When you think “cherub”, what picture pops into your mind? Probably the same one that used to pop into mine. A little round-faced, cute as a button, looks-like-a-fat-little-kid angel. Is that a pretty close description?
Well, that image has been ruined for me. No more do I see little rosey cheeked angels who look like they’ve had one too many pieces of cheese cake. That image is gone. Forever.
Read this description from Ezekiel 10: 7-22 about the “cherubs”. It’s repeated time after time. I’ve italicized and/or bolded spots that really stand out to me…
Then one of the cherubim reached out his hand. He picked up some of the burning coals that were among the wheels. He handed them to the man who was wearing linen clothes. The man took them and left.
I saw what looked like a man’s hands. They were under the wings of the cherubim. I looked up and saw four wheels beside the cherubim. One wheel was beside each of them. The wheels gleamed like chrysolite. All four of them looked alike. Each wheel appeared to be inside another wheel at right angles. The wheels could go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced. The wheels didn’t change their direction as the cherubim moved. The cherubim went in the direction their heads faced. They didn’t change their direction as they moved. Their whole bodies were completely covered with eyes. That included their backs, hands and wings. Their four wheels were covered with eyes too. I heard someone tell the wheels to start spinning around. Each of the cherubim had four faces. One face was the face of a cherub. The second was a man’s face. The third was the face of a lion. And the fourth was an eagle’s face. The cherubim rose from the ground. They were the same living creatures I had seen by the Kebar River. When the cherubim moved, the wheels beside them moved. The cherubim spread their wings to rise from the ground. As they did, the wheels didn’t leave their side. When the cherubim stood still, the wheels also stood still. When the cherubim rose, the wheels rose along with them. That’s because the spirits of the living creatures were in the wheels. Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the doorway of the temple. It stopped above the cherubim. While I watched, they spread their wings. They rose from the ground. As they went, the wheels went along with them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house. And the glory of the God of Israel was above them. Those were the same living creatures I had seen by the Kebar River. I had seen them beneath the God of Israel. I realized that they were cherubim. Each one had four faces and four wings. Under their wings was what looked like a man’s hands. Their faces looked the same as the ones I had seen by the Kebar River. Each of the cherubim went straight ahead.
I don’t know about you – but anytime I think about angels visiting folks, I realize their appearance wouldn’t necessarily be one that I would have recognized. No WONDER they were told “DO NOT BE AFRAID!” Granted, many times the angels that visit folks in the Bible are described as having the appearance of man, and that might not be so bad. But I expect even having the appearance of man doesn’t necessarily mean they looked exactly like man. They had been in the presence of God Almighty! They had to have been reflecting His glory. That alone would be enough to send a man (or woman!) to their knees.
So, what do you think?