Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry began at a river with a mind-blowing vision of four cherubims who moved from place to place like a flash of lightning (Ezekiel 1:14). Among the curiosities surrounding these creatures were the wheels that accompanied them wherever they went. Each cherubim had one wheel and each wheel was “as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.”
I believe the wheels were symbolic as well as literal. They played an important role in carrying out God’s will. It’s an interesting concept that, in the English language at least, reflects how God uses a homograph to reveal that the wheel in the middle of the wheel is symbolic generally of his will in the middle of the wheel.
If we examine the traits of the wheels and how they were used, more details of God’s will are revealed in Ezekiel’s ministry. I’m sure that anyone with God’s Spirit in them will not only see what I see, but will most likely see additional things than what I will list here.
Deeper symbols in the wheel
- The wheels were the color of beryl (Ezek. 1:16, 10:9). Beryl is a precious gem that is yellow. The Hebrew word for the gem, tarshish, means “refinery” or “smelting plant.” It can also mean “delightful.” According to Psalm 68:13, yellow is symbolic of how the Holy Spirit gives liberty and divine exaltation. Since the wheels are likened to beryl, they take on all the symbols the stone represents and I previously covered those symbols at this link.
- The wheels, like the cherubim they were with, made noise (Ezek. 3:13). Whenever there is some kind of movement on the Lord’s behalf (spiritually speaking), he will make some kind of noise. The spiritual state of a person’s heart will determine if they hear it or not (Ezek. 3:4-7).
- Whenever the cherubim moved by God’s direction, the wheels moved with them because their spirit was in the wheels (Ezek. 1:19-20). When we move according to God’s will, his will not only goes before us and accompanies us in our spirit, his will also follows us. (Note: In the spirit realm, God gives the cherubim the ability to somehow connect their will, or spirit, to an object to move it according to their aligned will. Is it any wonder that scientists are attempting to get humans to do the same with their minds?)
- The wheels had eyes all over them (Ezek. 10:12). God’s omniscience (he has eyes everywhere, seeing everything) influences and determines his will.
- They had fire between them (Ezek. 10:2, 6). Fire is symbolic of judgment (for blessing or punishment–Psalm 140:10; Prov. 25:21-22), cleansing (Isaiah 6:6-7), and zeal of/for God’s word (Jer. 20:9) and all of these are in the midst of God’s will.
Another scripture about wheels
God uses wheels as part of his will somewhere else also:
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. Daniel 7:9