Sept. 13, 2009
Read Ezekiel 43
Highlights In Today's Reading:
God is back! His glory fills the Temple once again (43:5)! The Holy Altar. Pay attention to God's rules (chap 44). God expects us to support His ministry (chap 45). Note especially the keeping of the Passover pointing to Christ's death on the cross (45:21-24).
At a time when the Israelites were helpless slaves in a heathen land and had only memories of their once glorious kingdom, Ezekiel again received a vision of a future Temple far greater than Solomon's. And, best of all, the presence and glory of the Lord was to return. Ezekiel was brought . . . to the gate . . . that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the east. . . . So the Spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the House (43:1-2,4-5; 10:19; 11:22-23). This reminds us that the people of God must be holy for God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (I Thess. 4:7).
The Eastern Gate leads straight to the Temple entrance of the Eternal King, who proclaims: I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and My Holy Name, shall the house of Israel no more defile (Ezek. 43:7). The focus here is on the importance of holiness for us. We know from John's vision centuries later that there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Rev. 21:27).
Jesus Christ, the King of kings, will return to reign, and the glory of the Lord will once again fill the Temple (Ezek. 43:2,4-5). The Apostle John saw still further into the future to see that even this magnificent Temple would one day pass away. The new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2) will have no Temple. And I (John) saw no Temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it (21:22).
Our foremost concern should be that our body, mind, and spirit be holy, for ye are the Temple of God, and . . . the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. If any man defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the Temple of God is holy, which Temple are ye (I Cor. 3:16-17). The radiance of the indwelling of Christ seen in us will be in proportion to the freedom we give the Holy Spirit to express Himself through our lives. As we thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6), the Holy Spirit will enable us to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5).
Thought for Today:
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold (Prov. 22:1).
As the glory of the Lord (Ezek. 43:4). Jesus is the brightness of His glory (the glory of God), and the express image of His Person (Heb. 1:3).
43:4 whose prospect is = which faces; 43:12 limit = the whole border, territory; 43:13 higher place of = height of; 43:14 settle = ledge on which the priests stood; 43:17 squares = sides; 44:18 bonnets = turbans, headdresses; 44:22 put away = divorced; 45:24 meat = grain/cereal/meal.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts for the week in Pakistan in honor of the Persecuted Christians in Asia and Africa • Government Officials: Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN) and Rep. Peter Roskam (IL) • Country: Chile (15 million) on the southwestern coast of South America • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 73% Catholic; 20% Protestant; 1% Other; 6% None • Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord in times of trouble; He will shelter you (Ps. 27:5).
Optional Reading: Revelation 18
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 11