straight forward.

(Ezekiel 10 ESV)

Psalm 49

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

    Hear this, all peoples!
        Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
    both low and high,
        rich and poor together!
    My mouth shall speak wisdom;
        the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
    I will incline my ear to a proverb;
        I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.
    Why should I fear in times of trouble,
        when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
    those who trust in their wealth
        and boast of the abundance of their riches?
    Truly no man can ransom another,
        or give to God the price of his life,
    for the ransom of their life is costly
        and can never suffice,
    that he should live on forever
        and never see the pit.
    For he sees that even the wise die;
        the fool and the stupid alike must perish
        and leave their wealth to others.
    Their graves are their homes forever,
        their dwelling places to all generations,
        though they called lands by their own names.
    Man in his pomp will not remain;
        he is like the beasts that perish.
    This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
        yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah
    Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
        death shall be their shepherd,
    and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.
        Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
    But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
        for he will receive me. Selah
    Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
        when the glory of his house increases.
    For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
        his glory will not go down after him.
    For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed
        —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—
    his soul will go to the generation of his fathers,
        who will never again see light.
    Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

(Psalm 49 ESV)

The following is taken from D.A. Carson's For the Love of God series...

IN LIGHT OF THE TERRIBLE JUDGMENTS pronounced against Jerusalem in Ezekiel 8-11, with the beginning of the withdrawal of the glory of the Lord in Ezekiel 10, we should think through the bearing of such sins in our own framework:

Why do we choose what can last but an hour Before we must leave it behind?
Why do possessions exert brutal power
To render us harsh and unkind?
Why do mere things have the lure of a flower Whose scent makes us selfish and blind?
The cisterns run dry, and sour is our breath; We dwell in the valley of death.

Why is betrayal attractive to us
Who often are hurt and betrayed?
Why barter faithful devotion for lust,
Integrity cast far away?
Why do our dreams, then our deeds, beggar trust, Our guilt far too heavy to pay?
The cisterns run dry, and sour is our breath; We dwell in the valley of death.

Why do we stubbornly act out a role, Convincing the world that we’ve won?
Why for mere winning will we sell our soul, In order to be number one?
Why sear our conscience so we’re in control— Despairing of what we’ve become?
The cisterns run dry, and sour is our breath; We dwell in the valley of death.

O Jesus—

Why do you promise to quench all our thirst, When we have despised all your ways?
Why do you rescue the damned and the cursed, By dying our death in our place?
Why do you transform our hearts till they burst With vibrant expressions of praise?
The well flows with life—and we’re satisfied— The fountain that flows from your side.