March 21 – Devotion

Date: March 21, 2017

Scripture: Ezekiel 43–44

Ezekiel 43:2-5 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east ,the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. (ESV)

Ezekiel 44:4-5 Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple, and I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. And I fell on my face. And the Lord said to me,“Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning all the statutes of the temple of the Lord and all its laws.” (ESV)

When our children were small, they loved to look out through the glass storm door, especially on those days when weather prohibited playing outside. On plenty of such times, our enjoyment of God’s beautiful world was limited to what we could see from the inside, behind a glass door. Often the result of extended days indoors were dirty little hand prints, smeared peanut butter and jelly, and sometimes a thin film that could not be identified! With a few squirts of window cleaner and a paper towel we could once again see clearly each blade of grass, flower petal, or bright red cardinal. Then, when the bright spring days finally came around, we could go outside beyond the glass storm door and actually experience the warm breeze, the soft green grass, and the fragrance of the honeysuckle.

As we walk through these chapters of Ezekiel, it can feel just like trying to see through a dirty window; our limits become real, and we are reminded of Paul’s words, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12). Sometimes the confines of humanity are frustrating, so we skim over that which seems too difficult or irrelevant. Let us not miss this opportunity to lean in to the ABSOLUTE TRUTH of all of God’s words, even Ezekiel! There is significant truth behind our dirty handprints for us, as believers, to help us to know Him, to see Him more clearly, and one day to move beyond the dim barrier to live in His presence forever.

Ezekiel’s visions while touring the Temple are marked by dimensions of the altar, instructions for the priests and Levites and the call for Israel to reject idols and idol worship. But what stands out the most for those of us on this side of the Cross of Christ is the picture of the glory of the Lord filling the temple. God’s desire has always been to dwell among us. Ezekiel’s only response is to fall facedown. What does this mean for believers? Why is this of any significance as we journey toward Christ’s Cross during Lent?

First of all, it means we should thank the Lord Jesus Christ for being the perfect sacrifice, once for all, for our sin. Ezekiel 43:13-27 gives details of the altar, the specifics of the sacrificial animals and all of the blood that was required to be accepted “declares the Lord God” (Ezek. 43:27, ESV). Knowing that we are a temple acceptable to Sovereign God because of Christ’s blood and are indwelt by His Holy Spirit should cause us all to fall facedown as we understand a mere glimpse of God’s glory!

Second, how are we to view God’s glory today? Lord God would have us pay close attention to this: the glory is all His. It is NOT ours to claim. Whatever glory Sovereign God has allowed us to participate in as believers, we are not to touch it, to lust after it, to regard it as coming from our side of the dirty glass door. Our only response to glimpses of His glory as he fills each believer, and as He fills our church, is to fall facedown in worship and recognition of Him.

Prayer for the Journey: Lord God, Sovereign and Holy, give me eyes to see your glory, as your spirit dwells among us as believers. Give me right responses as I experience the blessings of following you. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for your sacrifice for me and for filling each temple with the glory of your Spirit.

Prepared by: Joanie Winborne

2 Responses to “March 21 – Devotion”

  1. Linda Lyall says:

    Beautiful reminder. Thank you, Joanie.

  2. Debbie Keen says:

    Most meaningful devotion, Joanie! Thank you!

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