Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thursday, February 6 ~ Miriam

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 23-24; Psalm 28; Matthew 28
Today's scripture focus is Ezekiel 40-42

I'll admit that my eyes glazed over some while reading this passage.  There are some amazing things described, but all the measurements started to become repetitive.  I don't discount the value of these descriptive passages, as they indicate God's meticulous planning and that he knows all things, past, present, and future, but it does make for slightly tiresome reading.

Having said that, here are some points by Rayburn regarding this passage:

First, he has four points indicating why this passage is not a description of an earthly temple that has yet to be built.  There are correlations to be made to Revelation, obviously a vision of heaven, as well as the nature of the visions in the prior chapters, the description of a mountain where there is no mountain near Jerusalem, the fact that the city is not named, and the river, as he says, "The fact that the river flows from under the threshold of the temple was a powerful and beautiful way of expressing the fact that this wonderful situation would be the Lord’s doing."

He spends a bit of time talking about human accomplishments being indicated by large structures, buildings, and architecture, giving examples such as the Empire State Building, the tallest building in the world for many years, the pyramids of Egypt, and the temple of Solomon.  "And so when Ezekiel was given a vision of Israel’s restoration and of her glorious future, it was entirely natural that he should be shown a new temple, perfect in every way. Her greatest building is pictured as rebuilt and made still more magnificent. No Israelite would need to have explained to him the significance of that!

Two Thursday nights past I heard my daughter, Evangeline, play magnificently a beautiful organ in a beautiful church in uptown Manhattan. Life doesn’t get much better than that for a proud father. But, of course, it does; it gets much, much better than that. In fact the pews we were sitting on through the recital were some of the most uncomfortable seats I can remember ever sitting in. So take that out; just leave the organ and the daughter and the music and the church. Well, no; take out the church. I glanced through some of the literature and posters at the back of the sanctuary and that made for some sad, sad reading for a Bible believing Christian. So just the organ, the daughter, the music, and the physical setting of the church. Forget the traffic getting there, the problems finding a parking place, the sad state of the church, and remember only the happy and the beautiful parts of the evening. We are not at the consummation yet, but we have some images of it, and some taste of it given to us again and again. And your life has these images to use to help you do what Ezekiel has done for us here by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And then remember, call to mind, argue those present pictures of the fullness of life to the front of your mind and remind yourself that this is but a foretaste, an anticipation of much, much more to come; so wonderful even the Almighty could not manage to describe it to us in any literal way, given our sinful and creaturely limitations.

You have a future that is impossibly wonderful. You are to remember that every day and every hour of every day. You are to feel it pulling you forward, the brilliant light at the end of your life’s tunnel. It is that happy anticipation of the splendor to come and the Lord standing amidst that splendor that ought to mark our lives. It ought to shape our attitudes, our words, and our conduct. It is the great reason why Peter thought people would come up to Christians and inquire as to the reason for the hope they have. Hope, the expectation of fabulously better things: there is every reason for more, much more of that in your life and mine.

As C.S. Lewis would have put it: your life has scarcely begun. Real life begins soon. Good as your life may be in some ways, it is the palest shadow of what it will become. You are never, never to forget that! You hardly know how great a gift Jesus Christ has given you when he granted you eternal life in his name."

Amen.

Happy Thursday!

Tomorrow's scripture focus:  Ezekiel 43:1-12.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  Exodus 25-26; Psalm 29; Mark 1.

1 comment:

TammyIsBlessed said...

It really is incredible when you witness something awe inspiring - like the Grand Canyon, or Niagara Falls - and then realize that this is just a foretaste of the perfection that is to come!