The Glory Returns!
Scripture reading for August 29th: Ezekiel 40-43
“Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with His glory. The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he came to destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell face down. The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east. The the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” Ezekiel 43:1-5
Ezekiel had been taken with the “hand of the Lord” upon him to the city of Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 40:1) It was not quite the “hair-raising” experience of his first trip! (Ezekiel 8:3) This time Ezekiel found a heavenly being with an appearance that glowed like bronze. This man had a linen cord and measuring rod in his hand and told Ezekiel to pay attention and tell the house of Israel everything he saw. This ‘man’ proceeded to measure everything in the temple and surrounding area, showing Ezekiel that the temple had been precisely rebuilt and all the furniture and needed rooms for priests and places of cleansing and sacrifice had been restored.
It was after this measuring job that Ezekiel beheld his vision of a returning Glory! He saw the cloud of glowing glory coming from the east! The land was radiant with the glowing fire. The Lord was speaking and the sound was like roaring waters! It was like the earlier vision when the Lord had destroyed the city and Ezekiel fell face down. He saw the glory of the Lord enter the temple where it had departed, through the east gate! Suddenly, Ezekiel found himself inside the temple and it was filled with the glory of the Lord! (Ezekiel 43:3-5)
From inside the temple, a voice spoke to him, giving him wisdom and insight. “Son of Man, this is the place of My throne and the place for My feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.” (Ezekiel 43:7) Ezekiel was told that he was to describe the temple to the Israelites and that as they considered the plan, if they would be ashamed of all their sins, God would reveal the design of the temple to them! (Ezekiel 43:10-11)
This beautiful restored temple is currently composed of living stones. God’s glory fills each stone as they look to Jesus Christ, who baptizes them in His Holy Spirit with a deposit of heavenly glory! God is truly dwelling in the midst of His people. They now know Him and His laws are written on their hearts and God has forgiven them their sins and remembers these sins no more. (Ezekiel 36:24-27) (Jeremiah 31:31-34) We will behold His glory from within the heavenly city and temple forever and ever!
The most encouraging and comforting thing for any child of God is to be close to His glory! The glory departing is the deepest of darkness and agony. Take time today to enjoy the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!