Yes, the one in the lion’s den…

Daniel is a prophet of God who not only has visions from God, God has gifted him with abilities to interpret other people’s visions and dreams with understanding and wisdom.  All this is from God to protect his people while in captivity by the Babylonians who took them away from the life they once lived. God went with them.

Images generated by the book of Daniel have been percolating through the daily experiences of the people of God for well over two thousand years now, producing a richly aromatic brew stimulating God’s people to obey and trust their sovereign God.

Daniel teaches us that obedience to God in the pressures and stresses of day-by-day living and trust in God’s ways in the large sweep of history are always at risk, but especially in times of suffering and persecution.  Obedience to God is difficult when we are bullied into compliance to the God-ignoring culture out of sheer survival.  Trust in God is likewise at risk of being abandoned in favor of the glamorous seductions of might and size.

According to Eugene Peterson, Introduction to Daniel, The Message: “Daniel was written out of just such times.  There was little or no observable evidence in the circumstances to commend against-the-stream obedience or overarching trust.  But Daniel’s stories and visions have supplied what that society did not—could not—give.  Century after century, Daniel has shot adrenaline into the veins of God-obedience and put backbone into God-trust.”

Daniel is composed of stories and visions equally.  “The stories tell of souls living faithfully in obedience to God in a time of adversity.  The visions are wide-screen renditions of God sovereignty worked out among nations who couldn’t care less about him.  Six soul stories, four sovereignty visions.” (Peterson)

“The six soul-surviving stories nourish a commitment to integrity and perseverance right now.  Very few of us live in settings congenial to God-loyalty and among people who affirm a costly discipleship  Hardly a day goes by that we do not have to choose between compliance to what is expedient and loyalty to our Lord.  the stories keep us alert to what is at stake day by day, hour by hour.”  (Peterson)

“The four visions of God history-saving ways nourish hope in God during times when world events seem to put God in eclipse.  The visions are difficult to understand, written as they are in a deliberately cryptic style (apocalyptic).” (Peterson)

“From time to time they have been subjected to intense study and explanation.  But for the first reading, perhaps it is better simply to let the strange symbolic figures give witness to the large historical truth that eclipses the daily accumulation of historical facts reported by our news media, namely, that God is sovereign.  In the course of all the noise and shuffling, strutting and posing, of arrogant rulers and nations that we call history, with the consequent troubles to us all, God is serenely sovereign; we can trust him to bring all things and people under his rule.” (Peterson)

“There are always some of us who want to concentrate on the soul, and others of us who want to deal with the big issues of history.  Daniel is one of our primary documents for keeping it all together—the personal and the political, the present and the future, the soul and society.” (Peterson)

I’m excited to learn from Daniel who dared to stand firm in his faith of God.  This young man was thoroughly convinced God was sovereign and eternally in control.  I’m expectant to hear from God, going beyond what we first learned in our Sunday School classes of long ago that only touched the surface of the power of God. 

Stay focused on God in Daniel and his friends for that is the greater story of truth.  Daniel wouldn’t want it any other way!

Daniel 1, The Message

Daniel Was Gifted by God

1-2 It was the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon declared war on Jerusalem and besieged the city. The Master handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to him, along with some of the furnishings from the Temple of God. Nebuchadnezzar took king and furnishings to the country of Babylon, the ancient Shinar. He put the furnishings in the sacred treasury.

3-5 The king told Ashpenaz, head of the palace staff, to get some Israelites from the royal family and nobility—young men who were healthy and handsome, intelligent and well-educated, good prospects for leadership positions in the government, perfect specimens!—and indoctrinate them in the Babylonian language and the lore of magic and fortunetelling. The king then ordered that they be served from the same menu as the royal table—the best food, the finest wine. After three years of training they would be given positions in the king’s court.

6-7 Four young men from Judah—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—were among those selected. The head of the palace staff gave them Babylonian names: Daniel was named Belteshazzar, Hananiah was named Shadrach, Mishael was named Meshach, Azariah was named Abednego.

8-10 But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the palace staff, by God’s grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, “I’m afraid of what my master the king will do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he’ll have my head!”

11-13 But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: “Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see.”

14-16 The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked better and more robust than all the others who had been eating from the royal menu. So the steward continued to exempt them from the royal menu of food and drink and served them only vegetables.

17-19 God gave these four young men knowledge and skill in both books and life. In addition, Daniel was gifted in understanding all sorts of visions and dreams. At the end of the time set by the king for their training, the head of the royal staff brought them in to Nebuchadnezzar. When the king interviewed them, he found them far superior to all the other young men. None were a match for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

19-20 And so they took their place in the king’s service. Whenever the king consulted them on anything, on books or on life, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom put together.

21 Daniel continued in the king’s service until the first year in the reign of King Cyrus.


So far, so good!  These young men of God dare to cling to God and trust in His ways. 

Interesting to note:

  • No matter how anyone viewed the fall of Jerusalem, the idols seemed to have won; actually, the Lord won the victory! He kept his covenant with Israel—he fulfilled his promises.
  • Daniel and his three friends seem to have been taken in 605 B.C., when they were probably fifteen or sixteen years old.
  • The majority of God’s people have not always followed the Lord and kept His commandments. Always the “faithful remnant” within the Jewish nation has come through the trials and judgments to maintain the divine covenant and make a new beginning.  Daniel is different.  Daniel is one of the faithful remnant.
  • Daniel could have accepted his new society—but he did not.  God was with Daniel.
  • The name of the true and living God in each of the names of these young men was replaced by the names of the false gods of Babylon; but would we expect unbelievers to do anything else?

Daniel teaches us how to respond when faced with oppression:

  • The second step was to be gracious toward those in authority. (Remember the story of Joseph?)
  • The first step for these young men in solving their problem and being transformers was giving themselves wholly to the Lord. Daniel’s heart—the totality of his being—belonged to God, as did the hearts of his friends.  (See Romans 12 for us)
  • Convictions sometimes require creative negotiations led by God’s wisdom. Daniel and his friends were courteous and didn’t try to get others into trouble. They had a meek and quiet spirit. They saw the challenge as an opportunity to prove God and glorify His name.

Unconsciously directed by God, the attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion, and God did the rest. 

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way!  God provides where He guides.


I will trust what you say and quickly obey with all that is in me!  Even when it is hard.  I know you will help me.

In Jesus Name, Amen

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It’s the last chapter of Ezekiel!  Let’s recap…

(Written by Eugene Peterson, The Message)

Catastrophe strikes and a person’s world falls apart.  People respond variously, but two of the more common responses are denial and despair.  Denial refuses to acknowledge the catastrophe.  It shuts its eyes tight or looks the other way; it manages to act as if everything is going to be just fine; it takes refuge in distractions and lies and fantasies.

Despair is paralyzed by the catastrophe and accepts it as the end of the world.  It is unwilling to do anything, concluding that life for all intents and purposes is over.  Despair listlessly closes its eyes to a world in which all the color has drained out, a world gone dead.

