5.12.2008

Ezekiel's Board Meeting


So I've almost finished a bible study. And happily, unlike the last one, this study has not given me a rash. We're watching DVD's. The leader is a bona-fide yeller, but as she is also Southern and wears turquoise pant suits, I'm going to assume it's cultural, and let it go.

The study is on the book of Daniel, to which I've never paid great attention. A while back I decided that I wanted be sure that I'd read through all the books of the Bible. But in what order? At the time it made sense to approach it not chronologically, not even thematically. I chose to read it....alphabetically. I don't know why. Let me see, that's Acts, then Amos, then the Chronicles, Corinthians...it made no sense at all. I don't recommend it. Unless you are OCD, in which case you can't help yourself, so it doesn't matter if I recommend it or not. I can't honestly say what I gleaned from the experience-maybe the certainty that I'd really and truly, actually, read everything in the Bible at least once. Eventually I did get through Daniel, but I completely forgot that the second half of the book is just crazy. It's all prophecy-about the coming Western empires that would rule history-Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and a future kingdom that God will set up. This litany of world powers is revealed to Daniel through a series of dreams and visions. I love the way God has laid out these pictures. The chapters are littered with visceral images: Nebuchadnezzar as a tree, the statue made of different metals, a ram, the original 'handwriting on the wall' scenario, bizarre creatures, antichrists, angels, demons.....This past week in our reading I stumbled across this text from Ezekiel, which I haven't been able to get out of my head (but in a good way):

'And then there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 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 brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell face down and I heard the voice of one speaking.'

Ezekiel 1:25-28

This imagery is amazing and terrifying: from the waist up, he is like glowing metal, and the radiance surrounding him is likened to a rainbow in the clouds. Beautiful. It reminds me just a little of the Golden Key, by MacDonald. I wonder just how much of God Ezekiel saw. He tells Moses, "you cannot see my face, no one can see my face and live." (Exodus 33:20.)
Moses
You get the feeling with Moses and the whole cleft in the rock thing, that when God showed him His back only, it was an pretty intimate moment. Even with all the fire and smoke and blood that had swirled around their relationship. Even though Moses could only bear to see God's coattails.

Ezekiel's different. This vision of his goes on for several pages, all instructions for this and that, as well as things God gives him to prophecy to the nation of Israel. It sort of has the feel of a board meeting. Albeit led by someone who is glowing metal and fire. I wonder why God chose to appear to him in that fashion. The gospels have hints of this, like when Jesus went up the mountain with a few friends and suddenly was shining like the sun.....it's so great to find little God pictures here and there that are brand-new, and give me new sharp and clear images to put into my head, to counteract all the junk that is stored on my hard drive, mainly from decades of
T.V.

1 comment:

Jon said...

there is apparently this brilliant book called "unveiling empire" and it deals with apocolyptic literature. i recommend checking it out. it's on my book list.

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.