Study from God’s Word… Ezekiel, Chapters 40 - 43 … Passage for Reflection: Ezekiel 43: 10 - 11… NIV 10 "Son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their sins. Let them consider the plan, 11 and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the temple—its arrangement, its exits and entrances—its whole design and all its regulations and laws. Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations.
My Journal for Today: Here we are, in the historical context of my Scripture reading for today, in the times where God’s people have been captured and taken away into Babylon and their grand Temple in Jerusalem has been laid waste. Now God gives the people, through Ezekiel an image of a new Temple, grander than anything that could ever be built by man; and it is a Temple where God Himself will dwell with His people forever.
For churches who’ve ever been involved in a fund-raising effort to build a new church building, it’s essential to give the people architectural renderings of the new church to help them “catch the vision” … so that they will respond to the vision and give the funds God wants them to give to make the vision a reality. Well, here God was involved in a building project far greater than anything that man could ever draw up. The Lord wanted to restore, or rather rebuild, the Kingdom of God; and this involved rebuilding the people who would occupy His kingdom. But to do this the Lord had to give them – as He did through Ezekiel – a concrete plan to capture their vision.
I hope you can see, as Dr. Smith helped me see today, the rebuilding Jesus came to tell God’s people about and that of the message Ezekiel was bringing to the people from God. Jesus’ great “Sermon on the Mount” was a building plan for God’s Kingdom; and then came the incredible set of plans which was given through the Apostle John to mankind in the Book of the Revelation. And these plans from God in the New Testament have been given to us about the Temple Life to come so that we, who live by His name, can see the plans offered by God’s word; and then so that we might CATCH the vision, RESPOND to the vision, and then LIVE WORTHY of the vision.
Dr. Smith, once again challenging his readers at the end of his devotional for today, asks, ”Is my vision of heaven truly grand enough to call me higher?”
Good question; … no, GREAT question! And as I ponder it, I think of the words of the Apostle Paul, who, in Ephesians 4: 1, wrote, As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. There was a time when I was a captive to sin; but now, by God’s election and my own choice, in response to God’s saving grace, I’m captive to Christ; and He has given me a vision of the Temple He desires for me to keep where I can – and will – live with Him forever. And I need to have a vision of that “forevermore” life which calls me to live worthy of Temple plans He promises for me, living eternally with Him in heaven. And to that end may I live worthy of His Name.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, Your plans for this Temple You’ve given me is grander than my imagination can unfold; but it is grand enough to call me to live my life for You. Amen