“In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on the very same day the hand of the Lord was upon me; and He took me there. In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city. He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway.” Ezekiel 40:1-3 NKJV
Our God is a God of restoration and Order – precise and detailed order. Cubit by cubit, every nook and cranny, and every “I” dotted and “T” crossed. These chapters are very important to poor Ezekiel who has just seen the destruction of the temple of his day – His heart was broken. And this was much bigger and more beautiful! And although many scholars like to focus on the worship parts of the temple or the symbolism – this temple has never been built. It is the third temple – and these plans are so complete that there is already a plan in place to build it as soon as they have permission.
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Ezekiel, chapters 40-41 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). As I said – it is the plan to rebuild the temple. All the details kinda make your eyes glaze over unless you are really into building design – and even then you can google a rendering of it.
I knew this was coming – so I saved one of the themes of this book to discuss. One of the overarching themes is God being on the move. First in chapter one – Like all prophets, they have a real experience with God and their assignment. His real experience was to see a mobile throne driving around in a land far away from the temple. Ezekiel was the first in captivity to see the temple cannot contain God. They had received news from Jeremiah to build houses and have baby and live life in captivity – because they did not know what to do. The Law revolved around a temple many miles away. And they didn’t know what to do in plan B. Ezekiel was able to understand the people, but now He also understood – GOD WAS ON THE MOVE! They were captive – but God was sovereign and on the move!! When we find ourselves in plan B and feeling captive – We can then remember that is when God jumps into His throne-mobile and zooms around anywhere He wants – to intercede for us.
The next time Ezekiel saw the throne mobile – he had been taken in a vision to the temple and saw the sin and corruption of the leaders inside the temple. He saw Judah literally chasing God from His own house with idols and corruption. God sent death, defiled the temple with dead bodies, and then let the temple be destroyed.
None of this should be a surprise – we have read all of this already. But what I want to point out is – even the second time God moved – there was balance. Yes, the temple was destroyed – but did you see His judgments?! Did you see all those chapters about nations being dealt with? Did you see God Himself vindicate His people, as unworthy as they were and in captivity because they were disobedient and adulterous lovers of God – YET full of mercy and grace God rode from the temple and executed judgments on their behalf.
The temple standing – somehow in their corrupted minds meant God’s grace could be abused and God was caged in and couldn’t leave them. God can leave. He will not let anything, even His temple be more powerful in our minds than Him. Like we see in Romans 6 – God forbid we continue in sin and abuse grace. There is a judgment for willful sin.
But what about just being a weak human? How many times have we fallen and God still rode to our rescue – and still vindicated us? Wait! Do not answer that yet. I need to tell you a secret first – many times we do not get to see it happen. You see, we are too busy fighting with God about having to forgive them and having to pray for them.
Remember when they were wandering in the desert and they were fighting with Moses – when up on the mountain top a sorcerer was being paid to curse them?! AND where was God? On the mountain top causing the sorcerer to bless them! So while we fight in the valley or in captivity – while we run amuck as humans do God is busy vindicating, blessing, and preparing our restoration.
Glory to God! It is important for us to look at this theme in this book. And now that we have read most of it is a good time to reflect back at all the time – God was moving! And then look at our own lives – look at our nations as well. Cause God has been on the move – and with the move comes judgment.
As true to this year – We seem to be having each of these books come to life right before our eyes in fulfilled prophesy and timely words. And even though today’s reading is a bunch of measurements and I could symbolically relate it to worship like many a teacher before me – if is much more urgent for our daily life to truly know our God.
“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Tim 1:12
Do you know Him? really know Him? like Ezekiel and like Paul? Do you know He has a Throne-mobile and can zoom around?! Did you know He is on the move? We sing a song “We need a move” and do so in complete ignorance that HE IS MOVING! It is ourselves who are inactive and captive. Yes – we are! We need a greater understanding of calling a solemn assembly we need a Joel (oh that book is coming up soon). We need to have our hearts break and cry out!!! We need to get into the secret place and talk it out with God.
Do we really know in whom we believe – cause we would be quiet and repentant! While God is on the move. He said we are His temple and therefore the restoration happens within us (until such a time that He builds another).
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!
1 John 4:4
NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 40-41 NKJV
A New City, a New Temple
40 In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was [a]captured, on the very same day the hand of the Lord was upon me; and He took me there. 2 In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city. 3 He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway.
4 And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and [b]fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.” 5 Now there was a wall all around the outside of the [c]temple. In the man’s hand was a measuring rod six [d]cubits long, each being a cubit and a handbreadth; and he measured the width of the wall structure, one rod; and the height, one rod.
