READ: Ezekiel 43-44
THINK: The description of the temple is certainly intricate and grand. It's not hard to believe that it's considered a holy place. In fact, God reveals to Ezekiel that the foundational "law of the temple" (43:12) is holiness. In reference to God's character and presence, holiness implies purity, perfection, completeness and separation from evil. But God isn't nearly as concerned about a structure-even a holy one-as He is about your life. If you're a follower of Christ, your body is a living temple of God's Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). That doesn't mean you're perfect, but it means that you rely totally on God as you strive for moral purity, personal integrity, spiritual wholeness, separation from evil and dedication to His purposes.
RESPOND: How is the description of God's glory in chapter 43 different from the scenario in chapters 8-11? (See 43:5 note.) Why did God's glory leave before? With the permanent return of God's glory, how will people's practices differ from the past (43:7-9)? According to 43:7, what is God's ultimate plan? What's "the law of the temple" (43:12), and why does it require repentance and a change of heart on the people's part? (See 43:12 note.) Why and how does this "law" apply to individual Christians today? (See 43:12 note.) Why is the prospect of resuming the ritual of animal sacrifices a perplexing issue to many scholars and interpreters of Scripture? (See 43:18-27 note.) What would the Levite ministers be restricted from doing and why (44:10-14)? Why would Zadok's descendants have the privilege of serving God directly in a priestly role (44:15-16), and how are they an example to all God's people? (See 44:15 note.) According to 44:23, what are godly leaders supposed to teach the people?
PRAY: Give thanks for the comfort, inspiration and power of God's presence. Ask Him to teach you to distinguish between the holy and the common-things that truly honor Him and serve His purposes, and things that don't.
ACT: Strive to live in a way that's worthy of God's presence and characterized by His power. This means practicing holiness in every aspect of your life by demonstrating uncompromising purity and integrity. It means deliberately avoiding evil motives and behaviors and actively pursuing God's purposes in all things.
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