Sermon #1861 — Miscellaneous Sermons

 

      Title:                     “The Wheels and Their Work

 

 

      Text:                                 Ezekiel 1:1-28

      Subject:               God’s Providence

      Date:                                Tuesday Evening — June 22, 2010

      Readings:           Bob Poncer and Larry Criss

                                                            Psalm 107:1-43

      Introduction:

 

Š      Moses saw the glory of God in the “Clift of the Rock,” as the preincarnate Christ passed by and declared the name of the Lord (Exodus 34). — He saw that the Lord God is sovereign, gracious, and just, having mercy on whom he will have mercy. —— God’s glory, whatever it is, is completely wrapped up in and revealed in the salvation of his elect by Christ.

 

Š      Manoah and his wife saw the glory of God in the sacrifice that typified the Lord Jesus and his acceptance as our all-sufficient, sin-atoning Sacrifice to God. — “The Angel of the Lord did wondrously (gloriously)” (Judges 13). —— God’s glory, whatever it is, is completely wrapped up in and revealed in the salvation of his elect by Christ.

 

Š      Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord in the ascended, exalted, enthroned Christ dispensing mercy and forgiveness as the King of Glory (Isaiah 6). —— God’s glory, whatever it is, is completely wrapped up in and revealed in the salvation of his elect by Christ.

 

Ezekiel’s Vision

 

Now, turn with me to the 1st chapter of Ezekiel, and we will look at another marvelous revelation of the great glory of the Triune Jehovah. Just before God sent his prophet Ezekiel to reprove the rebellious children of Israel he gave him a vision of wheels. In that vision of wheels the prophet was given the confidence and assurance he needed to serve and speak for God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. The assurance God gave his servant was the assurance of God’s glory, the assurance that God is in all things and by all things accomplishing his glory, the salvation of his people to the praise of the glory of his grace in Christ Jesus. —— God’s glory, whatever it is, is completely wrapped up in and revealed in the salvation of his elect by Christ.

 

We will read just the first chapter of Ezekiel’s vision together; but I encourage you to read chapters 1-11 at one sitting, as soon as you can. Ezekiel’s vision of the glory of the Lord is given to us in these eleven chapters. Eleven times in these eleven chapters he tells us that the thing revealed to him was the glory of the Lord God of Israel (Ezekiel 1:28; 3:12, 23; 8:4; 9:3; 10:4, 18, 19; 11:22, 23). —— Let’s read chapter 1.

 

Ezekiel 1:1-28

1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity,

3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.

4 ¶ And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.

5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.

6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.

7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.

8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.

9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.

10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

11 Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.

12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.

13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.

15 ¶ Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.

16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.

17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.

18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.

19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.

20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.

22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.

23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.

24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.

25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.

26 ¶ And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.

27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.

28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. —————————————This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”

I want to talk to you about The Wheels and Their Work.”

 

Proposition: This vision of wheels showed Ezekiel the wonder of God’s providence and assured him of the certain accomplishment of God’s eternal, immutable, sovereign purpose of grace in saving his elect.

 

There are certain terms that God’s servants constantly use when preaching the gospel. I presume that you are all familiar with them. If you are not you should be.

 

Election is God’s sovereign, eternal choice and determination to save some, a great multitude of Adam’s fallen race (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

 

(Ephesians 1:3-4) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”

 

(2 Thessalonians 2:13) “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

 

Predestination is the sovereign, eternal arrangement of all the affairs of the universe to secure the object of his electing love, to secure the everlasting salvation of his adopted sons and daughters. Predestination is includes all things (Ephesians 1:4, 5, 11; Romans 8:29).

 

(Ephesians 1:4-6) “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

 

(Ephesians 1:11) “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

 

(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

 

Redemption is the ransom of chosen sinners out from under the curse of God’s broken law and offended justice by the sacrificial, substitutionary, sin-atoning death of our Lord Jesus. Redemption is the satisfaction of justice by the blood of Christ and the deliverance of God’s elect from all possibility of condemnation (Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 1:18-20).[1]

 

(Ephesians 1:7) “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

 

(Galatians 3:13) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”

 

(1 Peter 1:18-20) “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; (19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

 

Regeneration is the new birth, the actual deliverance of chosen, redeemed sinners from spiritual death into spiritual life by the effectual power and irresistible grace of God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:1-4; Colossians 2:10-13).

 

(Ephesians 2:1-5) “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.)”

 

(Colossians 2:10-13) “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (11) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.”