The Eastern Gateway of the Temple
6 Then he went to the gateway which faced east; and he went up its stairs and measured the threshold of the gateway, which was one rod wide, and the other threshold was one rod wide. 7 Each gate chamber was one rod long and one rod wide; between the gate chambers was a space of five cubits; and the threshold of the gateway by the vestibule of the inside gate was one rod. 8 He also measured the vestibule of the inside gate, one rod. 9 Then he measured the vestibule of the gateway, eight cubits; and the gateposts, two cubits. The vestibule of the gate was on the inside. 10 In the eastern gateway were three gate chambers on one side and three on the other; the three were all the same size; also the gateposts were of the same size on this side and that side.
11 He measured the width of the entrance to the gateway, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits. 12 There was a [e]space in front of the gate chambers, one cubit on this side and one cubit on that side; the gate chambers were six cubits on this side and six cubits on that side. 13 Then he measured the gateway from the roof of one gate chamber to the roof of the other; the width was twenty-five cubits, as door faces door. 14 He measured the gateposts, sixty cubits high, and the court all around the gateway extended to the gatepost. 15 From the front of the entrance gate to the front of the vestibule of the inner gate was fifty cubits. 16 There were beveled window frames in the gate chambers and in their intervening archways on the inside of the gateway all around, and likewise in the vestibules. There were windows all around on the inside. And on each gatepost were palm trees.
The Outer Court
17 Then he brought me into the outer court; and there were chambers and a pavement made all around the court; thirty chambers faced the pavement. 18 The pavement was by the side of the gateways, corresponding to the length of the gateways; this was the lower pavement. 19 Then he measured the width from the front of the lower gateway to the front of the inner court exterior, one hundred cubits toward the east and the north.
The Northern Gateway
20 On the outer court was also a gateway facing north, and he measured its length and its width. 21 Its gate chambers, three on this side and three on that side, its gateposts and its archways, had the same measurements as the first gate; its length was fifty cubits and its width twenty-five cubits. 22 Its windows and those of its archways, and also its palm trees, had the same measurements as the gateway facing east; it was ascended by seven steps, and its archway was in front of it. 23 A gate of the inner court was opposite the northern gateway, just as the eastern gateway; and he measured from gateway to gateway, one hundred cubits.
The Southern Gateway
24 After that he brought me toward the south, and there a gateway was facing south; and he measured its gateposts and archways according to these same measurements. 25 There were windows in it and in its archways all around like those windows; its length was fifty cubits and its width twenty-five cubits. 26 Seven steps led up to it, and its archway was in front of them; and it had palm trees on its gateposts, one on this side and one on that side. 27 There was also a gateway on the inner court, facing south; and he measured from gateway to gateway toward the south, one hundred cubits.
Gateways of the Inner Court
28 Then he brought me to the inner court through the southern gateway; he measured the southern gateway according to these same measurements. 29 Also its gate chambers, its gateposts, and its archways were according to these same measurements; there were windows in it and in its archways all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide. 30 There were archways all around, twenty-five cubits long and five cubits wide. 31 Its archways faced the outer court, palm trees were on its gateposts, and going up to it were eight steps.
32 And he brought me into the inner court facing east; he measured the gateway according to these same measurements. 33 Also its gate chambers, its gateposts, and its archways were according to these same measurements; and there were windows in it and in its archways all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide. 34 Its archways faced the outer court, and palm trees were on its gateposts on this side and on that side; and going up to it were eight steps.
35 Then he brought me to the north gateway and measured it according to these same measurements— 36 also its gate chambers, its gateposts, and its archways. It had windows all around; its length was fifty cubits and its width twenty-five cubits. 37 Its gateposts faced the outer court, palm trees were on its gateposts on this side and on that side, and going up to it were eight steps.
Where Sacrifices Were Prepared
38 There was a chamber and its entrance by the gateposts of the gateway, where they washed the burnt offering. 39 In the vestibule of the gateway were two tables on this side and two tables on that side, on which to slay the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering. 40 At the outer side of the vestibule, as one goes up to the entrance of the northern gateway, were two tables; and on the other side of the vestibule of the gateway were two tables. 41 Four tables were on this side and four tables on that side, by the side of the gateway, eight tables on which they slaughtered the sacrifices. 42 There were also four tables of hewn stone for the burnt offering, one cubit and a half long, one cubit and a half wide, and one cubit high; on these they laid the instruments with which they slaughtered the burnt offering and the sacrifice. 43 Inside were hooks, a handbreadth wide, fastened all around; and the flesh of the sacrifices was on the tables.
Chambers for Singers and Priests
44 Outside the inner gate were the chambers for the singers in the inner court, one facing south at the side of the northern gateway, and the other facing north at the side of the [f]southern gateway. 45 Then he said to me, “This chamber which faces south is for the priests who have charge of the temple. 46 The chamber which faces north is for the priests who have charge of the altar; these are the sons of Zadok, from the sons of Levi, who come near the Lord to minister to Him.”