Ezekiel is our master at dealing with catastrophe.  When catastrophe struck—it was sixth century B.C. invasion of Israel by Babylon—denial was the primary response.  Ezekiel found himself living among a people of God who (astonishingly like us!) stubbornly refused to see what was right before their eyes (the denial crowd).  There were also some who were unwilling to see anything other than what was right before their eyes (the despair crowd).

But Ezekiel saw.  He saw what the people with whom he lived either couldn’t or wouldn’t see.  He saw in wild and unforgettable images, elaborated in exuberant detail—God at work in a catastrophic era.  The denial people refused to see that the catastrophe was in fact catastrophic!  How could it be?  God wouldn’t let anything that bad happen to them.  Ezekiel showed them.  He showed them that, yes, there WAS catastrophe, but GOD was at work in the catastrophe, sovereignly USING the catastrophe.  He showed them so that they would be able to EMBRACE God in the worst of time.

The despair people, overwhelmed by the devastation, refused to see that life was worth living.  How could it be?  They had lost everything, or would soon—country, Temple freedom, and many, many lives.  Ezekiel showed them.  He showed them that God was and would be at work in the wreckage and rubble, sovereignly USING the disaster to create a new people of God.

Whether through denial or despair, the people of God nearly lost the identity as a people of God.  But they didn’t.  God’s people emerged from that catastrophic century robust and whole.  And the reason, in large part, was Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 48, The Message

The Sanctuary of God at the Center

“These are the tribes:

Dan: one portion, along the northern boundary, following the Hethlon road that turns off to the entrance of Hamath as far as Hazor-enon so that the territory of Damascus lies to the north alongside Hamath, the northern border stretching from east to west.

Asher: one portion, bordering Dan from east to west.

Naphtali: one portion, bordering Asher from east to west.

Manasseh: one portion, bordering Naphtali from east to west.

Ephraim: one portion, bordering Manasseh from east to west.

Reuben: one portion, bordering Ephraim from east to west.

Judah: one portion, bordering Reuben from east to west.

8-9 Bordering Judah from east to west is the consecrated area that you will set aside as holy: a square approximately seven by seven miles, with the Sanctuary set at the center. The consecrated area reserved for God is to be seven miles long and a little less than three miles wide.

10-12 “This is how it will be parceled out. The priest will get the area measuring seven miles on the north and south boundaries, with a width of a little more than three miles at the east and west boundaries. The Sanctuary of God will be at the center. This is for the consecrated priests, the Zadokites who stayed true in their service to me and didn’t get off track as the Levites did when Israel wandered off the main road. This is their special gift, a gift from the land itself, most holy ground, bordering the section of the Levites.

13-14 The Levites get a section equal in size to that of the priests, roughly seven by three miles. They are not permitted to sell or trade any of it. It’s the choice part of the land, to say nothing of being holy to God.

15-19 “What’s left of the ‘sacred square’—each side measures out at seven miles by a mile and a half—is for ordinary use: the city and its buildings with open country around it, but the city at the center. The north, south, east, and west sides of the city are each about a mile and a half in length. A strip of pasture, one hundred twenty-five yards wide, will border the city on all sides. The remainder of this portion, three miles of countryside to the east and to the west of the sacred precinct, is for farming. It will supply food for the city. Workers from all the tribes of Israel will serve as field hands to farm the land.

20 “This dedicated area, set apart for holy purposes, will be a square, seven miles by seven miles, a ‘holy square,’ which includes the part set aside for the city.

21-22 “The rest of this land, the country stretching east to the Jordan and west to the Mediterranean from the seven-mile sides of the ‘holy square,’ belongs to the prince. His land is sandwiched between the tribal portions north and south, and goes out both east and west from the ‘sacred square’ with its Temple at the center. The land set aside for the Levites on one side and the city on the other is in the middle of the territory assigned to the prince. The ‘sacred square’ is flanked east and west by the prince’s land and bordered on the north and south by the territories of Judah and Benjamin, respectively.

23 “And then the rest of the tribes:

Benjamin: one portion, stretching from the eastern to the western boundary.

24 Simeon: one portion, bordering Benjamin from east to west.

25 Issachar: one portion, bordering Simeon from east to west.

26 Zebulun: one portion, bordering Issachar from east to west.

27 Gad: one portion, bordering Zebulun from east to west.

28 “The southern boundary of Gad will run south from Tamar to the waters of Meribah-kadesh, along the Brook of Egypt and then out to the Great Mediterranean Sea.

29 This is the land that you are to divide up among the tribes of Israel as their inheritance. These are their portions.” Decree of God, the Master.

* * *

30-31 “These are the gates of the city. On the north side, which is 2,250 yards long (the gates of the city are named after the tribes of Israel), three gates: the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah, the gate of Levi.

32 “On the east side, measuring 2,250 yards, three gates: the gate of Joseph, the gate of Benjamin, the gate of Dan.

33 “On the south side, measuring 2,250 yards, three gates: the gate of Simeon, the gate of Issachar, the gate of Zebulun.

34 “On the west side, measuring 2,250 yards, three gates: the gate of Gad, the gate of Asher, the gate of Naphtali.

35 “The four sides of the city measure to a total of nearly six miles.

“From now on the name of the city will be Yahweh-Shammah:



God called Ezekiel, priest and prophet, to lead His people through it all, with the ultimate message that God-Is-There—at the center.  God was, is and always will be there for all people who call on His Name and trust Him.  God’s Holy City was design for God to at the Center, because at the center of life, “God-Is-There.”  We can neither deny or be in despair when we truly believe that God is there. 

God is here!  God sent His Son, Jesus, to leave heaven and move into the neighborhood of humanity to remind us that God is with us!  God loves us.  God heals, provides, and protects all who believe.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16. This is God’s Way to reconcile us to Him.  We who believe are now the Temple in which God’s Holy Spirit resides and abides!

Interestingly to note, the new name of the City, GOD-IS-THERE, Jehovah Shammah is one of seven compound names of Jehovah found in the Old Testament:

Jehovah Jireh— “The-LORD-Will-Provide” (Genesis 22:13, 14)

Jehovah Rapha— “the LORD who heals” (Exodus. 15:26)

Jehovah Shalom— “The-LORD-Is-Peace” (Judges 6:24)

Jehovah Tsidkenu— “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:6)

Jehovah Shammah— “THE LORD IS THERE” (Ezekiel 48:35)

Jehovah Nissi— “The-LORD-Is-My-Banner” (Exodus 17:8–15)

Jehovah Ra’ah— “the LORD is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1)

What would happen if we read over this list daily—gratefully praising God!

Do we really believe what God says about Himself really real? 

Our response to life will show who or what is at the center and be the answer!  There is a reason God’s Word reminds us often…“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” –Jesus, Luke 6:45

So, we pause to ask ourselves, when the waves of cataclysmic proportions overwhelm us, how will we respond?  It will depend on who is at the center of our being.  How will we let God use the catastrophes in our lives for His glory and for our good?  Will we embrace God through it all—or not? Are we teachable?  Or will we succumb to denial or despair?  God’s gift of free will allows us to choose.  Choose wisely, my friends, choose wisely…I’m praying for all of us.


