Ezekiel 3:12 (ESV) … “Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great earthquake: “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place!”
Ezekiel’s vision of God’s glory had provided the needed perspective for his task (1:4–2:7). The message he was to deliver was provided by God (2:8–3:11). Then he needed motivation to direct him in the task. That motivation was provided by the “hand of the Lord” (cf. 1:3). He was first guided by the Spirit to his place of ministry (3:12–15); he was then formally appointed as God’s watchman to Israel (vv. 16–21); then the Lord imposed several physical restraints on Ezekiel (vv. 22–27).
After seeing the vision of God, Ezekiel was transported back to Tel Aviv (v. 15) by the Holy Spirit. The movement began when the Spirit lifted him up. The “Spirit” who transported Ezekiel was the same One who had entered into him (2:2). This was the Holy Spirit who divinely enabled God’s servants in Old Testament times. Several times the Holy Spirit transported Ezekiel (mentally rather than physically) to various places to give him information.
Ezekiel began to describe the movement by the Holy Spirit (3:12), but did not return to that subject till later (v. 14) because he was distracted by a loud rushing sound. After an interjection of praise (v. 12b) Ezekiel explained that the rushing sound was of the wings of the cherubim brushing against each other and … of the wheels. Ezekiel was transported by the Spirit on God’s throne-chariot, and the sound generated by its movement startled him.
In describing his transport by God’s Spirit, Ezekiel interjected, May the glory of the Lord be praised in His dwelling place. The “rushing sound” before his expression of praise was made by the cherubim’s wings and wheels. Overcome by the sight and sound of God’s glory, Ezekiel responded with this spontaneous note of praise to God.
The Spirit of God took Ezekiel to his place of service. Ezekiel was submissive to the Spirit placing him in service. This verse reminds us that we will never serve God if we are not submissive to the Spirit’s leading.