I am reading through the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel prophesied to the people of Judah during the time of Jeremiah, but unlike Jeremiah, Ezekiel was carried off to Babylon, where he ministered to his fellow captives. God appeared to Ezekiel in visions, and oh, the things he saw!
“And as I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. And within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. Each of them had four faces and four wings. And their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward. As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man, all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.” ~ Ezekiel 1:4-11
Later, in Ezekiel 10, God Himself refers to these living creatures as cherubim. Isn’t Ezekiel’s description a far cry from the depiction of cherubs as sweet little chubby babies? Wow.
It is important to note that Ezekiel uses comparisons: “something like glowing metal”, “resembling four living beings”, “their feet were like a calf’s hoof”, “they gleamed like burnished bronze”. These are heavenly creatures, angels. Our earthly words and minds cannot fully describe nor comprehend the splendor and majesty and power of God’s angel armies!
Now take note of this, as well. Their four faces were not like a man, a lion, a bull, and an eagle. They were the faces of a man, a lion, a bull, and an eagle. Isn’t that amazing? I cannot even begin to imagine what the cherubim must look like. But I know this: their job is to guard God’s holiness. Don’t you think they must be fierce warriors, yet also great worshippers (see Revelation 4)?
Where else are cherubs mentioned in the Bible? Cherubim were stationed in the garden of Eden to guard the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). There were cherubim sculpted of gold on the Mercy Seat atop the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25). They are spoken of in Revelation. And Lucifer is a cherub, according to God’s own words.
” ‘ “You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God…You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you…Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground…and you will be no more.” ‘ ” ~ Ezekiel 28:14a, 15, 17a, 19b
” ‘ “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God…I will make myself like the Most High.’ Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.” ‘ ” ~ Isaiah 14:12-13a, 14b-15
Satan is a fallen cherub. He was charged with guarding the throne, the holiness of God Almighty. He was in God’s presence. Yet he was proud and rebellious, and he chose to exalt himself above God. Cast out from the throne room of heaven down to earth, and promised a future of eternal torture in the lake of fire created exclusively for him and his accomplices, Satan’s goal is to continuously strike out at God. How does he accomplish this? By bringing as many people to destruction as he can, while he is still able to freely roam about. He plans to fill that lake of fire with the souls of God’s created and beloved ones.
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith…” ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9a
Be on the alert, brothers and sisters. If Satan could dwell in the very presence of God and still choose to rebel and fall away, how can we keep from rebelling and falling away? “Resist him, firm in your faith.” Stay grounded in the Word, kneeling in prayer, walking by faith, and trusting in Jesus, the One who saves us!
And let’s spread the Good News to others, that they, too, might be saved by grace through faith in Jesus, and not devoured by that fallen cherub…