Thursday, June 02, 2005

Our continued fascination with the visions of Zechariah

Zechariah 6

1: And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
2: In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;
3: And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.
4: Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?
5: And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.

Sounds like Gabriel and his buddies?:

Lk. 1:19
And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God;

Almost, but not quite. Check this out:

Rev. 4:2-5

2: And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3: And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4: And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5: And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

The seven spirits are generally believed to be the archangels of which Gabriel is one. But there are seven, not four, of these corresponding to the seven lamps used in the Jewish Tabernacle/Temple. So these seven are not the four of Zechariah's vision. Going back to the four spirits in Zechariah, there is a four that corresponds:

Rev. 4:6-9
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.7: And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8: And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 9: And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

Beautiful! These creatures make an appearance in Isaiah 6:1-3:

1: In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2: Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3: And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

They also show up in Ezekiel. In Ezekiel, they are described as having four heads. Or maybe it's just a whole different set of beings. These Cherubim, as often called, were signified on the Ark of the Covenant. They are carved over the Ark with their wings covering the Mercy Seat.

Here's an interesting idea about them that touches on Christian worship.

Rev. 22:4, "And they [the Elect] shall see his face . . ."

The face of God is the big eternal prize. It is the special reward for the Elect, until then no human is privy to face of God. Now, angels do see the face of God. Matthew 18:10 "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." (BTW, another post for another day is this business of why the current angels will not fall into sin like Lucifer. But this is the key, that they see the face of God now.) Anyway, back to the the prize of the "face of God."

The face of God is hidden from all of us. Angels do see God's face and worship. But here's what John says about the Cherubim:

Rev. 4:6 " And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind." The plethora of "eyes" is eminently symbolic. Not only do they see the face of God, like all angels, "with" those eyes they see deeper and more than any other being can conceive of the Almighty. And this being the case, what then is their response?

Rev. 4:6 "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come."

It is clear that nothing, no phrase, expression or mode of worship can even come close to the song of the Cherubim. To me, it would seem that if one prayed this and meditated on this, that would suffice.


Post a Comment

<< Home