Ezekiel 43

Ezekiel 43 has the prophet experiencing the glory of God returning to the temple.  “And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory”.  God approaches and Ezekiel “fell on my face”.  Do you have that kind of respect for God?  Do you fear Him and realize just how powerful and worthy He is of our praise.  Often we have this picture of God as some old guy sitting in a big throne up there someplace in the sky who is our best friend and genie for prayer requests.

That isn’t how Ezekiel sees Him.  Nor should it be the way we do either.  The prophet sees God enter and fill the temple with His glory.  God lets Ezekiel know that this is where the throne will sit and where “I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever”.  What a promise from God – that He will be with his people forever.  Ezekiel’s task is to “write it down in their sight, so that they may observe all its laws and all its statutes and carry them out”.  He is to be the messenger of God’s plan for His people as He restores them to Himself and their land.

Ezekiel records the history of God’s people and their sin.  And he spells out the punishment that sin resulted in for God’s people.  He wrote his book during one of the worst periods of Israel’s history, and as he gets this last vision, things seem pretty hopeless.  But the vision is a promise that gives hope.  God’s glory had left the original temple back in chapter 10.  God distanced Himself from His people because of their sin, and they went through decades without His presence being punished and captured and destroyed by their enemies because of their choice to turn and live without God.

In this vision, Ezekiel sees God’s glory return by the same gate it had left.  God never stopped caring about His people.  They lived apart from Him in exile, but He never stopped loving them and waited patiently for them to return.  He still wanted to live among them.  He still wanted them to get back to right relationship and make Him their God.  He will bring back a new relationship between Himself and His people.  Attitudes have to change and sin has to stop but God gives a promise and hope through this vision of a temple to come and restore His glory to their presence.

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