The prophet Ezekiel was overwhelmed by the vision that he saw of a living angelic chariot. His account of “the glory of the Lord” should be compared to the days of Solomon when the Almighty graced the newly completed temple with His presence (2 Chronicles 7:1-3). But now in the time of Ezekiel, the Lord was not coming into this holy building, but leaving it.
In Ezekiel 11:23 we read about God’s departure at the moment when the Babylonians would soon destroy Jerusalem. “And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city.” Near the end of the book in Ezekiel 43:4-5 a future visionary temple is described. “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.” The writer looked forward to a great day of future blessing, yet a physical facility such as the one described in detail at the end of Ezekiel has never been built in all the many years that have passed since the destruction of the temple by the Romans in AD 70.
What the church does have is a special Man who takes the place of a holy building. At the birth of the Messiah a bright display in the heavens is seen by common shepherds (Luke 2:9). Through the church and especially in the return of our great King Jesus, Habakkuk 2:14 will be finally fulfilled, and “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
God will live in us, changing His people to make us more like Jesus. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Ezekiel 10 was a very sad chapter from the perspective of the Old Covenant community. The Jews had failed their covenant test, and now Jehovah was preparing to leave this amazing edifice and His holy city. Yet from the vantage point of the church, while we may be rightly saddened by the suffering of our brothers and sisters in former centuries, we also rejoice that the old system of approaching the Almighty through temporary ceremonies was swiftly coming to an end. The former methods had to go away so that the new temple of God could be built through the preaching of the gospel to the nations. The Cornerstone of the church is none other than Jesus our Savior. We stand on the solid Rock of Christ, and we shall never be destroyed.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Great God, please do not take Your Holy Spirit from us. Protect us from all evil. We need You. Speak to us clearly through Your servants. Grant us hope for the future because of Your great promises. At just the right time, send forth Your angels to gather Your elect from throughout the earth. Until that day when the trumpet will sound, keep us in Your love and grace. Our brothers in places of danger cry out to You night and day. Hear and save. Send forth Your ministering angels like flames of fire. Protect us as we proclaim Your glory.