God’s Presence Returns


After Ezekiel’s vision of the majesty of the rebuilt temple, the prophet received a vision of the most important part: God’s glory descended into the temple and he took up residence again among Israel.  God’s presence will fill the temples of our lives when we follow him…

1 In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the fall of the city—on that very day the hand of the Lord was on me and he took me there. 2 In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city.

1 Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, 2 and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. 3 The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he came to destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. 4 The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east. 5 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
Ezekiel 40:1-2, 43:1-5

Ezekiel was given a vision of the rebuild of the temple in Jerusalem after 25 years of exile in Babylon. The Lord gave Ezekiel a vision of every measurement of the rebuild to ensure the specifications were of God’s direction. The anointing of the priests, including the dealing with those who abandoned their responsibilities, were spelled out by God to the prophet.

And after all the visions of the majesty and intricacy of this rebuilt temple were provided, Ezekiel received a vision of the most important part: God’s glory descended into the temple and he took up residence again among Israel.

God’s voice was like that of rushing waters, which we recognize from Revelation 1 and 14 in which that booming voice was also heard. His glory was radiant, which reminds us of how Moses’ face glowed when he encountered God in Exodus 34. There was no mistaking God, in his glory, descending…

God’s presence was the only thing which kept Israel on track in pleasing the Lord. Even with his presence they struggled to stay pure and holy and faithful. Without his presence they were entirely lost. Does that ring a bell? Do you identify? When God is present with us we can live in light of that presence – the latin is Coram Deo – we can live ‘in the presence of God.’ Without him, when we go our own ways, our choices increasingly reflect self and selfishness.

Sin creeps in whenever we let it. Without the presence of God, sin has a wide open door…

The glory of the Lord filled the temple. God will do likewise in our lives when we are reconciled with him through Jesus, and when we return from any and all separation from God to the place where our bodies are committed as temples (1Corinthians 6) and our lives sacrifices before him (Romans 12).

Are you in exile and separation from God or is his presence filling your temple today?

Consider whether you can hear the rushing waters of his voice and see his radiant glory. If not, it’s time for a return from exile, which only God can facilitate.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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