September 10 (Daily reading: Ezekiel 43-45) We remember that God’s glory came in and filled the temple after Solomon had built it. But when God’s judgment came and Judah was taken away into exile, God’s glory left the temple. The people made a terrible mistake when they believed that they could not be conquered because the temple was in Jerusalem. They put their confidence in a building while their lives were in rebellion against the One that the building represented.
In Ezekiel vision of the rebuilding of the temple, God’s glory returned. “And the glory of the LORD came into the house…And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house” (43:4-5). The temple represented God’s glory and presence among His people. God said to Ezekiel: “Son of man, this is the place of My throne…where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever” (43:7).
In chapters 44 to 48, Ezekiel makes multiple references to a prince. There were leaders in the postexilic period, after the refugees returned to the land of promise. Some, like Nehemiah, were called governor. One of the earliest governors appointed by Cyrus was Sheshbazzar, who was called “the prince of Judah” (Ezra 1:8). But none of these leaders seem to fit the description of the prince in Ezekiel’s vision. This leads us to consider the possibility that these references to a prince are messianic in nature. Writing about Christ and the tabernacle (which preceded the temple and has the same significance), the Hebrews author wrote: “He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands” (Heb. 9:11). It is in relationship to Christ, the “Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6), that we will know the true presence of God.
– Al Gary