This is the climax of the whole book of Ezekiel, and it is one of my favorite chapters in all of prophecy! It is the vision of God's glory (the Shekinah glory) returning to the temple's holy of holies.
Just as God's glory had stopped over the Mount of Olives to the east of Jerusalem (11:23), it returned from the east. His voice was like many waters. This was mentioned in Ezekiel 1:24 and will be mentioned again in Revelation 1:15 and 14:2.
Ezekiel was to describe the temple to the people so they would be ashamed of their sins as they got a clear vision of God's ideal plan. God wanted His people to be holy as He is holy (Leviticus 19:1; 1 Peter 1:15,16).
This prophecy was not fulfilled after the Babylonian Captivity and still awaits a future fulfillment.
Ezekiel 43:13-17 describes the altar of burnt offering, and 43:18-27 describes the regulations for sacrificing offerings. There is a seven-day ritual by the priests of Zadok to consecrate the altar for the LORD. This was like the services followed by Moses (Exodus 40:10,29) and Solomon (2 Chronicles 7:8-9). The results would be God's acceptance of His people.
Why would there be a need for these offerings if Jesus has made one sacrifice for all times (Hebrews 10:12)? Warren Wiersbe believes that these sacrifices "will be offered in a memorial sense and as expressions of love and devotion to the Lord (Isaiah 56:5-7; 60:7). They will also bring people together for fellowship and feasting to the glory of the Lord" (Be Reverent, p.193).
This is a perfect review from things we have already read about in the Bible Book Club!
God has always desired to dwell in the midst of His people. You can prove that with a quick review!
In the Garden of Eden, what was God doing in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8)?
When the tabernacle was completed, what happened to show that God was there (Exodus 40:34-35)?
When Solomon's temple was finished, where was God to be found (2 Chronicles 7:1-3)?
What does 2 Corinthians 6:19-20 say about the temple (tabernacle, abode) of God today?
God's presence is once again abiding in the midst of His people. In the Old Testament tabernacle and in the temple, it was plain for all to see. Could that be said of your life? As you read the detailed plans of Ezekiel's temple, map out another plan and call it, "The plan for making my life a showcase for God's glory today." Your tongue, temper, work habits, leisure time -- each can show God's glory.
(The Daily Walk, August 27, 2008, p. 29)PRAYER
Lord, may Your glory dwell in us today. Amen.