Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Eastern Gate

September 11: Ezekiel 44-45

1 Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east. And it was shut. 2 And the Lord said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut. 3 Only the prince may sit in it to eat bread before the Lord. He shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way.”

4 Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple, and I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. And I fell on my face. 5 And the Lord said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning all the statutes of the temple of the Lord and all its laws. And mark well the entrance to the temple and all the exits from the sanctuary. 6 And say to the rebellious house, to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: O house of Israel, enough of all your abominations, 7 in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations. 8 And you have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have set others to keep my charge for you in my sanctuary.
Ezekiel 44:1-8

The Eastern Gate

Ezekiel 44 continues with similar dialogue from God to Ezekiel as we read in Ezekiel 43. Ezekiel is again brought back to the outer gate of the sanctuary (the Eastern Gate) and notes that it is shut. The Lord tells him,

“This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut."

Remember, earlier in Ezekiel's vision, the Eastern Gate was open so that the Glory of the Lord could enter in. Now the gate is shut and will remain shut so that no man may enter though this gate. The other gates remained open so that the people could go in and out to worship the Lord, but in order to perpetuate the solemn entrance of the glory of the Lord it will never be used again.

In our day of "casual worship" we often loose sight of the pageantry, royalty, and honor that is to be afforded our God who is above all Gods. It is good to be reminded that God is a holy and righteous God; we are to "take off our shoes" when in His presence, just as Moses was required to do when he entered the presence of the Lord. In our heart of hearts we must continually fall on our faces before our Lord and Savior who took our sins upon Himself and became guilty before God of all of our sins.

Christ deserves our utmost honor and glory, not only when we worship Him with other believers, but also when we are at home or in our places of employment. Daniel prayed before God three times a day; it would be good for us to set aside a time each day for prayer and Bible study. But, how about also setting aside a special time each day to just praise, honor, and worship the Lord Jesus Christ? Everything we are and ever hope to be is only by His grace in our lives.

Christ is all; without Him we are nothing!

God Bless You,

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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