"Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory." (Ezekiel 43:1,2)
Our text today speaks of the, "glory of the God of Israel," returning through, "the gate that faces toward the east." In correlation, there is nothing more sobering than the report of the glory of God departing Jerusalem in chapter 10. Here is the progression:
v. 4, 5: "Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the
cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory. And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, like the voice of Almighty God when He speaks."
v. 18, 19: "Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight."
Now for the dichotomists who separate the Old and New Testaments, and who believe this does not happen in the "Church Age," there is the warning to the Ephesian Church in Revelation 2:5, "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-- unless you repent." And none of this violates the Ever-Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is, however, an indication that fellowship is greatly impaired, if not broken because of disobedience------------ as in the case of Israel.
Ezekiel does not seem to speak of any personal or "national repentance" prior to the discourse in chapters 39 and 43. But the Holy Spirit does tell us in 39:25ff, "Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My Holy Name-- after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.... Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer....For I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says the Lord God." Ezekiel 43 records the "return" of, "the glory of the God of Israel," to His Temple, and chapter 39 speaks of His "Heart" for His Covenant People. Notice a very deep Biblical Principle here: Our sin/disobedience drives Him away; but it is His mercy and grace which "brings" Him back.
There are sovereign purposes which our Lord Jesus Christ has for Israel and The Land, "the City of the Great King," Jerusalem, the Church, purposes of which we still know so very little. Maybe we could call them "the great scheme of things." Whatever you may make of our text and my "insight," don't miss anything!
Father, in Jesus' Name, convict me of any time I presume on Your mercy and grace. I so want to be a part of Your "great scheme of things." Amen.
Unreached People Group of the Day: www.apfunreachedpeoples.blogspot.com
When Peter, an 18 year old Norwegian, "heard the call to evangelize China, on that day he not only emptied his wallet into the collection plate, but included a small note with the words, 'and my life.'"
"Looking unto Jesus"
"Looking unto Jesus"