Today Ezekiel sees the temple of the Lord and the four creatures and the four wheels that he saw in the first vision the Lord gave him by the River of Chebar. “Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.”
The Lord has Ezekiel pronounce judgment over the leaders, “For you have not walked in My statues nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you.” And while Ezekiel is prophesying, one of the leaders dies. So Ezekiel cries out, “Ah, Lord God! Will You make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?”
Then the Lord gives a word of hope as He looks forward to the day He returns His people to their land and even further, to the day He establishes a New Covenant with His people through His Son Jesus Christ – “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone… I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel… And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads.”
The Lord says He will be a sanctuary for the ones scattered among the countries because the Lord’s presence is not bound by a building or location. We have seen the Lord’s presence with Daniel and his friends and with Ezekiel while in exile, and we will continue to see His presence with His people throughout the story.
Then the glory of the Lord departs the temple. “And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city.” This is the Mount of Olives where Jesus will one day sit and explain to his disciples the second coming and end times. When Jesus returns he will execute judgment upon the entire earth. The ones who refuse to accept Him as their Savior will perish. However, Jesus says He will gather all who belong to Him – “He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31).
The Lord has been patient with His judgment upon Judah because He desires for all to reach repentance, just like the Lord is being patient in sending the final judgment. However, final judgment is coming just like the judgment upon Judah has arrived. Therefore the Lord instructs Ezekiel to correct the people who are prophesying that their days are prolonged. “The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision. For no more shall there be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the Lord, I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass… None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done.”
We end the reading with the Lord rebuking the false prophets who were giving the people a word of false hope – “Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you… My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord God… Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace.”
Keep reading. (Ezekiel 10:1-13:23)