“Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth before my eyes as they went out, with the wheels beside them. And they stood at the entrance of the east gate of the house of the Lord, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.” (10:18-19)
The temple of the LORD has been turned into a site of pagan worship. His presence and glory stayed longer than I would have, but now His ride is here and He rollin’ out!
You know what kinds of gods are confined to temple spaces? Lame ones. Local celebrities with limited powers. Those guys don’t have a whirling-wheels, four-faced, four-creature chariot.
In chapter 9, the LORD commissions a man in linen to mark everyone grieved by what’s happening in the temple. They will be protected by the coming wrath. The LORD is with them, to protect them. He is with the exiles, and His Presence is physically/symbolically leaving to be with them. To show that He is with His people not confined to a space, especially one that’s been hijacked.
Since that moment in history, the physical real estate of that temple land has been handed around by many earthly powers. Empires, religious groups… they all want a piece of that action. But, do you know, the next time we see a symbol of fire over something, indicating the Presence of the Glory of God it’s in Acts 2?
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.” (Acts 2:1-3)
The thing which made the temple Holy was the Presence of God. Nations can tug-of-war with it now, but God lives in His people, and everywhere. He went to be with His people. The Ones who don’t give in the idols and cultural influence.
This story has always grieved me, because of the sad end-of-an-era nature, where the LORD had prominence. He loved His people, led them in wisdom and they rejected Him. It’s heart breaking. But now, I see it’s also full of hope.
Jesus suffered outside the city for us. Thousands of years of us pushing Him out or choosing garbage over Him, and He still comes for us and saves.
Let’s praise Him together today.