Dimensions of the Inner Court and Vestibule
47 And he measured the court, one hundred cubits long and one hundred cubits wide, foursquare. The altar was in front of the temple. 48 Then he brought me to the vestibule of the temple and measured the doorposts of the vestibule, five cubits on this side and five cubits on that side; and the width of the gateway was three cubits on this side and three cubits on that side. 49 The length of the vestibule was twenty cubits, and the width eleven cubits; and by the steps which led up to it there were pillars by the doorposts, one on this side and another on that side.
Dimensions of the Sanctuary
41 Then he brought me into the [g]sanctuary and measured the doorposts, six cubits wide on one side and six cubits wide on the other side—the width of the tabernacle. 2 The width of the entryway was ten cubits, and the side walls of the entrance were five cubits on this side and five cubits on the other side; and he measured its length, forty cubits, and its width, twenty cubits.
3 Also he went inside and measured the doorposts, two cubits; and the entrance, six cubits high; and the width of the entrance, seven cubits. 4 He measured the length, twenty cubits; and the width, twenty cubits, beyond the sanctuary; and he said to me, “This is the Most Holy Place.”
The Side Chambers on the Wall
5 Next, he measured the wall of the [h]temple, six cubits. The width of each side chamber all around the temple was four cubits on every side. 6 The side chambers were in three stories, one above the other, thirty chambers in each story; they rested on [i]ledges which were for the side chambers all around, that they might be supported, but not fastened to the wall of the temple. 7 As one went up from story to story, the side chambers became wider all around, because their supporting ledges in the wall of the temple ascended like steps; therefore the width of the structure increased as one went up from the lowest story to the highest by way of the middle one. 8 I also saw an elevation all around the temple; it was the foundation of the side chambers, a full rod, that is, six cubits high. 9 The thickness of the outer wall of the side chambers was five cubits, and so also the remaining terrace by the place of the side chambers of the [j]temple. 10 And between it and the wall chambers was a width of twenty cubits all around the temple on every side. 11 The doors of the side chambers opened on the terrace, one door toward the north and another toward the south; and the width of the terrace was five cubits all around.
The Building at the Western End
12 The building that faced the separating courtyard at its western end was seventy cubits wide; the wall of the building was five cubits thick all around, and its length ninety cubits.
Dimensions and Design of the Temple Area
13 So he measured the temple, one hundred cubits long; and the separating courtyard with the building and its walls was one hundred cubits long; 14 also the width of the eastern face of the temple, including the separating courtyard, was one hundred cubits. 15 He measured the length of the building behind it, facing the separating courtyard, with its galleries on the one side and on the other side, one hundred cubits, as well as the inner [k]temple and the porches of the court, 16 their doorposts and the beveled window frames. And the galleries all around their three stories opposite the threshold were paneled with wood from the ground to the windows—the windows were covered— 17 from the space above the door, even to the inner [l]room, as well as outside, and on every wall all around, inside and outside, by measure.
18 And it was made with cherubim and palm trees, a palm tree between cherub and cherub. Each cherub had two faces, 19 so that the face of a man was toward a palm tree on one side, and the face of a young lion toward a palm tree on the other side; thus it was made throughout the temple all around. 20 From the floor to the space above the door, and on the wall of the sanctuary, cherubim and palm trees were carved.
21 The doorposts of the temple were square, as was the front of the sanctuary; their appearance was similar. 22 The altar was of wood, three cubits high, and its length two cubits. Its corners, its length, and its sides were of wood; and he said to me, “This is the table that is before the Lord.”
23 The temple and the sanctuary had two doors. 24 The doors had two panels apiece, two folding panels: two panels for one door and two panels for the other door. 25 Cherubim and palm trees were carved on the doors of the temple just as they were carved on the walls. A wooden canopy was on the front of the vestibule outside. 26 There were beveled window frames and palm trees on one side and on the other, on the sides of the vestibule—also on the side chambers of the temple and on the canopies.
- Ezekiel 40:1 Lit. struck
- Ezekiel 40:4 Lit. set your heart
- Ezekiel 40:5 Lit. house
- Ezekiel 40:5 A royal cubit of about 21 inches
- Ezekiel 40:12 Lit. border
- Ezekiel 40:44 So with LXX; MT, Vg. eastern
- Ezekiel 41:1 Heb. heykal; the main room in the temple, the holy place, Ex. 26:33
- Ezekiel 41:5 Lit. house
- Ezekiel 41:6 Lit. the wall
- Ezekiel 41:9 Lit. house
- Ezekiel 41:15 Or sanctuary
- Ezekiel 41:17 Lit. house; the Most Holy Place