“Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him.”
How would you describe God the Father? Try groping for the right words and you’ll fall short because He’s not exactly like anything or anybody.
The prophets strained to come up with words to describe what they saw.
A.W. Tozer puts it this way, “When the Spirit would acquaint us with something that lies beyond the field of our knowledge, He tells us that this thing is like something we already know…”*
Even when Ezekiel hunted through his dictionary for adequate nouns and adjectives to describe God, he had to fall back on language that was old and familiar. Thus, he talks about something that looks like a throne or someone who looks like fire. In fact, read the first chapter of Ezekiel and you’ll discover that the nearer the prophet approached God, the less sure he was of his words!
When you read a book like Ezekiel, Daniel, or even the book of Revelation, please don’t be confused by the strange and mysterious descriptions of God, or heaven, or terrifying accounts of the last days. These descriptions are man’s best effort to explain the unexplainable. Instead of avoiding those books, rejoice that your God is high and lifted up, and will never be reduced to terms that we can manage.
Great and Sovereign Father, I acknowledge that Your glory and majesty cannot be reduced to mere words. Yet I feel I must offer up words about how great and grand You are. Teach me to know what I cannot know and let my faith take over when words fail me.
*Tozer, A.W., The Knowledge of the Holy, HarperCollins, USA, 1992, p. 10