Thank you for being with me, always there, sitting right beside me, with your banner of protection over me, your table of provisions in front of me.  You have redeemed me.  You have brought me out of trouble time and time again.  You have forgiven me and forgotten my sins.  But I will never forget what you have done for me as you work your salvation in me and through me.  I’m yours and I am eternally grateful, Jehovah-Shammah!

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

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Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changes not, Thy compassion’s, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be…

We love the hymn but what is the story behind “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”?

In a Kentucky log cabin Thomas O. Chisholm was born in 1866. Even though he was not offered a formal education, Thomas succeeded academically. Beginning work at the age of sixteen, Thomas became a schoolteacher in the same schoolhouse that he was educated. He later became associate editor of the local newspaper and moved on to be an editor of the Pentecostal Herald in Louisville, Kentucky. He also made some poetical contributions of his own to other local newspapers. At the age of 26, Thomas made one of the most important decisions that he would make in his life when he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1893. In 1903, he was officially ordained a minister, but was forced to limit his years of service due to his poor health.

Throughout his life, Thomas wrote hundreds of poems. One such poem was based in Lamentations 3:22-23 where it says, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (ESV). Thomas eventually sent his work to a fellow minister and friend, William Runyan who configured a musical setting for the poem. George Beverly Shea was asked to sing the newly configured hymn on the Moody Bible Institute radio station.

A young student at Wheaton College at the time, Billy Graham was listening to the radio when he heard the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Soon after, he asked George Shea to sing it as part of his ministry of evangelism. Eventually through the many crusades put on by Billy Graham, the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” became internationally known.

Although Thomas Chisholm had suffered under poor health throughout his life, God’s faithfulness was evident to him. God has been faithful in the past, is faithful in the present and will continue to be faithful till the end of the age.  –Abby Forton, Geneva College

After seeing the kitchens in the temple (yesterday’s passage, chapter 46), Ezekiel noticed a trickle of water issuing from the Most Holy Place, past the altar on the south side. “The Man” shows him the purpose of the gushing waters that will feed the growth of the land in which he will divide among the twelve tribes of God’s people.

Wow, great is God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises indeed!

Ezekiel 47, The Message

Trees on Both Sides of the River

Now he brought me back to the entrance to the Temple. I saw water pouring out from under the Temple porch to the east (the Temple faced east). The water poured from the south side of the Temple, south of the altar. He then took me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the gate complex on the east. The water was gushing from under the south front of the Temple.

3-5 He walked to the east with a measuring tape and measured off fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water waist-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet. By now it was a river over my head, water to swim in, water no one could possibly walk through.

6-7 He said, “Son of man, have you had a good look?”

Then he took me back to the riverbank. While sitting on the bank, I noticed a lot of trees on both sides of the river.

8-10 He told me, “This water flows east, descends to the Arabah and then into the sea, the sea of stagnant waters. When it empties into those waters, the sea will become fresh. Wherever the river flows, life will flourish—great schools of fish—because the river is turning the salt sea into fresh water. Where the river flows, life abounds. Fishermen will stand shoulder to shoulder along the shore from En Gedi all the way north to En-eglaim, casting their nets. The sea will teem with fish of all kinds, like the fish of the Great Mediterranean.

11 “The swamps and marshes won’t become fresh. They’ll stay salty.

12 “But the river itself, on both banks, will grow fruit trees of all kinds. Their leaves won’t wither, the fruit won’t fail. Every month they’ll bear fresh fruit because the river from the Sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”

Divide Up This Land

13-14 A Message from God, the Master: “These are the boundaries by which you are to divide up the inheritance of the land for the twelve tribes of Israel, with Joseph getting two parcels. It is to be divided up equally. I swore in a solemn oath to give it to your ancestors, swore that this land would be your inheritance.

15-17 “These are the boundaries of the land:

The northern boundary runs from the Great Mediterranean Sea along the Hethlon road to where you turn off to the entrance of Hamath, Zedad, Berothah, and Sibraim, which lies between the territory of Damascus and the territory of Hamath, and on to Hazor-hatticon on the border of Hauran. The boundary runs from the Sea to Hazor-enon, with the territories of Damascus and Hamath to the north. That is the northern boundary.

18 The eastern boundary runs between Damascus and Hauran, down along the Jordan between Gilead and the land of Israel to the Eastern Sea as far as Tamar. This is the eastern boundary.

19 The southern boundary runs west from Tamar to the waters of Meribah-kadesh, along the Brook of Egypt, and out to the Great Mediterranean Sea. This is the southern boundary.

20 The western boundary is formed by the Great Mediterranean Sea north to where the road turns east toward the entrance to Hamath. This is the western boundary.

21-23 “Divide up this land among the twelve tribes of Israel. Divide it up as your inheritance, and include in it the resident aliens who have made themselves at home among you and now have children. Treat them as if they were born there, just like yourselves. They also get an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the resident alien lives, there he gets his inheritance. Decree of God, the Master.”


God is still faithful!

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Although we may sin, God is rich in mercy and continuously forgives his people of their many transgressions. He is the supplier of peace and His presence provides guidance. We can find true joy in Him and He provides us with strength to get us through each day with bright hope for tomorrow. This hope is our daily manna that provides sustained strength continuously. With each new morning that passes by, God brings new mercies, providing everything we need when we need it. Great is God’s never ceasing faithfulness!

Summer and winter, springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love

The core of this hymn is simple, yet it entails some beautifully constructed messages. Overall, the message of the song points to the amazing faithfulness of our Heavenly Father. He has been, is, and always will be compassionate and unchanging. In every season, in every aspect of creation, we can bear witness to his everlasting faithfulness.

Ezekiel learned that the river flowed to the Dead Sea where it brought new life to that forsaken area. The water from the temple would heal the Dead Sea as well as the rivers, and the water creatures would multiply wherever the waters came. The trees on the banks of the river would provide food each month and the leaves would be used for healing.

God sent His Son to breathe new life into us, deaden by sin!  “I AM the Living Water”, says Jesus, taking us deeper, as we wade into the water with Ezekiel to understand the depth of God’s love, mercy and grace! 

Remember, Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well in the heat of the day?  Here is a portion of that conversation—read all of John 4 and be blessed!

“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  John 4:7-13

This new life begins by believing and repenting of our sins in the Name of Jesus—THIS is where we step into the “water” of eternal life.  Sins forgiven.  From death to new life with Jesus! 

