Order. Symmetry. Balance.
“He said to me,’Son of man, watch and listen. Pay close attention to everything I show you. You have been brought here so I can show you many things. Then you will return to the people of Israel and tell them everything you have seen.’” – Ezekiel 40:4 NLT
The book of Ezekiel began in chapter one with a vision of God’s glory. Then we read the sad account of the departure of God’s glory in chapters 8-111. Now as we close the end of the book, God is going to give Ezekiel one last glimpse of His glory. He transports Ezekiel from Babylon back to Israel via a vision in order to give him a look at future events. God has already promised to restore His people to the land and to a right relationship with Him. He is going to rebuild the city and the Temple, and now He is showing Ezekiel what it all will look like. These last nine chapters are designed to provide hope to the people of Judah, even as they live in the less-than-ideal conditions of their captivity. God has a plan and that plan is highly specific. The amount of
detail that God gives Ezekiel regarding the layout and measurements of the Temple seem designed to provide confidence in the concrete nature of this vision. It is not a dream, but a reality that is yet to come. And central to that reality is the rebuilt Temple, the center-piece of God’s future kingdom. It is the place where God’s glory departed (Ezekiel 8-11). With the completion of this new Temple, God’s presence will once more dwell among His people. But this vision has yet to be fulfilled. It is a future event waiting for God to bring it about. The Temple built by Nehemiah and Ezra did not meet these descriptions. The Temple built by Herod failed to live up to these plans. And at present, there is no Temple. So what Ezekiel sees has yet to be built. And it will not be built until Jesus establishes His kingdom here on earth. When He returns He will reign in Jerusalem and a new Temple will be built according to the exacting plans and specifications God provides in these passages.
This new Temple will be glorious. It will be a showcase of symmetry, balance and order. It will reflect the perfection of the very God whose dwelling place it is. There is nothing left to chance. No detail is left to the imagination of man. This future Temple will be a glorious structure, beautifully appointed and featuring a perfect blend of balance and symmetry. The detailed measurements and descriptions are designed to give Ezekiel and the people living in exile hope for the future. They will never live to see this construction project started or completed. But they can rest in the knowledge that their God has a plan for the future restoration of their nation. He is not done with them yet. Ezekiel was to play close attention to what he saw and share it with those with whom he lived and to whom he had been delivering God’s message of doom and destruction. Punishment was coming, but so was restoration. The Temple had been destroyed, but the day was coming when it would be rebuilt. Just as God had given Moses detailed plans for the Tabernacle in the wilderness, God was giving Ezekiel a detailed description of the Temple grounds that were yet to come. God’s plan is not yet complete. He is not done yet. But He will bring it about – down to the last detail.
Father, when I read this chapter, I can get lost in all the details and measurements. They don’t see to serve any point and tend to become just a blur of numbers, measurements, and descriptions. But they are there for a reason. Every room, wall, brick, board, and ornament will have a purpose. The order, balance, and symmetry described in these chapters are a reflection of the God this building is to represent. You are perfect and balanced in every way. You are complete in every detail. You are going to fully accomplish what You have started. Right down to the last detail. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men