Feeling a need to ponder and pray more and produce less during my morning devos this week. So after my readings, my plan is to go back through my archives and let the thinking of the past minister to me in the present. That which particularly sticks with me I’ll share with you. Here are some thoughts from November, 2019.
Maybe 2020 will be the year. The year I dig deeper into Ezekiel.
Wrapped up the book in this morning’s reading. A lot of it I think I get. A lot of it, not so much.
The apocalyptic unveiling of the glory of God captures the imagination. The departure of the glory of God is heart-breaking. The return of the glory of God, hope inspiring.
There is judgment under an old covenant and the promise of a new covenant. The weakness of the old exploited by idolatrous, rebellious hearts. The strength of the new found in divine intervention and the making of new, truth-bearing hearts.
There is also the temple destroyed, the city razed, and the land of promise laid bear. But then, a vision of a new land, a new city, and a new, glorious temple. And, whatever the new temple in the new city in the restored land is referring to, it’s intriguing. To be taken literally? Figuratively? I know what I was taught as young man, but not sure how it all fits. I know what others think it may be, but not sure how it all fits in that scenario either. So, maybe 2020 will be the year . . .
But for all the stuff that Ezekiel leaves you not knowing, it concludes with something that is sure . . .
“And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The LORD Is There.”
(Ezekiel 48:35b ESV)
When all is said and done . . . when all is done and said . . . The LORD Is There. Jehovah-Shammah.
There in the place He has promised. There in the kingdom of His coming. There in the midst of the people He has redeemed. There in the temple which houses His glory. Jehovah-Shammah. The LORD Is There.
And however the details of Ezekiel’s prophesied future state play out, what I do know is that those details have begun to be rolled out in our current state. A rebellious people redeemed. A scattered people called into community. A kingdom established in and through them. A reigning King over them. Under a new covenant. With new hearts. Longing for the final state.
Not yet in the place of promise but sojourning to that city whose designer and builder is God (Heb. 11:10). Yet, with God in their midst and with the temple that bears His glory in place –even the people of God. Living stones being built up into a spiritual house (1Pet. 2:5). Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone. Joined together. Growing into a holy temple in the Lord. A dwelling place for God by the Spirit (Eph. 2:20-22). And Jehovah Shammah. The LORD Is There.
A lot I still don’t really get about Ezekiel . . . maybe next year we do the deeper dive. But this I do know: where God’s people are The LORD Is There.
Where they gather, His glory resides. Where they worship, His Son presides.
My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
(Ezekiel 37:27 ESV)
By His grace. For His glory.