Today our reading is from Ezekiel 43:1-12.
I read these first few words ” Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east.”
And I got to thinking… Ezekiel has just been showed through this marvellous building. Being led through, seeing these massive columns, all the measurements being taken… and then he is led to the east gate and the GLORY of the God of Israel was coming. What an culmination of the experience eh? I imagine him coming to that gateway and seeing God’s glory rising up like one of those gorgeous sunrises that you get. I can just imagine who Ezekiel might have felt. (let’s read on eh?)
And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3 And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. 4 As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east, 5 the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
Wow oh wow…I’d be shaking in my boots. The glory of the Lord sounding like (what I would imagine) Niagara Falls… All the watery noise rushing and pushing and swirling around. BUT.. with that sound comes the vision of God when he came to destroy the city like when he was by the Chebar canal… oh… I would fall on my face as well. Knowing God’s glory and his ability to do justice and reign down destruction on his people’s enemies.
God came into the temple and his glory completely filled it. Remember how big the temple was? God’s glory filled it.
God’s message comes to Ezekiel:
6 While the man was standing beside me, I heard one speaking to me out of the temple, 7 and he said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever. And the house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoring and by the dead bodies of their kings at their high places, 8 by setting their threshold by my threshold and their doorposts beside my doorposts, with only a wall between me and them. They have defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed, so I have consumed them in my anger. 9 Now let them put away their whoring and the dead bodies of their kings far from me, and I will dwell in their midst forever.
10 “As for you, son of man, describe to the house of Israel the temple, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and they shall measure the plan. 11 And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its arrangement, its
exits and its entrances, that is, its whole design; and make known to
them as well all its statutes and its whole design and all its laws, and
write it down in their sight, so that they may observe all its laws and all its statutes and carry them out. 12 This is the law of the temple: the whole territory on the top of the mountain all around shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the temple.
God is done with it. He has corrected the poor behaviour of his people. His desire is for Israel to put aside their worship of false gods and all their abominations. His plan is to dwell in their midst forever (presumably in the temple).
To that end, Ezekiel is to describe the temple to the Israelites. God doesn’t just simply say they are to build it, he says “if they are ashamed”… then Ezekiel is to let them know the design of the temple, along with all the statutes and laws. They need to know the law of the temple, to know that this is a most holy building on the top of the mountain.
I can’t say I understand it all.
This is not the temple found in Jerusalem.
This a huge place, and it’s all predicated on the shame of the Israelites for the abominations they committed and false worship they engaged in.
God’s intention is clear. He will live in the midst of his people.
Just like now eh?
Jesus comes to live in our hearts when we are aware of our need for him, when we are ashamed of the wrongs we have done, the abominations we have committed against God.
When we confess our sins to him, God comes to dwell within us.
IT IS THE MOST AWESOME THING. To think that God dwells within us. Calling us to remember him, calling us to know him, letting us know right from wrong.
Lord of all.
Comes and dwells within us when we see the shame of our sin.
Doesn’t that just amaze you?
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