Corruption of the Temple and its Consequences

Ezekiel 8 – Idolatry In The Temple
Ezekiel 9 – Judgment On The Idolaters
Ezekiel 10 – God’s Glory Departs From The Temple
Ezekiel 11:1–14 – God’s Sure Judgment On Jerusalem
Ezekiel 11:15–21 – Those In Exile To Be Restored
Ezekiel 11:22–25 – Conclusion

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One Reply to “Corruption of the Temple and its Consequences”

  1. Ezekiel 8-11 records the things he saw in visions from the Lord, perhaps this was the Lord’s way of motivating Ezekiel! The NIV Study Bible notes provides this outline:

    1. God shows Ezekiel the idolatry
    2. God pronounces judgment
    3. Ezekiel is shown God’s glory departing the temple
    4. God declares the complacent will not escape judgment
    5. God promises the exiles will be restored
    6. The conclusion of the vision

    Many times I pray for discernment, for the ability to see things with God’s eyes, the way Jesus would have seen them while he was walking with his disciples. Here we read how Ezekiel was provided with special insight as he preached and prompted people to turn from their wicked ways. It’s not really something we want to see, like having the ability to read someone’s mind, not something we truly want, but here God reveals the hearts of those who have turned away, the reason for his anger, the fuel for his fire.

    God speaks to Ezekiel, “They say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land'” (Ezekiel 8:12 & 9:9). This is why they worship idols and do detestable things. One of the examples God revealed in this vision: they worship the sun. At first reading, I missed the significance of this, but the notes redirected my attention. “With their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east” (8:16). Temples were built with an eastern orientation, they faced the east, but not to worship the sun! Here, these men turned their backs on the Lord and worshiped the sun. Symbolic of many, it strikes me as a sad testimony of that time. Perhaps we do the same today when we elevate those things which are not the least bit worthy of praise.

    God’s presence leaves the temple in chapter 10, “The the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple” (10:17). I don’t think we appreciate the significance of the symbology here. We are blessed to live after Jesus came and redeemed all. It’s difficult, perhaps impossible, to wrap my mind around this vision, this nightmare where the Glory of the Lord leaves the temple. No doubt destruction will follow. Sad beyond sad.

    But there is a promise, a hope for restoration. There are some who will return from exile, some who still sing the songs of the Lord. God promises he will restore: “I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again” (11:17). An incredible promise. So much more than we deserve.

    As Easter is upon us, I pray we can remember God’s promise through the sacrifice and the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. Foretold by many, seen by few in person, Jesus came to provide the ultimate reunion for the people of God. Lord, may we not turn our backs on you and forsake your presence here among us. Keep our eyes focused on you Lord. You alone are worthy of worship. Bless our daily work, whatever we do six days a week, and help us to fully worship you in all things.

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