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Focus Verses: Ezekiel 43:3-5
The vision I saw was like the vision I had seen when he came to
destroy the city and like the visions I had seen by the Kebar River,
and I fell facedown. 4 The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east. 5 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
vision of a restored temple, Jerusalem, and Israel was very detailed.
It brings to mind the visions Moses received from God. Ezekiel's ideas
about how God would bring his people out of their captivity in Persia
parallels the Exodus story of how God brought the nation of Israel out
of bondage to Egypt.
Sadly, the actual story of
Israel's return from exile (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther) does not seem to
live up to the promised possibilities Ezekiel prophesied. The temple
was modest, and the "glory of the Lord" is noticeably absent from the
accounts of its dedication. The city of Jerusalem was a shamble for
years, and the wall around it lay in ruins for almost a century after
the exile until Nehemiah took up the cause as an act of faith. There
just weren't enough people who had enough faith to embrace Ezekiel's
vision. That lack of faith led to a lack of action, and so most of the
promises Ezekiel delivered were left unclaimed.
Response and Action:
has made known many great and precious promises to me through the
pages of Scripture and the recorded history of his people. He has sent
his Son, Jesus, into the world, and given the teachings of the apostles
(who were taught, empowered, and sent out by Jesus). In order to claim
God's promises, my faith and action are necessary.
God, give me a heart of faith and the will to act in faith. Thank you
for the promise of life, salvation, hope, and eternity you have
extended to me through Christ Jesus. Give me the ears to hear your
promises, and the obedience and belief to act upon them. Help me to
experience the depth and abundance of life promised to all who will
respond to you and act in faith. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Psalm 146:5-8
5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—the LORD, who remains faithful forever. 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament
by Walton, Matthews, and Chavalas