Lapis lazuli

LapisI’m reading the Old Testament book of Ezekiel. When God called Ezekiel to be a prophet to the exiled Israelites, he gave him a vision.

[Let’s review: after being delivered from slavery in Egypt, wandering in the desert for a generation (think Moses), and finally taking possession of their promised land of Canaan (think Joshua), the Israelites rejected God and decided to do it their own way. So, God allowed the Babylonians to take their land and displace them… if we’re honest, we can probably find ourselves in this story. Ever rebelled against God? Done your own thing, never-mind-the-consequences? I have — it’s not a good path to follow. Just like the Israelites and the events we read about in Ezekiel, however, God will call you home. He loves you.]

Back to Ezekiel. In this vision, he sees a likeness of God’s glory high above a throne. It is described as a “throne of lapis lazuli” (Ezekiel 1:26). I’ll admit that I had to do some research on this one. What is lapis lazuli?

Here’s what I found, compliments of Wikipedia. Lapis lazuli is a semi-precious stone valued for its deep blue color. It’s name, lazuli (lapis is Latin for stone), is where we get the color azure (azul in Spanish and azur in French).

So God gave Ezekiel a vision that included a likeness of his glory raised above a brilliant blue stone throne… cool! Here’s my point. The Bible, this living book, offers us hope in a broken, sin-filled world; it gives us a vivid picture of the nature of our living father; it shows us how God rescues us from our sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus; it introduces us to Jesus in the New Testament and we witness his compassion and love for us. It’s also filled with these lapis lazuli nuggets.

Go dig. You’ll find the greatest treasures!


About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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