Then you shall know that I am the LORD!

The Old Testament book of Ezekiel is probably the least known of even the Major Prophets of the Bible; Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel.  It has much in common with these other prophets in declaring both the judgment of God on the nations and the people for their sin and rebellion against God, as well as God’s ultimate plan of saving his people by giving them a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26; see Jeremiah 31 as well as Ezekiel 36, 37). This promise is taken up again in the New Testament as Jesus declared the necessity of the new birth or what is the called the doctrine of regeneration, the gracious and sovereign work of the Holy Spirit as described in 2 Corinthians 4:1-6.


Unique to Ezekiel are the dramatic visions that begin and end the book.  Chapters 1 and 2 describe a scene around the throne of the Lord that reflects the infinite greatness and glory of God, the glory that was at one time evident as the manifest presence of God with His people at the Tabernacle in the Wilderness at the time of Moses and in the Temple in Jerusalem in the time of King Solomon.  But because of the sin of Jerusalem, God is no longer manifestly present.  The temple vision of chapters 8-11 shows the Glory of God leaving the temple after which the people suffer the consequences of their sin in destruction and exile.


However, Ezekiel 40-48 brings an end to the book with a grand vision of Restoration with a new temple and the return of the Glory of God to abide among His people. The exact fulfillment is more than a little complicated in seeking to apply it to a restored Jerusalem after the exile, to a millennial period at the return of Christ, or to the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 and 22.  The problem with the latter is that John specifically says there is no temple there (Revelation 21:22).


Regardless of the interpretation you believe best fits Ezekiel’s restored temple, what is clear is that the unified message of the Bible looks to a glorious time leading into eternity as God and His people live in uninterrupted fellowship, a people that embraces more than just Israel, but people from every nation who trust in the Crucified and Risen Savior.


I hope you will be motivated to read Ezekiel and taste the holiness and grace of God in this powerful section of the Bible.  Seventy times in Ezekiel, whether in judgment or mercy, the refrain is found with only slight variation, Then you shall know that I am the LORD! Jesus uses similar langauge in John 17:3 as He prays, And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. My prayer is that you have or will come to know Him in His grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

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