Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel - all three prophets of the Old Testament faithfully served God through obedient submission. While each prophet's book is loaded with information concerning God, man, the Israel of old, and much more, there is one thing my mind has constantly been drawn to as i have studied them these last months and that one thing is the mystery of God's glory.
In Scripture, no one has ever seen the face of God - save for Adam and Eve I imagine but I guess even that is speculative. Really, until Jesus came in the New Testament, the only heavenly beings anyone had ever seen were angels. However, many people of the Old Testament did encounter God by experiencing His glory. Ezekiel's accounts are probably some of my favorites, particularly the opening record of his book:
In the presence of a great storm there was fire, and bright light. A voice that roared like thunder came and there was a throne appearing like precious stone. The appearance of human-like shape sat in the throne but the features were indistinguishable because there was just a gleam of metal with more fire and brightness. Like a rainbow in the sky, what a marvel! Ezekiel describes the glory of God in such a manner and falls on his face. This enthralls me because I cannot remember the last time that an encounter with God's glory knocked me to my face. What I have come to understand from these great men of old is the reason it happens. This reason is simple: intimacy.
When God reveals Himself in such a way, He does so with those that have sought Him in earnest. Fervently, they are on their knees and faces in prayer. Pleading with God to reveal His strength, His vengeance, His justice, His mercy, His grace, and His steadfast love. They know Him by many deep and powerful names - Elohim, El Shaddai, Yahweh Adonai, and many more. In return He speaks to them, He answers their prayers and when they cry out to be shown His glory, He acquiesces. But as we see in His encounter with Moses (see Exodus 33:22), God also protects them from His glory for He knows if the account above can drain the strength of a man's legs, the full scope of His being would kill him.
This is what I long for; to know God so deeply, so intimately, like the prophets of old. As I reflect on it, as I examine and challenge myself, I know it is possible. I know I can experience God's glory in such a way, but it will not come unwarranted. Rare are the occasions when God blasted a man with this glory uninvited.