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

“Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, ‘Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”John 7:37-38


“The kingdom age will wrap up all the previous ages in God’s revelation of Himself and His purposes. The land will be like the garden of Eden, complete with a river of life and trees of life. The promises made to Abraham will be fulfilled, and his descendants will possess and enjoy their land. The Law of Moses will be obeyed from the heart, and the Lord will be worshiped and glorified. The Messiah that Israel rejected at His first coming will be received and honored and will reign over them. God will fulfill every kingdom promise found in the pages of the prophets!” –Warren Wiersbe


You are indeed the promise fulfilled!  You are Savior and you are Lord.  You are Living Water and Bread of Life.  You are my Hope for life eternal with You.  In the meantime, continue to teach me and I will follow.

In Jesus Name, for Your glory, Amen

I’m standing the promises of God…

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Cooking outside on a grill over an open fire with either gas logs or charcoal is a popular thing to do for most family gatherings.  Those who have more, want more, and therefore design outdoor kitchens that would rival what God is providing for His priests and their workers who serve!  Seriously…read on…

Ezekiel 46, The Message

1-3 “‘Message from God, the Master: The gate of the inside courtyard on the east is to be shut on the six working days, but open on the Sabbath. It is also to be open on the New Moon. The prince will enter through the entrance area of the gate complex and stand at the gateposts as the priests present his burnt offerings and peace offerings while he worships there on the porch. He will then leave, but the gate won’t be shut until evening. On Sabbaths and New Moons, the people are to worship before God at the outside entrance to that gate complex.

4-5 “‘The prince supplies for God the burnt offering for the Sabbath—six unblemished lambs and an unblemished ram. The grain offering to go with the ram is about five and a half gallons plus a gallon of oil, and a handful of grain for each lamb.

6-7 “‘At the New Moon he is to supply a bull calf, six lambs, and a ram, all without blemish. He will also supply five and a half gallons of grain offering and a gallon of oil for both ram and bull, and a handful of grain offering for each lamb.

“‘When the prince enters, he will go through the entrance vestibule of the gate complex and leave the same way.

9-10 “‘But when the people of the land come to worship God at the commanded feasts, those who enter through the north gate will exit from the south gate, and those who enter through the south gate will exit from the north gate. You don’t exit the gate through which you enter, but through the opposite gate. The prince is to be there, mingling with them, going in and out with them.

11 “‘At the festivals and the commanded feasts, the appropriate grain offering is five and a half gallons, with a gallon of oil for the bull and ram and a handful of grain for each lamb.

12 “‘When the prince brings a freewill offering to God, whether a burnt offering or a peace offering, the east gate is to be opened for him. He offers his burnt or peace offering the same as he does on the Sabbath. Then he leaves, and after he is out, the gate is shut.

13-15 “‘Every morning you are to bring a yearling lamb unblemished for a burnt offering to God. Also, every morning bring a grain offering of about a gallon of grain with a quart or so of oil to moisten it. Presenting this grain offering to God is standard procedure. The lamb, the grain offering, and the oil for the burnt offering are a regular daily ritual.

16-18 “‘A Message from God, the Master: If the prince deeds a gift from his inheritance to one of his sons, it stays in the family. But if he deeds a gift from his inheritance to a servant, the servant keeps it only until the year of liberation (the Jubilee year). After that, it comes back to the prince. His inheritance is only for his sons. It stays in the family. The prince must not take the inheritance from any of the people, dispossessing them of their land. He can give his sons only what he himself owns. None of my people are to be run off their land.’”

19-20 Then the man brought me through the north gate into the holy chambers assigned to the priests and showed me a back room to the west. He said, “This is the kitchen where the priests will cook the guilt offering and sin offering and bake the grain offering so that they won’t have to do it in the outside courtyard and endanger the unprepared people out there with The Holy.”

21-23 He proceeded to take me to the outside courtyard and around to each of its four corners. In each corner I observed another court. In each of the four corners of the outside courtyard were smaller courts sixty by forty-five feet, each the same size. On the inside walls of the courts was a stone shelf, and beneath the shelves, hearths for cooking.

24 He said, “These are the kitchens where those who serve in the Temple will cook the sacrifices of the people.”


Imagine the smell of grilling meat wafting up to the heavens. God must love grilled meat’s smell, too!  He directed his people to have and use outdoor kitchens!  So, grilling, we might say, is “heavenly”?  Only if it is a “burnt offering” of meat charred to God’s specifications.  “Well done” is the key.

After the sacrifice, the prince would leave the sanctuary just as he had come in. When the people come in to worship on the special feast days, they must exit by the gate opposite the one by which they entered (v. 9). Did this keep the flow of people moving?  Good plan!  God’s plans are always good.

The prince would not isolate himself from the people on the feast days but be a part of the crowd (v. 10). Interesting.  He would also oversee the sacrificial offerings procedures.  In Ezekiel’s vision, God wants to see dedicated, obedient people who follow his commandments for His glory and their good. 

Bottom line:  We say we love Jesus.  We are grateful for what He did on the cross to pay for our sins then rose from the grave by defeating death forever.  But how dedicated are we to obeying what God says and what Jesus taught clearly while He walked the earth?  Ah, this is where the meat hits the fire, right? 

The Lord is looking for those who are not only impressed with Him but who love Him enough to obey what He says.  “For the eyes of the LORD roam throughout the earth, so that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”  2 Chronicles 16:9 NASB  The verse goes on to say we are foolish if we are not dedicated to Him.

Are we completely dedicated to God? Is there an area of life we have not committed to Him? What sin still stays with us? Lust, gossip, selfishness, an unrepentant or unforgiving heart? We can talk to God about how we can overcome these sins.  He stands ready to help us and wants to be our strength by day and our song in the night. 

“The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14 NKJV


Thank you for saving my soul and making me whole again. Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in my life to help me walk in your ways.

In Jesus Name, for Your Glory, Amen

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Hidden behind the door of many homes is the reality of hardship.  Secret things happen that few want the world to know.  Yet, from some people (presently and historically) we are given the inside story, whether they want it told or not.

A devastated home isn’t always apparent on first impression, is it? Susanna Wesley was married to a preacher.  They had 10 children of which, two grew up to bring millions of souls to Christ. That would be John and Charles Wesley.  It’s a powerful story if you stop there, isn’t it?

But, behind the door of her home, hopeless conditions were the norm.  She married a man who couldn’t manage money.  They disagreed on everything from money to politics.  They had 19 children.  All except ten died in infancy.  Sam (her husband) left her to raise the children alone for long periods of time.  This was sometimes over something as simple as an argument.

One of their children was crippled.  Another couldn’t talk until he was nearly six years old.  Susanna herself was desperately sick most of her life.  There was no money for food or anything thing else.  Debt plagued them.

Sam was once thrown into debtor’s prison because their debt was so high, which doubled their problems.  Twice the homes they lived in were burned to the ground, losing everything they owned.  It was assumed that their church members did it because they were so mad at what Sam preached in the pulpit!  Someone slit their cow’s udders so they wouldn’t have milk, killed their dog, and burned their flax field!

When Susanna was young, she promised the Lord that for every hour she spent in entertainment, she would give to Him in prayer and in the Word.  Taking care of the house and raising so many kids made this commitment nearly impossible to fulfill. She had no time for entertainment or long hours in prayer!  She worked the gardens, milked the cow, schooled the children and managed the entire house herself.  So, she decided to instead give the Lord two hours a day in prayer!

