Ezk..1:13,14 – In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches moving among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. And the living beings ran back and forth like bolts of lightning.
Creation is quite stunning. The beings in today’s verse are called seraphim which means burning ones. These are created beings that exist to lead worship. They have been there connected to God’s throne since the day they were created. They are described as fire, torches and even like lightning. Just like the rest of creation, this burning ones exist to display some aspect of the glory of God. The fact that they are compared to lightning is quite revealing. What is more powerful and faster than lightning? Now think of this; this display of God’s power and quickness seen in the seraphim is at work in us. This lightning fire is in us and on us. We are being changed into God’s burning ones. Here is how John Calvin describes this passage.
“Here the Prophet explains more clearly what would otherwise be obscure. He says that the living creatures ran, and returned like lightning : by which words he doubtless signifies their amazing swiftness. For lightning goes forth from one part of the world and penetrates instantly to the opposite. Since then, the swiftness of lightning is so great that it reaches in a moment through the immensity of heaven, for this reason the Prophet says, the living creatures ran, and returned like lightning: as if he had said, in whatever direction God wishes to impel them, they were ready to obey; as we have formerly said, angels are at hand to obey the commands of God: but we cannot comprehend the extreme swiftness of their course, unless by this comparison of lightning.”
These mysterious creatures reveal another glimpse into the nature of God. Our God is a consuming fire and it would make sense that these beings who dwell in His very presence would be consumed with fire and display the nature of fire. These seraphim continually cry holy, reminding us of the purifying nature of fire. I see the purifying nature of fire in them because without holiness no one can approach Him. I see the quickness of God in their lightning like movement. When the Lord moves it is often like lightning. Suddenly He is on the scene and everything is changed.