The Glory of the Lord Fills the Temple
10 “As for you, son of man, describe to the house of Israel the temple, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and they shall measure the plan. 11 And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, that is, its whole design; and make known to them as well all its statutes and its whole design and all its laws, and write it down in their sight, so that they may observe all its laws and all its statutes and carry them out. 12 This is the law of the temple: the whole territory on the top of the mountain all around shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the temple.
The Altar13 “These are the measurements of the altar by cubits (the cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth): its base shall be one cubit high and one cubit broad, with a rim of one span around its edge. And this shall be the height of the altar:
In his sermon on this passage Rayburn says....
In Ezekiel, the Lord remakes the temple for himself and invites his people to join him there. The initiative is all with the Lord. He was not homesick for his house. He had destroyed it himself as an act of his holy judgment and he rebuilt it himself as an act of his grace and mercy....
the gist of this section in Ezekiel 43 is clear enough. The presence of the Lord, as we have already been told repeatedly in Ezekiel, was lost on account of Israel’s faithlessness and her idolatry. She betrayed the covenant Yahweh had made with her and suffered his just wrath as a result. Jerusalem’s destruction with the destruction of the temple and Israel’s exile were brutal demonstrations that the people had forfeited Yahweh’s presence among them. But that temple is to be rebuilt – in the sense in which we have been taught to understand that rebuilding, which has been our theme over the past few Lord’s Day evenings – and God’s presence is to be restored to his people. As Israel lost that presence for sin, it will be restored as God returns to her and brings her to acknowledge her sin, repent, and worship and serve the Lord in faith and love.
But I want us to get beyond the surface and consider for a few moments what all of this means, what it really means to us. The presence of God, that is what is being promised here, a presence that brings with it and creates holiness among God’s people. Unholiness causes God’s presence to depart; God’s presence is the reward lavished upon a sinful people when they turn to the Lord and follow him in righteousness. You realize perhaps that few people really believe this. That is why they are not at all concerned about the presence of God. Few people in our culture, if asked, would say that their number one concern is that God be present in their lives. They would not say, because they don’t believe that God’s presence is life and joy and his absence is a very bad and harmful thing. They do not connect their own happiness and the fulfillment of their lives with God’s presence and they make no connection between God’s absence and the failure of their lives to rise to the significance, happiness, and fulfillment they know by instinct human lives ought to experience. They have deep longings; every human being does, but he does not connect those longings with the presence of God.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Ezekiel 43:13-46:24
Sunday's passage: Exodus 29-30
Monday's passage: Exodus 31-32, Psalm 30, Mark 2