She struggled to find a secret place to get away with Him.  So she advised her children that when they saw her with her apron over her head, that meant she was in prayer and couldn’t be disturbed.  She was devoted to her walk with Christ, praying for her children and knowledge in the Word no matter how hard life was.

One of her daughters got pregnant out of wedlock and the man never married her.  She was devastated, but remained steadfast in prayer for her daughter.

In the end, she knew that one day her hard life would be over and she alone would stand before the throne of God and give an account of how she lived her life.

We can be the best mom, wife, friend, person in the world and still have untold hardships.  We need to take Susanna’s example, flip our apron over our head and pray in the middle of it all. 

Back to the beginning of my story…

Her son’s John and Charles were powerhouses for the glory of the Lord.  John Wesley preached to nearly a million people in his day.  At the age of 70 he delivered the gospel message of salvation to 32,000 people- without the use of a microphone!  He brought revival everywhere he traveled!  His brother Charles wrote over 9000 hymns, many of which we still sing today.

Hidden behind the door of my home, I want our children to find a mom who prays diligently- no matter how busy or how.  (Written by Sharon Glasgow)

Susanna found her sacred space.

Where is your sacred space where you meet with God? 

Our relationship with God is the most important relationship we will ever have. 

Ezekiel 45, The Message

Sacred Space for God

1-4 “When you divide up the inheritance of the land, you must set aside part of the land as sacred space for God: approximately seven miles long by six miles wide, all of it holy ground. Within this rectangle, reserve a seven-hundred-fifty-foot square for the Sanctuary with a seventy-five-foot buffer zone surrounding it. Mark off within the sacred reserve a section seven miles long by three miles wide. The Sanctuary with its Holy of Holies will be placed there. This is where the priests will live, those who lead worship in the Sanctuary and serve God there. Their houses will be there along with The Holy Place.

“To the north of the sacred reserve, an area roughly seven miles long and two and a quarter miles wide will be set aside as land for the villages of the Levites who administer the affairs of worship in the Sanctuary.

“To the south of the sacred reserve, measure off a section seven miles long and about a mile and a half wide for the city itself, an area held in common by the whole family of Israel.

7-8 “The prince gets the land abutting the seven-mile east and west borders of the central sacred square, extending eastward toward the Jordan and westward toward the Mediterranean. This is the prince’s possession in Israel. My princes will no longer bully my people, running roughshod over them. They’ll respect the land as it has been allotted to the tribes.

9-12 “This is the Message of God, the Master: ‘I’ve put up with you long enough, princes of Israel! Quit bullying and taking advantage of my people. Do what’s just and right for a change. Use honest scales—honest weights and honest measures. Every pound must have sixteen ounces. Every gallon must measure four quarts. The ounce is the basic measure for both. And your coins must be honest—no wooden nickels!

Everyone in the Land Must Contribute

13-15 “‘These are the prescribed offerings you are to supply: one-sixtieth part of your wheat, one-sixtieth part of your barley, one-hundredth part of your oil, one sheep out of every two hundred from the lush pastures of Israel. These will be used for the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings for making the atonement sacrifices for the people. Decree of God, the Master.

16-17 “‘Everyone in the land must contribute to these special offerings that the prince in Israel will administer. It’s the prince’s job to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings at the Holy Festivals, the New Moons, and the Sabbaths—all the commanded feasts among the people of Israel. Sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings for making atonement for the people of Israel are his responsibility.

18-20 “‘This is the Message from God, the Master: On the first day of the first month, take an unblemished bull calf and purify the Sanctuary. The priest is to take blood from the sin offerings and rub it on the doorposts of the Temple, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the gate entrance to the inside courtyard. Repeat this ritual on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins without knowing it. In this way you make atonement for the Temple.

21 “‘On the fourteenth day of the first month, you will observe the Passover, a feast of seven days. During the feast you will eat bread made without yeast.

22-23 “‘On Passover, the prince supplies a bull as a sin offering for himself and all the people of the country. Each day for each of the seven days of the feast, he will supply seven bulls and seven rams unblemished as a burnt offering to God, and also each day a male goat.

24 “‘He will supply about five and a half gallons of grain offering and a gallon of oil for each bull and each ram.

25 “‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, and on each of the seven days of the feast, he is to supply the same materials for sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, and oil.’”


It’s complicated!  Whew!  This is my first thought as we read all the rules for worship while observing in gratitude what God has done for His people.  Their relationship with God did seem complicated.  Bulls, rams, goats and lambs, without blemish, not to be worshiped as idols, but slaughtered to atone (cover) the sins of the people—even those sins they didn’t know they were doing! 

Down through the ages, the priests and religious teachers became political and powerful and made it even more complicated.  They bullied their own people—God’s people.  The “sacred space” became more and more unholy because of the behaviors of God’s appointed priests and those who worked for them.  They made up their own rules as addendums to God’s rules in order to gain more power over the people while politically maneuvering the government  who oppressed them so they could use government officials to their advantage as well as stay under the radar of trouble.  “It’s complicated” was an understatement describing the muddied relationship God’s people had with Him just before God sent His Son to put an end to the ritual act of atonement for the greater act of redemption.

Atonement means to cover sins but does not remove sins.  Redemption is paying the price to remove the debt we owe for our sins.  Redemption is complete and final.  That’s why scripture says “we were bought at a price” for our sins.  (1 Corinthians 6:20)  This act of “buying us back” from the punishment we deserve, removed all our sin.  When we repent of our sins to Jesus our Redeemer, we are justified and forgiven as if our sins never happened.  “O, What A Savior!” indeed, we sing in grateful praise!

IT’S NOT COMPLICATED!  Really believe that what Jesus did to redeem us really happened and we are saved by his gift of grace.  Jesus forgives us—even when we don’t know what we are doing.  Jesus forgives our humbled, repentant, “I’m sorry for my sins and I want you, Jesus to be Lord of my life”.  Jesus not only redeems us, He gives us a new life—a life that leads to more life—life eternal with Him!  “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.”  (Ephesians 1:7-8)

Create a sacred space to meet with God each day.  It’s important to God and for us.  Our relationship with God through Jesus, His Son, is not complicated.  God wants us to love Him back like He loves us.  The more we realize the love God has for us the deeper our love for Him and others grows.  The gospel of John says, “We love Him because He first loved us.”  “God is love.”  God proves His love as He provides, heals, forgives, saves, protects, delivers us from evil and guides us on a new path.  The path won’t be easy but it is the pathway to glory—the sacred place—with God, the God we all crave from the depths of our souls.  God supplies our needs and fills hearts, minds and souls with His love, mercy, and grace.

It’s not complicated.  Come to Jesus for real life!

Throw that apron over your head, if you must, but get alone with God in a sacred space to grow in grace.  You won’t regret it! 

