Read Ezekiel 40 -- 42
In Today's Reading:
Vision of the future Temple
A few years after the vision of dry bones, Ezekiel received another vision. In the five and twentieth year of our captivity . . . in the fourteenth year after that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was upon me. . . . In the visions of God He brought me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain (Ezekiel 40:1-2). This new vision looked far into the future, where Ezekiel beheld a glorious Temple, far more magnificent than the Temple built by Solomon.
The measurements of the grounds and the many details concerning the building and its unusual architectural design are recorded; but no instruction was given to Ezekiel regarding who would build it or when it would be built. In striking contrast, God gave Moses detailed instructions for building the Tabernacle and even the names of the craftsmen who were to build it in the wilderness (Exodus 25:9; 31:1-11). David also gave detailed instructions to Solomon concerning the Temple he was to build.
No direction was given to Zerubbabel in the messages of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra, Nehemiah, or any other inspired writer of the time, for the Israelites to build this spectacular Temple. But it is foretold by Zechariah: Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose Name is The BRANCH (Jesus Christ) . . . He shall grow up out of His place, and He shall build the Temple of the LORD: Even He shall build the Temple of the LORD; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both (Zechariah 6:12-13).
Since AD 70, when the Romans destroyed the Temple built by Herod, almost 2000 years have passed, with no recovery of the Brazen Altar, Laver of Brass, Pure Gold Candlestick, Table of Showbread, or Altar of Incense. The Ark of the Covenant, representing the Presence of God, disappeared in 586 BC, when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem.
The original, God-ordained form of worship, with the altar and the priests offering sacrifices for the sins of the people, had all foreshadowed Jesus Christ, His atonement for our sins, and our relationship with Him through His sacrifice on the cross. Through the Romans, God removed the opportunity for the Jews to offer further sacrifices. These laws were imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come a High Priest of . . . a greater and more perfect Tabernacle. . . . by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:10-12; compare John 4:21-24; Galatians 3:23-25; Colossians 2:17).
Through the accuracy of the instructions for the Temple (Ezekiel 40). Just as our Lord took great care in giving details for the Temple, He has given directions for us — His people who are temples of God and the indwelling Presence of Christ (I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 6:16-17).
40:17 were upon = faced; 40:23 over against = opposite; 41:24 turning leaves = hinged panels; 42:20 profane = common.
BP Staff: Diana Hash · Pray for Gilbert Lindsay, World Wide Printing, printers of Bible Pathway in Russia · Government Officials: Sen. Sam Brownback (KS), Rep. Timothy Murphy (PA), and Rep. Henry Waxman (CA) · Country: Sierra Leone (5 million) in western Africa · Major language: English · Increasing restrictions on Christian work in some areas · 50% belief in river spirits, medicine men, and witchcraft; 39% Muslim; 7% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Diligently seek the Lord in prayer and He will bless your efforts (Hebrews 11:6).
Optional Reading: Revelation 17
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:9