We come now to the carvings of the very innermost part of the building – the cherubims of the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. The seraphims are the showers-forth of the Glory of God in heaven, while the cherubims are the showers-forth of that glory on earth.
To follow the story of the cherubims through the Bible, we find:
1) The cherubim of Eden, Genesis 3.
2) The cherubim of redemption above the mercy seat.
3) The cherubim of the Church’s full and wonderful service of Ezekiel 1.
4) The cherubim of the living figure of Revelation 4.
1) The Eden cherubim. Here he vindicates God’s glory and represents what the Church should be – an exponent of God.
2) Next, in Exodus 25, we see the cherubims of redemption, one on each side of the Ark, in the darkness and silence of that holy place, to which, through its enveloping curtain of a thickness of 3 inches, no sound, not even a foot-fall, could penetrate, and all was dark but for His glory. Have we learned the Holy Silence of the Sprinkled Blood? Of getting into the still sanctuary with God and claiming the power of the precious Blood of Christ for ourselves and these poor souls around us – the more so as the powers of evil rally for their last attack. I go through every room in the house beginning with the Arab courts below every morning – I don’t think I ever miss – just claiming the power of the precious Blood on each, that no power of the enemy may take root or spoil His work; and so also with each of the Stations. As the last days come, we must more and more over-come by the Blood of the Lamb. It is a great and definite responsibility.
3) The cherubim in Ezekiel 1. These have each the face of a lion, a man, an ox, and an eagle. This is the cherubim of service and is the picture of strength – each figure being the most kingly of his realm.
And God wants strong service from us, not weak-kneed, haphazard sort of service but our very best, our very utmost. And not only does He seek spiritual strength but strength of character. The strength that grows from self-restraint, self-denial, and self-control; from mortifying our body and saying “no” to inducements. “I keep my body and bring it into subjection.” “I will not be brought under the power of bodily comforts!”
These also show the spirit of entire yielded obedience. “They turned not as they went.” We must be always facing God’s Will and not have to wrench ourselves round to do it. I think of my cousin who had just married. The newlyweds were invited by a friend to spend a weekend and her husband had accepted. Turning to the young bride the friend asked if she too accepted. With flashing eyes she replied, “I have consented already in him.”
4) Revelation 4. Here we find the cherubim up in the glory, having now got six wings, like the seraphim. (They seem at first to have had only two, and in Ezekiel, four.) We find them echoing the song which the seraphims have been singing so long, bringing God’s glory out from earth to heaven: “Thy will be done on earth,” “Holy, holy, holy,” which is made by all the tiny bits of victory in which each one of us has our share.