Ezekiel 10:9-22: Outta Here

Ezechiel, in Chapter 1 and 10,
gives a remarkably accurate description of a flying saucer
which visited him as an agent of God.
— R. L. Dione (God Drives a Flying Saucer).

I was browsing through a second hand bookstore in college when I saw a slim mass-market paperback entitled God Drives a Flying Saucer by R. L. Dione. I couldn’t resist. If you love crack-pottery, this is the book for you.  (Un)fortunately, it’s now out of print. His main thesis was that God was not supernatural but super-technological. All of the miracles in scripture can be explained by technological help from above.  The pinnacle of his thought: Ezekiel saw a UFO, and described it as God.

Aside from the obvious lunacy of that argument, consider once more what Ezekiel experienced. He had to describe something that was so completely beyond his frame of reference he couldn’t find words to use. However, once he saw this vision in the holy of holies, his mind identified the living creatures as the cherubim that overshadowed the ark of the covenant.

Ancient Hebrew is a very earthly and concrete language. It doesn’t utilize a large vocabulary for abstractions like omnipotence and omniscience. If you read carefully, you will find Ezekiel trying to explain these lofty concepts in his very concrete language.  For instance, in the place of omnipotence, he mentions that each cherub had four faces. In 1:10, these faces were of a human, lion, bull, and eagle. In 10:14, he sees the faces of a cherub, human, lion, and eagle. These various faces are a concrete ways of describing God’s power. In place of omniscience, we have wheels, with eyes on all parts of them.

Now, this glorious vision was leaving.

. . .

In 9:3, God’s glory lifted off the carved cherubim and moved to the threshold of the room. Here in 10:18, God’s glory went from the threshold of the house, onto the real cherubim who were waiting. The final departure is reserved until 11:22.

It’s fascinating and frightening to see the dual nature of God’s judgment. On the human level, the city was burned to the ground by the man dressed in linen. On the spiritual level, God was making preparations to leave his temple. This two-fold judgment speaks of the all-encompassing nature of God’s pronouncement.

. . .

Omnipotent God, help us to see and to know your power—beyond the abstractions of our modern language.  In Jesus name, Amen.

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