Last week, in Lessons from
Ezekiel's Temple, Part 10D, we discovered that the side
rooms reminds us of two important truths: First of all, we
must let nothing but the PURE GOSPEL TRUTH enter into our
temple hearts, and secondly, they remind us of the richness
of the life that we have in Christ!
Today's lesson takes a look at the meaning and importance of the Glory of the Lord:
"Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east … and I fell facedown. The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east." (Ezek 43:1-5 NIV)
We have only just returned from a
trip to Europe as I write this. One of the many things I
love about Europe is that everywhere you look, the landscape
is marked by at least one towering steeples. We were
fortunately enough to be able to visit a number of these
churches, and we found them, without exception, to be
breathtaking creations of towering architecture, glamorous
carvings and sculptures, and intricate paintings. But as
magnificent as these churches were, the simple tent in the
wilderness was more glorious than any of these. Why? Because
it was blessed with the Glory of the Lord. No earthly might
or power can even come close to the majesty, the power, the
might of the presence of the Lord of the universe!
Throughout the Old Testament alone, there are at least 35 references to the Glory. Many of these refer to the special times when God's glory filled the wilderness tabernacle and later, Solomon's temple:
"Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because … the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." (Ex 40:34-35 NIV)
"… the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the
priests could not perform their service because of the
cloud…" (1 Kings 8:10-11 NIV)
It must have been a fabulous sight indeed for Ezekiel to watch, in vision, the Lord's Glory filling the temple, and this simple act alone, was what made the structure stand out as superior to any other structure known to men.
Does God's glory fill our body temples?
Yes, it does! Or it can. But only if we allow it to.
You see, when God's glory filled these earthly structures, it was by invitation. It was after all of the prescribed things had been done. The structures had been built just as God had prescribed, and there had been a period of cleansing and sacrifice. Then, when all was ready, God moved in.
If we want God to move into our hearts, we have to do a few things as well.
The first and most important step is to allow Jesus' precious blood to cleanse us, to cover our sins, to make us white as snow: "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'" (Isa 1:18 NIV)
This important step ensures our Salvation, but it is the next step in the cleansing process that invites God's glory. We accomplish this by allowing God's Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal that which is offensive to Him. This is a long, slow process, but if we diligently seek His face, working on that all-important relationship with Him, our hearts will begin to reflect His fruit: "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like … But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (Gal 5:19-26 NIV)
Remember, if we want to abide in
God's presence, as He created us to do, then we need to take
this extra step: We need to seek the Glory of the Lord. We
need to prepare our hearts, and once we've done that, we can
sit back and enjoy!
Let's notice that in both of the Old Testament references to God's glory filling earthly temples, once His presences had arrived, regular, earthly functions could not be preformed. Even Moses, who was the one who had already entered into God's presence many times, could not enter, and the priests could not perform their priestly functions. And if you look at today's passage from Ezekiel 43, you see the same kind of reaction: "the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east …and I fell facedown."
Friends, the glory of the Lord is not something trite. It's
not an everyday occurrence. It is something very, very
special! It's something to be anticipated, to be desired, to
be the ultimate goal of everything we do.
Enough to ponder, but do ponder this: The presence of the Lord in our hearts should be our number one priority, and in order to ensure that it comes and stays, we need to do everything in our power to invite Him in, to make sure that there is room for Him in the "structure" of our hearts.
Join us next week for another important lesson from Ezekiel's temple: Lessons from Ezekiel's Temple, Part 12: Our Offerings!
God bless each of you as you seek to draw closer to Him!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org , with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .