For an introduction to this series, click here.
Oct. 14, 2006
Chapter 42 is basically more of the same that we saw in chapters 40-41: a delineation of the dimensions of the future Temple. In chapter 43, Zeke sees God's presence fill the temple. Here we learn for sure that this Temple is the one that will be used in the eternal kingdom, because in 43:7 we read, "this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever." Yes, taken out of context that verse could be interpreted to refer to Christ in the midst of the church. But my question is, what are all the dimensions in the previous three chapters signifying in the church?
In chapter 44 God outlines the priesthood that will serve in the Temple. Only the family of Zadok, who was the faithful priest under David, will be allowed to minister in the Temple, because they were faithful to God through all the years that Israel was in sin. Whether this is the resurrected members of Zadok's family or the actual descendants of Zadok (a combination of these is also possible) they will be blessed for their faithfulness. The word to the rest of the Levites is a warning for us today, as well:
"Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn concerning them, declares the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their punishment. They shall not come near to me, to serve me as priest, nor come near any of my holy things and the things that are most holy, but they shall bear their shame and the abominations that they have committed. Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the temple, and to do all its service and all that is to be done in it." (44:12-14, ESV)
How does this square with the topic we talked about last week, about the fact that every man is punished for his own sins? I don't really know. As I said, some of these people could be the actual people who disobeyed in their resurrected bodies. If David is going to be God's special prince for Israel, then it naturally follows that other people will be resurrected to live in the eternal kingdom as well. That's exciting to think about: being a part of the same kingdom as David, Zadok, Ezekiel and so many more. It humbles me just to be discussing such unspeakable things. The blessings that God will pour out on His people are just amazing. I know this is way off topic, but it is reality. We are eternal beings with an eternal destiny. God calls all who will to come to Him.