Friday, March 27, 2009

Ever Increasing Glory

The book of Ezekiel gives us an extraordinary insight into the passion of God in wanting to dwell amongst His people. In Ezekiel Chapter 10 we see God moving throughout the Temple before reluctantly departing altogether. In a bizarre display, He moves from above the Cherubim within the Holy of Holies to the threshold of the Temple, then from the Threshold of the Temple back to above the Cherubim. Then from above the Cherubim again, to the East Gate of the Temple, before departing the Temple for the Mountain outside.

The prophet Ezekiel is at pains to highlight the reluctance of God in departing from amongst His people. God desires to remain amongst his people, but the reality is that the people continue their religious practices, unaware that the Temple is empty. Ezekiel highlights the heartbreaking truth that the people never noticed God when He was in the Temple and now, once again, the Glory of the Lord has departed. A Godless Temple makes a Godless people comfortable.

In chapter 47 the prophet Ezekiel describes in another vision a temple with water streaming out from under the threshold of the Temple and heading in an easterly direction. In the vision he measures the water which appears to get deeper & wider the further from the Temple it goes. When it finally enters the Dead Sea it transforms into a haven for living creatures. This ever increasing River of Life running from the Temple refreshes all that it comes into contact with. It flows deeper & wider the further from the Temple it flows and refreshes all who come into contact with it.

Almost 600 years later during the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stands up and addresses the crowd in Jerusalem saying “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scriptures has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him, were later to receive”.

The Temple the prophet Ezekiel saw in his vision with streams of living water flowing in an ever increasing measure is the New Covenant believer. No longer does God dwell in buildings made of human hands, He dwells within people fashioned from the clay by the hands of God, and out of these people flows an ever increasing glory that brings life & refreshing.

In 2 Corinthians 3 the Apostle Paul describes the Glory of the New Covenant as an ever increasing Glory. There are no limits, it continues on without any bounds. From within the New Covenant believer flows this ever increasing Glory of the New Covenant!

My soul thirsts.

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