Ezekiel 9 and 10
If you like movies like Conan the Barbarian or war movies or Star Wars, you can follow the illustration in chapter 9. 6 warriors with weapons are going to fight, and one guy dressed in white (the man in white linen) with a writing case at his waist is writing on foreheads. The man in white, marks the Israelites who will be spared from the 6 warriors. Ezekiel watches, is mortified and pleads with God. The man in white linen returns and says, “I have done as you commanded me.”
“The man in white linen” is a good title for a villain and perhaps for a hero as well. He is a new fixture to Ezekiel’s vision from chapter 1. This man enters the eye covered wheels of the cherubim creatures to grab some burning coals to scatter them over the city. What beautifully terrifying imagery. The man takes some of the fire and leaves with it, symbolic of the glory of the Lord departing from Israel.
More terrifying than the imagery, is the reality of what happens when the fire goes out. The result is a sense of apathy and a spreading self-destruction within Israel. Its equivalent to the fire leaving our heart. When our passion and love dwindles, we become apathetic and lethargic. Things and activities feel tired we are overtaken by doldrums.
Tending to the fire is necessary. Fire keeps us warm and alive. It keeps us fighting and able to endure attacks of armies. As we remember the love we have, we’ve received, we are reminded we can fight with the man in white linen against forces of darkness or we have the option to make Him out to be the villain. We shouldn’t tolerate the quenching of the fire because the fire helps us see He’s on our side.