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, keeps me singing as I go…”


I believe.  You have proved your power to change lives and situations over and over to me.  I have seen your glory at work in my life and in the lives of those I love and cherish.  You are God.  You are Life.  You are my Redeemer.  You are Hope.  You are the One I trust with all my life.  I love our simple relationship that is forever.  We’re not complicated.  Thank you!

In Jesus Name, all for Your Glory, Amen

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As God’s servant and minister, I am a learner.  I want to learn and grow while serving Him so I can be more and more what God wants.  In my past, after formal education, I attended National Youth Worker Conventions and National Pastors Convention because it was guided by mentors of the faith.  Through the years, I attended many seminars, workshops, listening to powerful passionate messages about how hard the work is, how we as gospel tellers should take care of ourselves, how to expand our ministry outreach with all kinds of ideas for improvement.  But I must admit, I don’t recall  much being said about keeping it holy.

As we journey through what the prophets said in a time when God’s people turned from him and went their own way, worshiped idols and turned his sanctuary into nightclub of obscene behaviors, I’m beginning to understand the importance of commanding the new and improved, revised sanctuary rules, for the returning exiles.  The needed a national priest convention of sorts to relearn that their main work is keeping it holy.

God tells Ezekiel to tell His priests, “You haven’t taken care of my holy things.”  To further prove what God wants, He fires them!  God reassigns the work to those he can trust.  So, keeping it holy, must be imperative to growing in knowledge of who God is, what HE wants as so that there are no misunderstandings of what and who is holy. 

God is Holy.  God is the Most Holy.  It is God who makes us holy.  He sets us apart from the sin filled world and draws us to a place of holiness.   We are to make sure that the place of His Presence is a holy place by following what He says makes it holy.  Humble repentance of our sins in Jesus Name who paid the price for our sins is the beginning of keeping it holy.  Because of Jesus, that place where God’s Holy Presence comes to dwell is not a manmade structure but is now our hearts, minds and souls.  Our bodies are His Temple.  Are we keeping it holy?

Ezekiel 44, The Message

Sanctuary Rules

44 Then the man brought me back to the outside gate complex of the Sanctuary that faces east. But it was shut.

2-3 God spoke to me: “This gate is shut and it’s to stay shut. No one is to go through it because God, the God of Israel, has gone through it. It stays shut. Only the prince, because he’s the prince, may sit there to eat in the presence of God. He is to enter the gate complex through the porch and leave by the same way.”

The man led me through the north gate to the front of the Temple. I looked, and—oh!—the bright Glory of God filling the Temple of God! I fell on my face in worship.

God said to me, “Son of man, get a grip on yourself. Use your eyes, use your ears, pay careful attention to everything I tell you about the ordinances of this Temple of God, the way all the laws work, instructions regarding it and all the entrances and exits of the Sanctuary.

6-9 Tell this bunch of rebels, this family Israel, ‘Message of God, the Master: No more of these vile obscenities, Israel, dragging irreverent and unrepentant outsiders, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, into my Sanctuary, feeding them the sacrificial offerings as if it were the food for a neighborhood picnic. With all your vile obscenities, you’ve broken trust with me, the solemn covenant I made with you. You haven’t taken care of my holy things. You’ve hired out the work to foreigners who care nothing for this place, my Sanctuary. No irreverent and unrepentant aliens, uncircumcised in heart or flesh, not even the ones who live among Israelites, are to enter my Sanctuary.’

10-14 “The Levites who walked off and left me, along with everyone else—all Israel—who took up with all the no-god idols, will pay for everything they did wrong. From now on they’ll do only the menial work in the Sanctuary: guard the gates and help out with the Temple chores—and also kill the sacrificial animals for the people and serve them. Because they acted as priests to the no-god idols and made my people Israel stumble and fall, I’ve taken an oath to punish them. Decree of God, the Master. Yes, they’ll pay for what they’ve done. They’re fired from the priesthood. No longer will they come into my presence and take care of my holy things. No more access to The Holy Place! They’ll have to live with what they’ve done, carry the shame of their vile and obscene lives. From now on, their job is to sweep up and run errands. That’s it.

15-16 “But the Levitical priests who descend from Zadok, who faithfully took care of my Sanctuary when everyone else went off and left me, are going to come into my presence and serve me. They are going to carry out the priestly work of offering the solemn sacrifices of worship. Decree of God, the Master. They’re the only ones permitted to enter my Sanctuary. They’re the only ones to approach my table and serve me, accompanying me in my work.

17-19 “When they enter the gate complex of the inside courtyard, they are to dress in linen. No woolens are to be worn while serving at the gate complex of the inside courtyard or inside the Temple itself. They’re to wear linen turbans on their heads and linen underclothes—nothing that makes them sweat. When they go out into the outside courtyard where the people gather, they must first change out of the clothes they have been serving in, leaving them in the sacred rooms where they change to their everyday clothes, so that they don’t trivialize their holy work by the way they dress.

20 “They are to neither shave their heads nor let their hair become unkempt, but must keep their hair trimmed and neat.

21 No priest is to drink on the jobno wine while in the inside courtyard.

22 Priests are not to marry widows or divorcees, but only Israelite virgins or widows of priests.

23 Their job is to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, to show them how to discern between unclean and clean.

24 When there’s a difference of opinion, the priests will arbitrate. They’ll decide on the basis of my judgments, laws, and statutes. They are in charge of making sure the appointed feasts are honored and my Sabbaths kept holy in the ways I’ve commanded.

25-27 A priest must not contaminate himself by going near a corpse. But when the dead person is his father or mother, son or daughter, brother or unmarried sister, he can approach the dead. But after he has been purified, he must wait another seven days. Then, when he returns to the inside courtyard of the Sanctuary to do his priestly work in the Sanctuary, he must first offer a sin offering for himself. Decree of God, the Master.

28-30 “As to priests owning land, I am their inheritance. Don’t give any land in Israel to them. I am their ‘land,’ their inheritance. They’ll take their meals from the grain offerings, the sin offerings, and the guilt offerings. Everything in Israel offered to God in worship is theirs. The best of everything grown, plus all special gifts, comes to the priests. All that is given in worship to God goes to them. Serve them first. Serve from your best and your home will be blessed.

31 Priests are not to eat any meat from bird or animal unfit for ordinary human consumption, such as carcasses found dead on the road or in the field.”


According to God’s Word, keeping our lives holy means:

  • Give of our BEST to our God who gave His best for us.  No eating road kill.  No leftovers of our time but all our time and thought to God. 
  • Trust God.  He has our best interests at heart.
  • Do what God says.  God sees what lies ahead and has a plan for our good.
  • Get rid of what is in between God and us.  No idols.  Worship God alone.
  • Believe that Jesus came to save us from all sin and resulting death.  Repent of sin in His Holy Name and live forever with God!  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”  (See Romans 3:22-24)  But Jesus makes us holy again to God!
  • Allow God to daily transform our thinking so that our behaviors will be pleasing and holy unto Him.  (See Romans 12)
  • Ask for wisdom.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • Walk with God for He is Holy.  Micah, prophet of God, shouts; “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
  • Our blessed assurance is this—God is faithful.  His mercies are new each day.  His unchanging, relentless, transforming, unconditional love is forever.  There is nothing that we have done, are doing now that cannot be forgiven.  Run to God in Jesus Name right now! 