 

Providence is the glorious, though mysterious, sovereign rule of the universe by our great and glorious, ever-gracious Lord God for the salvation of his people and the praise, honor, and glory of his own great name (Romans 8:28; 11:36; Ephesians 1:11).

 

(Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

 

(Romans 11:36) “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

 

(Ephesians 1:11) “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

 

Providence is God working out in time what he purposed in eternity. In all these wondrous works of grace the Lord our God reveals his great glory as God, and makes us to know that The Lord Jehovah is God and that he is God alone. Divine providence is the subject of Ezekiel’s vision of wheels. In Ezekiel’s vision it is wondrously set before us as “the wheels and their work.

 

Nothing is more comforting, nothing inspires boldness, and nothing gives peace like a good understanding of and a confident faith in God’s wise, adorable, and good providence. That is the subject of this vision.

 

Š      It is a vision of judgment, the assured destruction of Jerusalem and with Jerusalem, the destruction of Israel and Judah because of their iniquities, transgressions, and sins, rebelling incessantly against the Lord God. — But God casting away that rebellious people did not alter his purpose, or in any way hinder it. The prophet tells us — “The glory of the Lord stood there!

 

Š      Ezekiel was commanded (chapter 4) to lay on his left side for 390 days, bearing the iniquity of Israel, with a picture of Jerusalem besieged lying before him, because the Lord God declared that in 390 years he would destroy that people.

 

Š      Then he was commanded to lay on his right side for 40 days, bearing the iniquity of Judah, with a picture of Jerusalem besieged lying before him, because of the 40 years of Manasseh’s wicked reign.

 

Š      God told his prophet that he would destroy 1/3 of the nation with pestilence and 1/3 by the sword.

 

Š      But 1/3 he said he would scatter among the nations of the world, scattering “the whole remnant to the winds” (Ezekiel 5:10). Still, he declares, —— Behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain” (Ezekiel 8:4)

 

Š      Then the prophet was assured that by means of all these things, all the wonders of God’s providence accomplished by “the wheels and their work,” all God’s elect remnant, scattered among the nations of the earth, all the Israel of God, must and shall be saved, and Jerusalem, the New Jerusalem, the City of God, the Church of God’s elect shall be a city four square, perfect, complete, and fully inhabited by the ransomed of the Lord, to the praise of the glory of his grace (Ezekiel 11:22-23).

 

“Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 23 And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.” (Ezekiel 11:22-23)

 

Now, keep your Bibles open on your laps at Ezekiel chapter 1. I pray that God the Holy Spirit will give me the wisdom, grace, and power to show you something of God’s great glory in his wonderful providence.

 

1.  Compared to A Wheel

 

The first point is the most obvious. — God’s providence is compared to a wheel. Both the Romans and the Greeks, in their ancient writings compared Divine providence to a wheel. But Ezekiel got his doctrine by the direct revelation of God himself. That makes his doctrine authoritative. Divine providence is like a wheel in at least three ways.

 

1st That part of the wheel that is now on top will soon be on the bottom and the bottom will soon be on the top. In other words, God brings about drastic, unexpected changes in the lives of men, in the affairs of nations, and in the affairs of this world as it pleases him.

Š      Poverty and Riches

Š      Sickness and Health

Š      Tranquility and Turmoil

Š      Fame and Ill-Repute

Š      Peace and War

 

(Isaiah 45:7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

 

2ndThere is one part of the wheel that is always the same and never turns.The Axle! We undergo many changes. All our lives are checkered with change. But the axle upon which the whole machinery of providence turns is always the same. That axle is God’s everlasting, covenant love and grace (Ezekiel 11:16-20).

Š      God never changes (Malachi. 3:6).

Š      God’s purpose never changes (Job 23:13). – He is of one mind, and who can turn him? And what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.”

Š      God’s love never changes (John 13:1).

Š      God’s grace never changes (Romans 11:29).

Š      God’s faithfulness never changes (2 Timothy 2:13, 19). – “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” – “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.”

 

3rdWhen a wheel moves real fast, the only thing you can see is the exterior circle. Instead of looking at parts of things, we need to look at the whole course of events in history, in our lives, in the affairs of God’s church, and so on. When we look at things as a whole, we see one round circle of symmetry, teaching us that God is wise, and just, and good.

 

Illustration: Kerri Simpson to Henry – “I’ve had a rough day; but I’ve had a great life!”

