Ezekiel Part 5 on chs. 40-48

[Parts 4 (chs.25-39), 3 (chs. 14-24), 2 (7-13), 1 (1-6) are below]

And now Ezekiel has a vision
of God’s temple, and his nation
– vivid, detailed, not as had been,
nor as would be, could be(?) –
description intricate, complexity –
hard to follow, read – perplexity.
Sacrifices’ days were numbered,
pointing forward to fulfilment;
but in spirit exiles needed
willingness for this obedience
which before had failed; acknowledge
they had been rebellious,
so polluting where his presence
should have known true honour, reverence,
and a zeal for careful holiness.
God-given visions:
his people portrayed.
His grace has not finished,
so don’t be dismayed,
prepare for his presence,
great things he will do,
and he will be magnified,
and worshipped anew.

chapters 40 – 42
God’s temple beautiful, and functional,
harmonious, symmetrical;
his presence is protected, holy,
quiet, where he is worshipped fully (wholly).
Approached with sacrifice removing
guilt, and sin’s contamination.
All has been paid, but once, no further invoice, –
so hearts prepared to praise, rejoice,
perfectly, as in this picture.

We must be fit for worship,
our hearts prepared and built
according to his pattern,
for praise and fellowship,
a church of beauty, functional,
harmonious, symmetrical,
each one a fitted temple too,
and fit together tight and true.

43:1 – 12
Overwhelming sight of glory,
awesome, draining, enervating,
Spirit lifting up, enabling;

radiance, and his voice like rushing
waters – word his will accomplishing;
returning to his people, holy,
new beginning, never ending,
ever after with, among them.

The people see that their behaviour
had been awful, total failure
to appreciate the detail
of God’s holiness and worship:
fullest faithfulness required.

chapter 43:13 – 27
From Adam’s fall ’til Jesus came
‘the altar’ spoke as prophecy
of One to come to take the blame
– a sacrifice sufficient he.

From Christ’s atonement ’til he come
his work is history,
remembering the Saving Son
in bread and wine consistently.

chapter 44
God glorious has gone in, the gate is shut;
and no-one else can use it now, to come, go out;
and he himself will not depart.

None may approach him while uncircumcised in flesh and heart:
for to his ways they must conform, – complete attention
to his will and words, devotion
within, and actions that display
desire to please him and obey,

And those who serve, in any way,
must holiness in all pursue,
and faithfulness, commitment true.

chapter 45
The Prince is allocated land,
sufficient, – he need not demand
oppressive taxes, (heavy hand);
his leading must be fair, true justice heeding,
and organising worship well,
supported by his people, all
co-operate harmoniously,
and happily.

chapter 46
Many, regular sacrifices,
reminders of atonement needed,
God’s wrath propitiated
(– Christ’s sacrifice, complete, now seen
before God’s throne in perpetuity,
the Holy God can justly, gladly welcome from captivity);

fellowship offerings, reminders of God’s peace
for those to fellowship restored.
Vast the crowds approach to worship,
vast the swell of joy, and honour to the Sovereign LORD.

Separating worship service tasks,
from work which though important,
not part of priestly role :
each has its proper space, well-ordered place.

chapter 47:1 – 12
Out of this administration’s
symbol-temple, river flows,
and grows
stronger, wider,
water fresh and healing,
bringing health and strength, life giving
to increasing numbers.

Grace divine proceeding,
from the LORD, and through his temple,
through the church, and every saint,
temples of the living God.

Spirit indwells, living water flows
– hungry people feeding,
thirst slaked, sins cleansed, gospel wealth,

our spirits’ health,
touching and healing the parched and the lifeless,
channels for Christ in a needy world:

redemption prophesied,
Christ Jesus accomplished.

chapter 47:13 – end of ch.48
All of the tribes, and Israel completed;
plenty of room, and no further strife;
together enjoying their city, all enter –
each have a gate and share in its life.

Welcome to all who’ve come from the nations,
accepting the ways of the God of the place,
counted as Israelites, fullest relations,
welcomed by God in his infinite grace.

Room enough for all to settle,
all who wish to settle there
with God’s people, where he’s dwelling
in their midst for evermore.

‘The LORD is there’ from that time on for ever.
The exiles shown a glorious future, never
can that be destroyed, or spoilt, forsaken,
his Word is sure, he cannot be mistaken:
a picture, yes, but they took heart and courage,
and we look forward from a place of increased knowledge.

the book of Ezekiel portrays
The sovereign holy LORD:
displayed in vision,
in judgments and destruction,
and mercy’s restoration,
redemption, transformation,
eternal honour, glorious Word.

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