READING: Ezekiel 42-43
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Ezekiel’s description of the contrast could not be more dramatic. In judgment, the glory of the Lord departed from the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. Years later, the glory would return in restoration grace.
Ezek. 10:18, 11:23 Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stood above the cherubim. . . . The glory of the Lord rose up from within the city and stood on the mountain east of the city.
Ezek. 43:1-4 He led me to the gate, the one that faces east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice sounded like the roar of mighty waters, and the earth shone with His glory. . . . . The glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate that faced east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
Read it again. The glory of the Lord filled the temple.
Ezekiel did what all of us, I trust, would do: he fell facedown (Ezek. 43:3). As he had done the first time he saw God’s glory (Ezek. 1:28), and like John years later on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:17), Ezekiel could not stand in the presence of the holiness of God.
This holy God would hold on to His unholy followers, bringing them to anguish over their sin and ultimately establishing His kingdom. A holy God. A completely holy God. A God whose voice is like many waters, whose glory will shine throughout the earth.
A God who dwells among us.
And within us.
I think today about the words of A. W. Tozer as he compared the way we should come before God with the way we often do come before God: “If we came to God dirty, but trembling and shocked and awestruck in His presence, if we knelt at His feet and cried with Isaiah, 'I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips' (Isaiah 6:5), then I could understand. But we skip into His awful presence.”
I fear that sometimes I come to Him skipping when I should be lying on my face.
PRAYER: “Almighty, holy, perfect God, forgive me when I think I can somehow grasp the magnificence of Your holiness. I’m truly an unclean man.”
TOMORROW¹S READING: Ezekiel 44-45