I teach measurement as the first introduction to science, technology, engineering and math activities at our academy of hands-on, minds-on learning. We begin with that presentation because of it’s relevance to everything else we will teach our students to do in the succeeding 25 hours they are with us. For how can we know if we get it right if we do not measure? Mm.
The eleventh chapter is so full of thoughts, images and Truth in revealing Jesus, that we will also begin with THE measurement O f our Lord as directed here in the first two verses. Let’s camp on just the first few words…as Christ is revealed as Truth, the One and Only.
“I was given a stick for a measuring rod and told, ‘Get up and measure God’s Temple and Altar and everyone worshiping in it.'”
Revelation 11, The Message
What is not measured is not evaluated as important. Yes, this is a teacher talking but hear me out. I went to Matthew Henry for help and found this to be true with God, Himself. Let’s consider what the angel of the Lord told him to measure. This prophetical passage about measuring the temple is a plain reference to what we find in Ezekiel’s vision, Ezek. 40:3 But how to understand either the one or the other is not so easy. Here are three thoughts:
1. For the preservation of it in those times of public danger and calamity that are here foretold?
2. For its trial; that it may be seen how far it agrees with the standard, or pattern, in the mount?
3. For its reformation; that what is redundant, deficient, or changed, may be regulated according to the true model?
Let’s go deeper into HOW it is to be measured…
1. The temple; the gospel church (we are the temple of God, not a building remember) in general. How have we been built, so constituted or governed? Has it been as God’s Word, the gospel rule directs? Has it been too narrow or too large, the door too wide or too straight? Mm.
2. The altar. The place of the most solemn acts of worship of prayer, repentance and sacrifice. Do we lay it all on the altar as the old hymn says? Does the church have true altars, a physical place to lay down our lives, to repent, to hear God speak, to listen for our “marching orders” from our King? Do we take Christ for our altar, and lay down all our offerings at His feet for His glory, not holding anything back? Is our altar a holy, reverent place to worship God in the Spirit and in truth.
3. The worshipers too must be measured, whether they make God’s glory their end and his word their rule, in all their acts of worship; and whether they come to God with suitable affections, and whether their conversation and lives become a reflection of the gospel. Truth.
Wow. Yes, measurement is important. Now, notice what is NOT to be measured…
“Exclude the outside court; don’t measure it. It’s been handed over to non-Jewish outsiders. They’ll desecrate the Holy City for forty-two months.” Revelation 11:2, The Message
“This was no part of the temple, according to the model either of Solomon or Zerubbabel, and therefore God would have no regard to it. He would not mark it out for preservation; but as it was designed for the Gentiles, to bring pagan ceremonies and customs and to annex them to the gospel churches, so Christ abandoned it to them, to be used as they pleased; and both that and the city were trodden under foot for a certain time—forty and two months, which some would have to be the whole time of the reign of antichrist.” –Commentary by Matthew Henry
Figuratively speaking, those who worship hypocritically are those who don’t come inside, to the heart of God and worship Him alone, listening for His mere whisper to us in the holy of holiest…in the veil…where God resides. I want to be where God is, don’t you? We do not want to be found in the “outer courts”, beyond the measurement, beyond the center of His love, mercy and grace.
What do we learn?
–God will have a temple and an altar in the world, till the end of time.
–He has a strict regard to this temple, and observes how every thing is managed in it.
–Those who worship in the outer court will be rejected, and only those who worship within the veil accepted.
–The holy city, the visible church, is very much trampled upon in the world. But…
–The desolations of the church are for a limited time, and for a short time, and she shall be delivered out of all her troubles.
–Those who worship in the outer court either worship in a false manner or with hypocritical hearts. These are rejected of God, and will be found among his enemies.
Dear Heavenly Father, We are in need of measuring and we repent for not measuring up to Your standards. We ask for forgiveness and a renewed mind, heart and soul. You know our hearts. May our hearts be pure in praise to You. You deserve nothing less. Thank you for teaching us. Thank you for listening to our prayers and cries for help for our lost family members. Now, we will meditate, “chew on” this passage of evaluation all day long. Speak to our hearts, Lord…we are listening. In Jesus Name, Amen