Keeping it real is keeping it holy!


Thank you for your words of wisdom, concern, and teaching of what keeping it holy looked like then and what it means to us now.  Help me today to keep it holy as I walk and talk with you.

In Jesus Name, Amen

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… We stand and lift up our hands
For the joy of the Lord is our strength
We bow down and worship Him now
How great, how awesome is He

… And together we sing

… Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory

… We stand and lift up our hands
For the joy of the Lord is our strength
We bow down and worship Him now
How great, how awesome is He

… And together we sing
And everyone sing

… Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory

… Yeah, it’s rising up all around
It’s the anthem of the Lord’s renown
It’s rising up all around
It’s the anthem of the Lord’s renown

… Together we sing
And everyone sing

… Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory

(By Chris Tomlin and Louie Gigilo)

May this song play in the background as we read what Ezekiel saw and experienced—God’s glory filling the Temple!

Ezekiel 43, The Message

The Meaning of the Temple

43 1-3 The man brought me to the east gate. Oh! The bright Glory of the God of Israel rivered out of the east sounding like the roar of floodwaters, and the earth itself glowed with the bright Glory. It looked just like what I had seen when he came to destroy the city, exactly like what I had seen earlier at the Kebar River. And again I fell, face to the ground.

4-5 The bright Glory of God poured into the Temple through the east gate. The Spirit put me on my feet and led me to the inside courtyard and—oh! the bright Glory of God filled the Temple!

6-9 I heard someone speaking to me from inside the Temple while the man stood beside me. He said, “Son of man, this is the place for my throne, the place I’ll plant my feet. This is the place where I’ll live with the Israelites forever. Neither the people of Israel nor their kings will ever again drag my holy name through the mud with their whoring and the no-god idols their kings set up at all the wayside shrines. When they set up their worship shrines right alongside mine with only a thin wall between them, they dragged my holy name through the mud with their obscene and vile worship. Is it any wonder that I destroyed them in anger? So let them get rid of their whoring ways and the stinking no-god idols introduced by their kings and I’ll move in and live with them forever.

10-11 “Son of man, tell the people of Israel all about the Temple so they’ll be dismayed by their wayward lives. Get them to go over the layout. That will bring them up short. Show them the whole plan of the Temple, its ins and outs, the proportions, the regulations, and the laws. Draw a picture so they can see the design and meaning and live by its design and intent.

12 This is the law of the Temple: As it radiates from the top of the mountain, everything around it becomes holy ground. Yes, this is law, the meaning, of the Temple.

* * *

13-14 “These are the dimensions of the altar, using the long (twenty-one-inch) ruler. The gutter at its base is twenty-one inches deep and twenty-one inches wide, with a four-inch lip around its edge.

14-15 “The height of the altar is three and a half feet from the base to the first ledge and twenty inches wide. From the first ledge to the second ledge it is seven feet high and twenty-one inches wide. The altar hearth is another seven feet high. Four horns stick upward from the hearth twenty-one inches high.

16-17 “The top of the altar, the hearth, is square, twenty-one by twenty-one feet. The upper ledge is also square, twenty-four and a half feet on each side, with a ten-and-a-half-inch lip and a twenty-one-inch-wide gutter all the way around.

The steps of the altar ascend from the east.”

18 Then the man said to me, “Son of man, God, the Master, says: ‘These are the ordinances for conduct at the altar when it is built, for sacrificing burnt offerings and sprinkling blood on it.

19-21 “‘For a sin offering, give a bull to the priests, the Levitical priests who are from the family of Zadok who come into my presence to serve me. Take some of its blood and smear it on the four horns of the altar that project from the four corners of the top ledge and all around the lip. That’s to purify the altar and make it fit for the sacrifice. Then take the bull for the sin offerings and burn it in the place set aside for this in the courtyard outside the Sanctuary.

22-24 “‘On the second day, offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering. Purify the altar the same as you purified it for the bull. Then, when you have purified it, offer a bull without blemish and a ram without blemish from the flock. Present them before God. Sprinkle salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to God.

25-26 “‘For seven days, prepare a goat for a sin offering daily, and also a bull and a ram from the flock, animals without blemish. For seven days the priests are to get the altar ready for its work, purifying it. This is how you dedicate it.

27 “‘After these seven days of dedication, from the eighth day on, the priests will present your burnt offerings and your peace offerings. And I’ll accept you with pleasure, with delight! Decree of God, the Master.’”


Holy Ground

Ezekiel had seen the glory depart from the temple, but now he saw the glory return! His guide took him back to the eastern gate in the outer court, and when the prophet looked out, he saw the glory approaching from the east. Along with the sight of the glory came the sound of the Lord’s voice “like the roar of rushing waters” (See also John’s similar experience in God’s Revelation when Jesus spoke to him in a vision of what is to come!  Revelation 1:15-20).

The whole land of Israel was enlightened by the radiance of God’s glory, and Ezekiel fell to the ground as he did when he saw the glory throne at the beginning of His ministry. Then the temple was filled with God’s glory, and the Spirit transported Ezekiel back into the inner court.

The meaning of the Temple is clearly stated.  God cannot and will not be where sin is.  The Temple cannot and will not be a place where idol worship is practiced.  The Temple is Holy because God is Holy.  The presence of God’s glory and God’s throne would so sanctify the temple that the people would approach the sanctuary with awe and not treat it like any other building, nor would they repeat their heinous sin of defiling the temple with their idols. God spoke to the prophet and told him to tell the Jewish people what he saw and heard so they would be ashamed of their past sins and turn from them.

The Sacrifice—pure and “without blemish”

Before Jesus, the best of the flock or herd was used as a way to God.  The people sacrificed what they had or purchased themselves and gave it the priests.  The priests, from the line of Levi, designated by God, took the animal and cut it open.  The blood “covered” the sins but did not remove sins forever.

Jesus came to BE the once and for all, perfect, without sin, sacrifice for all mankind.  He willingly laid down his life for us.  Jesus did not “cover” our sins but removed our sin forever.  We bring the sacrifice of praise to the One who loved us so much He gave His life for us! 

God requires His people to be holy.

Therefore, as believers, we should be completely devoted to him and separated from sin.  The only Way to be holy is to believe in Jesus, His Son and believe that what He did was really real! We no longer bring and kill animals to merely cover sin.  We come to Jesus and humbly repent of our sins. 

Jesus came to earth, taught us about who God really is and what God means to live a holy life with Him.  Then Jesus completed his mission by taking the punishment we deserve for our sins, removing our sins forever!  Jesus finished it once and for all who believe and call on His Name!  Done.  No more animal sacrifices.  No more priests as middlemen who decide if our sacrifice is good enough. Only Jesus.