 

2.  Wheels and Angels

 

In some mysterious way God’s providence is intimately connected with the heavenly angels. — The “living creatures” are regarded by almost all the old writers as a reference to the heavenly angels. Certainly, there is an intimate connection between the living creatures and the wheels Ezekiel saw (vv. 15, 19).

 

(Ezekiel 1:15) “Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces.”

 

(Ezekiel 1:19) “And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.”

 

I am certain that the angels of God have much more to do with the affairs of our lives than any of us realize. It was an angel of the Lord that put Sennacherib to flight and saved Israel from destruction (2 Kings 19:35-36). – The Lord God told Hezekiah, — “I will defend this city, to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.

 

(2 Kings 19:35-36) “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. (36) So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.”

 

The angels of God ministered to and strengthened the Man Christ Jesus (Matthew 4:11; Luke 22:43). I have no idea how they ministered to him or strengthened him; but I suspect they simply appeared before him, perhaps whispering words of encouragement in his ear.

 

(Matthew 4:11) “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

 

(Luke 22:43) “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”

 

God’s saints have their angels, who watch over them and keep them (Matthew 18:10; Psalm 91:11).

 

(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.”

 

(Psalms 91:11) “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”

 

The angels of God are all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be the heirs of eternal salvation (Hebrews 1:14).

 

(Hebrews 1:14) “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

 

There is an intimate connection between God’s angels and his providence. The two always work together (John 5:4). — “An angel moved the water!”

 

3.  Universality of Providence

 

God’s providence is universal. Look at verse 15 again. Providence is represented as “one wheel upon the earth;,” but that one wheel has “four faces,” a face for every quarter of the globe, North, South, East, and West. — And the wheels are full of eyes (v. 18).

 

Illustration: Mr. Skyler’s portrait of Philo — The Eyes

 

Can you grasp this, my brother, my sister: God’s eye is fixed upon you. His hand is holding you. His presence is with you completely, at all times, in all circumstances! God watches over us with all the fulness of omnipotence and omniscient wisdom, as completely as if no one else existed. His name is Jehovah-shammah The Lord is there!

Š      In the Labor Room at Birth!

Š      At the Marriage Altar!

Š      At the Graveside!

Š      Everywhere Between!

 

4.  Uniformity of Providence

 

God’s providence is uniform (v. 16).

 

(Ezekiel 1:16) “The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.”

 

Š      “One likeness.”

Š      “A wheel in the middle of a wheel.”

 

And their work was all one work. There were four wheels with four faces in one wheel, with one likeness. That simply means that providence is one piece of machinery. Sometimes providential experiences seem to contradict one another; but they never do.

 

Illustration:         The case of Joseph

                                          Paul and Publius (Acts 27:26; 28:1-7, 11).

 

(Acts 27:26) “Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.”

 

(Acts 28:1-7) “And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. (2) And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. (3) And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. (4) And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. (5) And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. (6) Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god. (7) In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.”

 

(Acts 28:11) “And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.”

 

Illustration: “You’re looking at the wrong side of the carpet.”

 

You and I see parts and pieces. Only God sees the whole thing now. It is ours simply to trust him. Don’t ask why?

 

Illustration: Ron’s Sign — I saw a pile of bricks, sand, and bags of concrete. He saw the sign.

 

5.  Like the Sea

 

Divine providence is compared to the sea. — “Their work was like unto the color beryl” (v. 16). Beryl is a gemstone that is sea-green in its color. Dr. Gill tells us that this word “beryl” is sometimes used for the sea. Certainly providence may be compared to the ocean…

Š      For its vastnessIt floats a fleet with as much ease as a feather!

Š      For its motionThe sea is never still.

Š      For its unmanageability! — No man can manage the ocean. Greedy man has carved out the earth, fenced in a portion for himself, and staked out landmarks upon it, saying, “This is mine!” There are no landmarks in the sea, no fences, no chains. The sea is impetuous. It follows the will of no man. So it is with God’s providence.

 

6.  Intricate

 

The providence of God is intricate. Ezekiel said it had the appearance of a wheel in the middle of a wheel.” I take that to mean it is detailed and so thoroughly meshed in all its details that all the affairs of the universe are one great work of providence. The work of providence is the salvation of God’s elect for the glory of his great name. — Our salvation and God’s glory are the same thing (Romans 8:28; 11:36; Isaiah 63:12, 14)

 

(Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

 

(Romans 11:33-36) “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

 

(Isaiah 63:12-14) “That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? (13) That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? (14) As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.”

 

Read the 107th Psalm and learn to behold the lovingkindness of our God in all his works.

