In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was struck down, on that very day, the hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me to the city. In visions of God he brought me to the land of Israel, and set me down on a very high mountain, on which was a structure like a city to the south. When he brought me there, behold, there was a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand. ~Ezekiel 40:1-3
Notice every detail, because Ezekiel did. As chapter 40 begins and continues for three chapters, Ezekiel is given a vision of God’s plan for his Temple. Every gate, every wall, every room, every table is assigned by God and carefully measured by the reed in his hand. This is the Temple in which God would dwell in the midst of his people. Who would build it, or when, is not mentioned, but the measurements are meticulous. It would be built.
To the time of Ezekiel, there had been the tabernacle of Moses and the temple of Solomon. Following the exile, there would be a temple rebuilt, and then Herod’s Temple, which stood at the time of Jesus, but was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. Since then, only one temple has been raised, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1Corinthians 6:19-20). I need only note the care to which God commanded Ezekiel to measure this Temple to understand it is me who is being measured.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. ~Psalm 139:13-14
Look in the mirror and see the wonder of one created in the image of God. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~Ephesians 2:10
Creator God, what an amazing world. Just the idea that I am here amazes me. In the corner of this vast universe, You pay attention to me. And I pay attention to You. Sometimes. How can the Creator of the universe love me so deeply, and I take You for granted all too often. You know the beginning and the end. You set the foundations of the world and write Your story in history. We open Your Word and we find truth to live by and a future to hope for.
Your church is the future, the body of Christ who will make the mystery of grace known in this world. I stand beside You, God, because You are the author of life and You have the Last Word. What You say happens. I will listen to Your Word, and I will follow it, because Your Word is worthy of my trust. How great is my God.