The Glory departs!
Scripture reading for August 20th: Ezekiel 7-11
“In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came upon me there. I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man. From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem. . .” Ezekiel 8:1-3
Ezekiel had a “hair-raising” experience with a fire-glowing angel. He was taken about 800 miles away to the north entrance of the temple. There he saw an image or idol that provoked jealousy–the jealousy of God! The glory of God appeared to him there as well, just as he had experienced earlier when the Lord had called him to be his spokesman! (Ezekiel 1:27-28) Ezekiel was called by the angel or very possibly a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ (theophany) to dig into the wall of the temple. As he dug through the wall he saw a doorway and was told to go in and look. There he saw many “wicked and detestable” things that had provoked God to jealousy and wrath. The seventy elders of Israel were worshiping idols right in the temple!
Ezekiel was told that the elders did not believe that God saw them and that he had forsaken Israel. He was also shown a group of women who were worshiping Tammuz, a fertility goddess. He was shown another group of men worshiping the sun. God had had enough of their unfaithfulness and unbelief and the time of judgment had come. As the elders had believed in their hearts, so they received. Ezekiel saw the glory of God go up from above the cherubim where it had been and move to the threshold of the temple. (Ezekiel 9:3) The Lord instructed the angel with a writing kit to go through the city and mark all who grieved over the sins of the temple and city. Then all others were to be killed without pity!
Ezekiel saw the Lord order an angel to take burning coals from between the wheels beneath the cherubim and scatter them over the city. Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple and they moved to the east gate of the Temple and stopped there. (Ezekiel 10:18-19) God was moving out and judgment had been scattered over the city. It was a sad scene and Ezekiel cried out to the Lord for mercy! (Ezekiel 11:13) He was given a word of hope that God would send his people away, but would be a sanctuary for those who trusted Him in the countries where they were scattered. He would bring them back again to their land and it would be cleansed from the idols.
The last vision of God’s glory was when the cherubim escorted the glory of God to the Mt. of Olives on the East of the city. God slowly withdrew His glory from an idolatrous people who would not listen or repent! Check out your heart today and invite the God of Glory to fill you with His presence and light!