September 3 – Today’s Readings – Ezekiel 43-45 and Psalms 63
These last chapters of Ezekiel, concerning the “temple” of the Lord, paint a clear picture of how things ought to be in OUR lives – Spirit-Filled followers of Jesus Christ have become the new Temple of the Lord according to the New Testament – “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1Corintnians 3:16-17)
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1Corinthians 6:19- 20)
“What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ ‘Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18)
Clearly, we have now become the Temple of the Living God. What are the spiritual matters we should be paying attention to according to Ezekiel’s illustration of the Temple? Well – the temple was to be a place were “the glory” of the Lord resided. Another word for “glory” is “magnificence” – a place where God is honored, worshipped and exalted. What does this “glory” look like or feel like? Ezekiel describes it in this way – “As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not need to swivel as the creatures changed direction. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of “eyes all around.” (Ezekiel 1:15-18) Confusing? Yes – It is supposed to be confusing because it is “otherworldly” – a glimpse of heavenly and spiritual things. This is also true of the Glory of God in our midst when we worship – and it is also true of the Glory of God living in us. We don’t quite know how to describe it but we certainly know it’s there. Is it any wonder that people who do not know Christ simply can’t understand spiritual matters? The vision of Ezekiel is of a God whose “glory” is multifaceted, complete, all seeing, great and awesome – so it is with us when we begin to “see” God. It is overwhelming to experience something so unlike anything we’ve ever encountered. Our spiritual journey must include encounters with God that forever change our minds concerning the reality of spiritual things and that a very real spiritual world exists. They also must bring us to a place where we become “the temple of God”.
1. Give another example from Scripture where the “Glory of God” was revealed.
2. Tell of a personal experience where you expressly “felt” the glory.