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Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest. Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest.

Daily Devotional | Ezekiel’s Fear of the Lord


Why did Rahab betray the city of Jericho to the invading Israelites (Joshua 2)? She told the two spies: “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. ...When we heard of it [Israel’s victories], our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.”

Because the people of Jericho stood against God, fear of the Lord was just plain fear. But when Rahab switched sides, she chose to worship the one true God. Her fear turned to awe, reverence, and delight. Ezekiel felt similarly in today’s passage. While initially overwhelmed by his visions of God, he later felt strengthened and called to ministry (see chapters 2–3).

At first, Ezekiel saw what looked like a windstorm, with clouds and flashing lightning. When it came closer, he saw four angels (cherubim) with otherworldly appearances (vv. 5–14, 22–24) and the wheels-within-wheels by which they moved (vv. 15–21). They were impressive, but they were only God’s messengers, or attendants.

Finally, God is described indirectly by way of a vaulted sky, a throne, and “a figure like that of a man” (vv. 25–28). His appearance like glowing metal and fire represents God’s power and glory. He’s also compared to a rainbow’s appearance after the rain. The passage informs us that this was only “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.” A direct description or vision wasn’t possible.

When he saw this vision, Ezekiel “fell facedown” in extreme awe, humility, and respect (v. 28). Many others in Scripture have also done so, including Abram (Gen. 17:3) and the three disciples during the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:6).

Go Deeper

What exactly is holy fear? How can the fear of the Lord overwhelm us and yet at the same time draw us nearer to Him?

Pray with Us: Ezekiel saw only “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (Ezek. 1:28). Thank you, Lord, for speaking to us through Your Son who is “the radiance of God’s glory” (Heb. 1:3).

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He is the author of On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

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