THE AMBER DOT
And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire engulfing itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of its midst as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire .
There are times in our lives in which we find ourselves engulfed by a whirlwind. It seems as though the pressures of life overwhelm us. We can find ourselves, as Jacob did, wrestling throughout the night with issues, with problems, with doubts, with fears and so on. Although sedatives give brief sleep, the issue, problem or whirlwind still is there in the morning light. Some of us, unlike Ezekiel, will not find ourselves in the midst of the vision and then behold a whirlwind. However, all of us, as servants of the Lord, will find ourselves, at one time or another, in the midst of trials and whirlwinds.
Years ago, as a child who grew up in Kansas, I recall an episode when my mother took my brother and I, to go pick up my other brother at grade school. The weather was ominous, dark grey storm clouds were looming all around. Before we knew it, my mom looked out to the left of the automobile and cried, “there’s a tornado above!” I will never forget the look of the funnel cloud above us. As quickly as possible, she made a U-turn and drove us back to our home. We rushed down to the basement and she took a blanket to cover us. What seemed to be an eternity was probably just a few minutes. We finally were able to come out from under cover. Thank God, the tornado missed us. I still have dreams and nightmares of that tornado.
Life comes as us like that at times. Without a moment’s notice, we can look out the window of our lives and see an ominous whirlwind approaching. Ezekiel had been called into God’s service and a vision appeared to him. We are told in the first verse of chapter 1 of Ezekiel, that he found himself, with his Jewish brethren, as captives. Captivity is never a doubt pleasant experience. Captivity is finding one’s self imprisoned against one’s will. One can be held behind bars, unable to get out until a fine is paid. Before I was a believer, I was held in captivity and bondage to lusts, to jealousies, to the flesh, to my own sin. The wonderful verse, Isaiah 53:6 “all of us like sheep have gone astray, each has turned to his own way. But the Lord has taken the iniquity of us all on Him.” That one Bible verse changed my life and freed me from the stranglehold of the captivity of my own sin. The blood of Yeshua set me free.
However, I still find myself challenged by my own flesh, circumstances, health challenges, life challenges and so on. I can become captive to my own imaginations, doubts and fears. How Ezekiel must’ve had lamented as well, finding himself along the Chebar river, finding himself as a captive.
Yet, he looks and within the whirlwind, he sees a great cloud, and a fire engulfing itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of its midst as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. He sees an amber dot. This word for amber is חַשְׁמָל and is used only two other times in the Bible, also in the book of Ezekiel. This word describes God’s brilliance and dominance. Ezekiel sees the Bright spot within the whirlwind (the ruach). Amid all of the turmoil, God gives him encouragement; God gives him a bright spot. For Ezekiel, it was an appointed time. Clouds might have obscured his vision and yet God comes to him in a vision. At times, we feel tortured, victimized, imagining that everything seems against us. I have felt crushed and destroyed and yet, the Amber spot, the Amber dot, the Bright spot appears. The clouds pass because our business is not with the clouds; it is with the God of the Amber dot.
You may be in the midst of a whirlwind. Perhaps a child was gone wayward, a spouse has left you after thirty years, you lost a loved one, a pet died, you lost a job, and so on. Our God is a consuming fire. It is a good thing to have our faith purified by fire. Burn the dross away, LORD. Make us fit to be Your worthy vessels, pure and chaste. We want to be used by the King of Glory. God has a purpose for the fire. Keep looking up, keep looking above. The amber dot will appear.
So, He said,
“Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.”
And behold, the LORD was passing by!
And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.
I Kings 19:11-12