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Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.Revelation 1:12–16
Why have we been given these images? We have been forbidden, quite explicitly, to worship any image-or to make one for worship. Why? They will all fail. The eternal God cannot be reduced to an image. It demeans Him and deceives the worshipper. The eternal Son cannot be cast into an image for worship either. It obscures Him and the wonder of His flesh.
So why are these visions of glory in the Bible, these glimpses of our God in His glory? It is this. Although we are forbidden the graven image, we are given the imaginative picture for our faith! It is faith in flight, soaring before the throne. It is faith alive with the images we have been given by the prophets, and it is to just such a place we go whenever we pray. So pray with these texts before you. This is the place you have been going, with its throne of sapphire. This is the place you long to be, where the angels cry out and cover their faces. This is where you are when you pray in Jesus’ name, where one like a Son of Man shines like molten metal and leans in to hear what you say.