Throughout Ezekiel we’ve seen God at work for one purpose. It’s the same as His purpose throughout the whole of the Bible, and all of history, in fact. He will redeem a holy people for Himself, and He will dwell with them forever. They will be His people and He will be their God.
Ezekiel continues his tour of the temple (ch.46), and is told that the Lord doesn’t change. He will meet with His people, prince or pauper, in His holy Temple. And every day, the blood of a perfect Lamb, slain in their place, will remind them of their standing before their God (v.13).
And from the Temple will flow the water of life (47.1-12), a river deep and wide enough for all who will come. This river that will transform our bitter world, as God makes it new in Jesus. The river that will bring food and healing for all the nations (v.12, cf. Rev 22.1-2)
Now Ezekiel hears the news he’s perhaps been longing to hear (47.13-48.29). There will be room for all God’s people (47.13-23). None will be left out. All those who are the Lord’s will be given the space marked out for them.
And there’s more. For they won’t be alone. The defining characteristic of this place is not its impressive size, or the number of people there. It will be the presence of the Lord with His people (v.35). Forever.
Ezekiel probably started his book in sadness and self-pity. He must have felt that his life was a waste, his hopes of serving as priest in the Jerusalem Temple dashed, and the hopes of his people for knowing the mercy of God hanging by a thread. He finishes this chapter, though, literally in Heaven. Where the Lord is is with His people. He will never leave them, nor foresake them. As we face the struggles, trials and joys of life, our hope must always be the same as Ezekiel’s. God is at work in Jesus, so that we might be His people, and He might be our God. The Lord is there (48.35). Forever.
Treasure this book. Don’t be frightened by its strange visions, nor put off by the details of life lived so long ago. Don’t miss out on the thrilling picture of God’s new Gospel world in the details of the temple’s walls or doors. Ezekiel brings us, above all, a vision of God, majestic, holy, merciful and totally faithful. Ezekiel name, by the way, “may the Lord strengthen”. May the Lord strengthen us as we feed upon this, His Word.