Lessons From Ezekiel's Temple, Part 2: So What if it's a Big Cube? -- By Lyn Chaffart

Last week, in Lessons from Ezekiel's Temple, Part 1, we discovered that although we don't fully understand the reason why Ezekiel went to such trouble to give a detailed description of a temple that has never been built, there are many vital lessons to be learned from these passages, lessons that can be applied to our spiritual lives. Our study today takes us to the first 4 verses of Ezekiel 40, where the temple vision is introduced:

"In the man's hand was a measuring rod six cubits long, each being a cubit and a handbreadth; and he measured the width of the wall structure, one rod; and the height, one rod. Then he went to the gateway which faced east; and he went up its stairs and measured the threshold of the gateway, which was one rod wide, and the other threshold was one rod wide. Each gate chamber was one rod long and one rod wide; between the gate chambers was a space of five cubits; and the threshold of the gateway by the vestibule of the inside gate was one rod." (Ezek 40:5-8 NKJV)

The first thing of note from the first verses of this prophecy is the uniformity of the structure. The wall is one rod wide and one rode high. The thresholds of the gateways were one rod wide, and each gate chamber was one rod long and one rod wide. And if you read on through Ezek 40 you will note that the structure is uniform down to the minutest detail of the pattern. It is a perfect cube.

This isn't the only time this cubic shape is described in Scripture, and since Revelation 21 depicts the New Jerusalem as having the same shape, there must be a lesson to be learned from this unique form.

But what?

The Bible commentary, Barnes' Notes, gives us a clue as to the importance of this uniformity: "Among the Hebrews the perfect figure was the square or the cube, and harmony was thought to be attained by exact equality, or by the repetition of like dimensions." [1]

In other words, the cubic shape of this ideal temple of God depicts harmony!

Let's remember for a moment 1 Cor. 6:19: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" (NIV). Instead of a physical temple, the heart of every Christian becomes the dwelling place for God's Spirit. There are two beings sharing the same abode: Our spirit and God's, and the uniformity of Ezekiel's temple teaches us that first thing of importance is to live in harmony with God!

Interestingly, Jesus tells us the same thing in His famous prayer: "Just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us … " (John 17:21a NIV). But how can we learn to live in harmony with God?

The first step is to make ourselves right with God. We must give Him our hearts. We must accept His gift of Salvation. We must allow Him to be the Savior of our lives.

But though this step ensures our Salvation, it isn't all that is required for harmony. The second important step is to allow God to be the centre of everything we do. We must submit our spirit to God's, we must allow Him to lead, and we must follow His lead. Besides being our Savior, we must also allow Him to also be the LORD of our lives!

A beautiful image of this harmony can be seen in the creature described in the first chapter of Ezekiel: "When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels." (Ezek 1:19-21 NIV)

This creature was in perfect harmony with God's Spirit, and what a beautiful life we would live if we would learn to live the same way, if we would learn to submit to God's lead!

Why is this step so important? Jesus gives us the answer in John 17:21b: "… so that the world may believe that You have sent Me." (NIV) In other words, it is only when we live in perfect harmony with God's Spirit that we can be effective witnesses!

Enough to ponder, but do ponder this: The first lesson we can learn from Ezekiel's temple is that we must learn to live in harmony with God's Spirit. We must allow God to be both Savior and Lord of our lives. We must learn to let Him guide in everything we do. Only then can we be effective witnesses!

Please join us next week as we take a look at the second lesson to be learned from the initial descriptions of Ezekiel's temple: Why all These Measurements?

God bless each of you as you seek to draw closer to Him!

In His love,

Lyn

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 .

[1] (from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)      


(To access the entire "Lessons From Ezekiel's Temple" mini-series, please click here.)