And when I looked, there were four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel by one cherub and another wheel by each other cherub; the wheels appeared to have the color of a beryl stone. As for their appearance, all four looked alike—as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel. When they went, they went toward any of their four directions; they did not turn aside when they went, but followed in the direction the head was facing. They did not turn aside when they went. And their whole body, with their back, their hands, their wings, and the wheels that the four had, were full of eyes all around. As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing, “Wheel.”
Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. And the cherubim were lifted up. This was the living creature I saw by the River Chebar. When the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them; and when the cherubim lifted their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also did not turn from beside them. When the cherubim stood still, the wheels stood still, and when one was lifted up, the other lifted itself up, for the spirit of the living creature was in them.
Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.
This is the living creature I saw under the God of Israel by the River Chebar, and I knew they were cherubim. Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.And the likeness of their faces was the same as the faces which I had seen by the River Chebar, their appearance and their persons. They each went straight forward.
What detailed imagery! Such a lot of time and space is given to the description of the living creatures! Is there a message in the imagery? Several times Ezekiel emphasizes they did not turn aside as they went. They went straight forward in the direction they were facing. We are given purpose when a relationship with the Lord is realized. We are told often to press forward; cautioned not to turn to the left or to the right. Paul mentions striving for the prize, moving forward. Jesus tells us not to be tossed about as by the wind. They are full of eyes, all around. This would indicate awareness of what is around them; it could also indicate seeing with knowledge. We could take from this that it is wise to be aware of what is around us. Much time is given to the description of the wheels. Wheels are circles, unbroken, continuous. They provide locomotion, movement and they move in unity with the creatures. Our fellowship with the Lord and with fellow believers is often compared to a circle, as is marriage. A symbol of unity and continuity, unbroken with no beginning and no end that is used to describe the existence of God. Take away; an appreciation for the creativity of God, and a reminder to move forward with Him.
What a sad event! The departure of Sovereign God from the sanctuary built for his presence. As we remember that as believers we are the sanctuary for God’s presence, we can be appreciative of his continued presence with us and remember to place him first in our lives.