Is God at your Church?
God of Glory, teach us to cultivate Your presence in our midst.
Read Ezekiel 43:1-12
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of his presence” (AW Tozer).
The return of the glory of God to the Temple is, perhaps, the most dramatic scene in the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel’s vision mirrors in reverse his earlier revelation of God abandoning the temple (chs. 8-11). Although the Jerusalem Temple continued to function for six years after Ezekiel’s earlier vision, the glory of God’s presence was absent. The customary rituals and sacrifices continued, but the glory of the Lord, the ambience of transcendence, the awe of supreme majesty, had gone. God was hiding his face (Ezek. 39:23). Does the departure of the glory of God from the Temple mean that God might absent himself from his church?
In Ezekiel’s vision God returns to the sanctuary, never to leave it again (7,9). The return is the grand climax of the description of the new Temple (chs. 40-42). We can still be sure that when we gather together in the name of Christ, he is in our midst (Matt. 18:20). However, absence of love for the one who loves us too often renders us oblivious to his presence. Self-love and self-confidence can quench our thirst for God and cloud our awareness of him. The architecture of Ezekiel’s Temple provides a helpful resource in counteracting our coldness and lethargy. Following the prophet as he is led from outer to inner court and then from the Temple portico to the inner sanctuary, we climb up three sets of stairs, each step taking us ever higher (Ezek. 40:22,31,49), a reminder that the God we are approaching is greatly exalted (Psa. 47:9; Isa. 6:1). As we pass the altar in the inner court we are forcibly reminded of the cross where, thank God, we can confess all our self-sins, find forgiveness and experience the wonder of intimate fellowship with Almighty God. The church need not famish; God’s presence awaits us beyond the veil!
“You, God, are my God. . . my whole being longs for you” (Psa. 63:1). Bow before the holy God of Israel and let him fill you with fresh wonder of his glory.
Holy Spirit of God, we the church are stones built together to be a living temple in which You dwell. Let Your glory fill Your church and Your name be made great in all the earth.
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