Every Day A Day To Praise

Ezekiel 40:4 (ESV) … “And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.”


In this chapter we see Ezekiel sets off again on a trip to Jerusalem by way of a vision. The visionary nature of the experience is immediately impressed upon us by the detail that he records: God … set me on a very high mountain (40:2).


Only by a well-stretched imagination could Jerusalem fit that description. Ezekiel is, as we might say, being given a bird’s-eye view of what looked like a city, and within that he is to be given a tour of a virtual-reality temple, complete with a well-equipped tour guide (3). It is important to observe at this point that Ezekiel is told to look at what he is shown and to listen to what he is told so that he can tell his fellow exiles what he has seen (4).


Although a great deal of measuring goes on, the impact comes from the mental image of what is seen on his tour, not from a study of blueprints or architect’s plans, nor from detailed verbal instructions. The nearest modern analogy that comes to mind is of a three-dimensional, computer-generated, virtual-reality tour of a museum, or some magnificent building. Accompanying commentary with statistical details may well be given en route, as it were, but their point is to enhance the scale and majesty of what is being viewed and the impression it leaves on the mind. So what was the central point of that impression? It is important to get our own orientation right before we briefly scan the scenes that Ezekiel so lovingly and longingly describes.


The point, above all, is not to be found in the details themselves, but in the restoration of the dwelling-place of God in the midst of his people. The perfect numerical symmetries and geometric design of the visionary temple provide, in the priestly categories of Ezekiel’s whole worldview, an appropriate outworking of the great promise of 37:26–27: ‘My dwelling-place will be … among them for ever.’ That was the central and indispensable goal; the concepts and means by which it would be met were of course fleshed out in the only way known to Ezekiel—the temple itself. [1]


Ezekiel discovers the promise that God has made towards His people and that being the return of His presence. In this long vision, chapters (40-48), Ezekiel is reminded of the Lord’s expectation for His people in gaining His presence. They are to be separate from sin, committed to worship, obedient in faith, and loyal to His glory. For us today, we must ask, are we living in a way that is worthy of the presence of God?




[1] Wright, C. J. H. (2001). The Message of Ezekiel: A New Heart and a New Spirit. (A. Motyer & D. Tidball, Eds.) (pp. 329–330). Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

© 2020 First Baptist Church Alamo, TN

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