 

(Psalms 107:8) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

 

Š      We wandered in the wilderness. – He led us in the right way!

Š      We went down. – He brought us up.

Š      We ran from him. – He pursued us.

Š      We lived in the shadow of death. – He brought us out into the light of life.

Š      Because of our folly, we were perishing. – He sent his word and healed us.

Š      We drew near to death. – He delivered our souls from our destructions.

Š      We ran headlong into the stormy sea. – He made the storm a calm, made the waves still, and brought us into the haven of rest!

 

(Psalms 107:42-43) The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth. (43) Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

 

Like the blessing of Jacob upon Joseph’s sons, all the blessings of God upon his children in this world are cross handed blessings. — We say “Bless this way.” God says, “I know how to bless.”

Š      He abases to exalt.

Š      He wounds to heal.

Š      He kills to make alive.

Š      He breaks hearts that he may bind up the broken hearted.

 

7.  Straight Path

 

The providence of God always moves in a straight path (v. 17).

 

(Ezekiel 1:17) “When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.”

 

It turns not to the right hand nor to the left. That simply means this: — The purpose of God never changes. God is immutable! Some people talk about God changing his mind, changing his purpose, or changing even in his mercy, love, and grace. Think about that nonsense for a minute.

Š      If he changed, he would have to change either for better or for worse. — Either way, he is not God!

Š      If he could change, nothing would be safe. — If God can change or be changed, he cannot be trusted!

 

8.  Utterly Amazing

 

Divine providence is utterly amazing (v. 18).

 

(Ezekiel 1:18) “As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.”

 

Ezekiel saw God’s providence as a thing “so high” that it is “dreadful,” and “full of eyes.”

Š      God sovereignly works his will in everything that happens.

Š      Men and devils do, in the performance of evil, do exactly what they want to do; yet they do exactly what God has from eternity purposed shall be done. — “All things are of God!

 

Illustrations:       My meeting Shelby

                        Spurgeon’s Conversion

                  Modular School System

 

“I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes, that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit as well as the sun in the heavens, that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as surely as the stars in their courses, — that the creeping of an aphid over a rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence, and the fall of the sore leaves from the poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche. He who believes in God must believe this truth. There is no standing point between this and atheism. There is no half-way between an almighty God who worketh all things according to the good pleasure of his own will and no God at all. A god who cannot do as he pleases, a god whose will is frustrated, is not a God and cannot be a God; I do not believe in such a god as that” — C. H. Spurgeon.

 

Illustrations:       Adam’s Fall

                        Lot and His Daughters

                  Judah and Tamar

                                                                  David and Bathsheba

 

9.  Infinite Wisdom

 

Divine providence is full of wisdom“Full of eyes” (v. 18). Here is the difference between a stone faced stoic who believes in blind fate and a living child of God who adores his Father’s good providence. The fatalist says, “Whatever is must be.” The believer says, “Whatever God has ordained, must be.” There is as much difference between fate and providence as there is between a blind man and one who has two good eyes. Fate is blind and without purpose. Providence is full of eyes, governed by the all wise God to accomplish his good purpose of grace. God does nothing without a wise purpose.

 

10. God’s Work

 

Once more all the work of providence is God’s work. Everything that comes to pass is God’s doing. — “All things are of God!” I cannot expound verses 20-28; but this is what those last verses of this chapter teach us — Everything in the universe is directed and brought to pass

 

Š      By God’s Spirit (v. 20).

 

(Ezekiel 1:20) “Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.”

 

Š      By God’s Decree (v. 24).

 

(Ezekiel 1:24) “And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.”

 

Š      By God’s Throne (v. 26).

 

(Ezekiel 1:26) “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.”

 

Š      By God’s Son (v. 26; John 17:2).

 

(Ezekiel 1:26) “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.”

 

(John 17:2) “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”

 

Š      According to God’s Covenant (V. 28 — Rev. 4:3 “The Bow”).

 

(Ezekiel 1:28) “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”

 

Š      For God’s Glory (v. 28 — “This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.”).

 

Application

 

What does it take to save a sinner? — Everything that is, has been, and shall be! Before such a great and glorious Lord God, there is only one thing for us to do (v. 28) — When I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard the voice of one that spake.” Read chapter 2 and you will know what it was that he heard the Lord say by his wise, adorable, good, and sovereign Providence. — “Be not afraid!”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com

 

 



[1] Frequently, the words “redemption” and “salvation” are used interchangeably, referring to the whole of God’s work of grace in bringing chosen sinners to eternal glory with Christ.