Archive for December 28th, 2013

Ezekiel 41

Ezekiel 41 continues the exploration and measurement of the temple area, with the focus now being on the temple building.  “This is the Most Holy Place and was only to be entered by the priests.  They could not enter whenever they chose. They entered on the special occasions when they had duties there.  The purpose of the ‘temple’ was for worship, the kind of worship that is an expression of love. On behalf of the people, the priests showed their love for God when they carried out their duties in the holy place. But God also showed his love for his people here. He showed his love because his glory was present in the most holy place.

The first part of the chapter describes the temple area.  The angel took Ezekiel to see the outside of the temple building. On three sides of the temple building were small rooms for the priests to use. These rooms were not part of the temple building although they leaned upon it.  The building that contained these rooms was on three floors. So it was a high building by the standards when Ezekiel was alive. And although the rooms were small, there were many of them. Ezekiel counted a total of 90 rooms. We cannot be sure about the purpose of these rooms. But we do know that the original temple had similar rooms. And their construction was similar too.

Then the prophet moves inside the temple building itself, which is the holy place.  The rest of the chapter is focused on describing that place.  Ezekiel was describing the perfect temple. We might imagine such a building would also be extravagant. But it isn’t described as such. Ezekiel did not mention any gold, which would be a very significant difference from the temple he experienced and wrote about in the early chapters of his book. Ezekiel’s temple did not need any gold to make it great. This temple was great because God was present there. And it was great because God’s people were loyal to him there.

As Ezekiel continues to describe the inside of this temple building, there is only one item mentioned, “an altar of wood….the table that is before the Lord”.  Seems pretty plain, yet the temple building had one purpose, it was a place to worship God.  Priests were to enter the temple building and carry out their particular duty of worship.  They didn’t stay long in there.  They were to do their work and then leave.  Simplicity makes it simpler to keep our eyes on the One we are to worship.  Today we have far too many distractions in our world as we try to worship.  Do you have a quiet and simple place you can get away to in order to talk with God and worship Him?  We need to learn from Ezekiel’s temple and create an environment that allows us to truly be in God’s presence!

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