Holy, holy, holy

More than once the seraphim appear in Scripture and endlessly trilogize the same word. “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty” (Isaiah 6:2–3).

Max Lucado shares, “No verse describes God as “wise, wise, wise” or “strong, strong, strong.” Only as “holy, holy, holy.” God’s holiness commands headline attention. The first and final songs of the Bible magnify the holiness of God. Having crossed the Red Sea, Moses and the Israelites sang, “Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Ex 15:11). In Revelation those who had been victorious over the beast sang, “Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy” (Rev 15:4).” 

God alone is worthy of our complete honor and praise.  God is Holy.  Only God can make us holy in His Presence through the forgiveness of our sins—all that is not holy.

… And together we sing

… Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
Holy is the Lord, God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory


Only You. There is no one like you, Lord.  You and You alone are Holy.  Nothing compares with You.  Holy, Holy, Holy is your Name!  Forgive us then transform our thinking as we give ourselves back to you in loving obedience with a desire to be set apart by you as holy.  Come, Lord Jesus.  We cannot be holy on our own.  We need you every hour of every day.

In Jesus Name, Amen

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As we read of the vision for the Temple in great detail with exact measurements, I can almost hear the voice of Joanna Gaines, the Designer, as she sits down with clients with pictures of what could be and will be for their new home.  The Temple is way more than a “Fixer Upper”!  God wants so much more and will give His best to supply our need to worship WHO is real and the true object of honor and praise.  We are the fixer-uppers who need to renew our minds!

We read and hear “the man” (of God’s vision) explain every nook and cranny, massive hallways, alcoves, rooms on the side along with the Holy of holies with great care.  Can you see it, Ezekiel?  Come and see! This will be a holy, significant place where God comes to man and dwells with all who believe in Him.

Ezekiel 43, The Message

1-9 The man led me north into the outside courtyard and brought me to the rooms that are in front of the open space and the house facing north. The length of the house on the north was one hundred seventy-five feet, and its width eighty-seven and a half feet. Across the thirty-five feet that separated the inside courtyard from the paved walkway at the edge of the outside courtyard, the rooms rose level by level for three stories. In front of the rooms on the inside was a hallway seventeen and a half feet wide and one hundred seventy-five feet long. Its entrances were from the north. The upper rooms themselves were narrower, their galleries being wider than on the first and second floors of the building. The rooms on the third floor had no pillars like the pillars in the outside courtyard and were smaller than the rooms on the first and second floors. There was an outside wall parallel to the rooms and the outside courtyard. It fronted the rooms for eighty-seven and a half feet. The row of rooms facing the outside courtyard was eighty-seven and a half feet long. The row on the side nearest the Sanctuary was one hundred seventy-five feet long. The first-floor rooms had their entrance from the east, coming in from the outside courtyard.

10-12 On the south side along the length of the courtyard’s outside wall and fronting on the Temple courtyard were rooms with a walkway in front of them. These were just like the rooms on the north—same exits and dimensions—with the main entrance from the east leading to the hallway and the doors to the rooms the same as those on the north side. The design on the south was a mirror image of that on the north.

13-14 Then he said to me, “The north and south rooms adjacent to the open area are holy rooms where the priests who come before God eat the holy offerings. There they place the holy offerings—grain offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings. These are set-apart rooms, holy space. After the priests have entered the Sanctuary, they must not return to the outside courtyard and mingle among the people until they change the sacred garments in which they minister and put on their regular clothes.”

15-16 After he had finished measuring what was inside the Temple area, he took me out the east gate and measured it from the outside. Using his measuring stick, he measured the east side: eight hundred seventy-five feet.

17 He measured the north side: eight hundred seventy-five feet.

18 He measured the south side: eight hundred seventy-five feet.

19 Last of all he went to the west side and measured it: eight hundred seventy-five feet.

20 He measured the wall on all four sides. Each wall was eight hundred seventy-five feet. The walls separated the holy from the ordinary.


God sets apart the holy from the ordinary.  God sees what we do not and cannot imagine until he puts a vision before us.  God see what lies ahead.  God selects the holy and sets them apart to do His work among His people.  Trust God.  He knows what He is doing.  He is God.  We are not.  Worship God alone.

Is there anything keeping you from entering God’s presence in worship? Make a list of any distractions you encounter. Confess any sins that distract you from your fellowship with him.  Then worship God free of those distractions turning your eyes from Him.

God reveals his perfect kingdom. The details of his vision gave the Jews hope for a restored worship and show us the importance of true God-centered worship.


Is our worship of you truly God-centered? Are we distracted by budgets, promotions and programs?  Have we become so organized that we are missing the reason we come to worship corporately?  Has it become more about pleasing us and meeting our needs and less than pure and holy worship of You alone?  Are we calling on you to bless our mess? I repent of making it about me.  I worship you.  I worship you. 

Forgive us for we know not what we are doing… 

In Jesus Name, I worship you, for Your glory, Amen

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God gave Ezekiel, a priest, the measurements of Solomon’s temple. The temple had been destroyed at the beginning of the captivity.  God reveals his perfect kingdom. The details of his vision gave the Jews hope for a restored worship and show us the importance and beauty of true God-centered worship. 

But, don’t get caught up in the place.  It’s not about the measured physical details of the room but rather WHO we worship in the space provided for this purpose that makes it beautiful.  Yes, it is beautiful when God’s people come to worship Him in spirit and in truth.  It is beautiful when we leave His place of worship to tell the world Who He is—Savior and Lord!  How beautiful to God when we trust and obey with hearts of love and praise!

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Isaiah 52:7 NIV

It’s the Holy Spirit who awakens in us an understanding of God’s beauty and splendor and power. It’s the Holy Spirit who stirs us to celebrate and rejoice and give thanks. It’s the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to see and savor all that God is for us in Jesus. It’s the Holy Spirit who, I hope and pray, orchestrates our services and leads us in corporate praise of God.  I’m recalling Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well…

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared“I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”  John 4:23-26, NIV

Ezekiel 41, The Message

1-2 He brought me into the Temple itself and measured the doorposts on each side. Each was ten and a half feet thick. The entrance was seventeen and a half feet wide. The walls on each side were eight and three-quarters feet thick.

He also measured the Temple Sanctuary: seventy feet by thirty-five feet.

3-4 He went further in and measured the doorposts at the entrance: Each was three and a half feet thick. The entrance itself was ten and a half feet wide, and the entrance walls were twelve and a quarter feet thick. He measured the inside Sanctuary, thirty-five feet square, set at the end of the main Sanctuary. He told me, “This is The Holy of Holies.”

5-7 He measured the wall of the Temple. It was ten and a half feet thick. The side rooms around the Temple were seven feet wide. There were three floors of these side rooms, thirty rooms on each of the three floors. There were supporting beams around the Temple wall to hold up the side rooms, but they were freestanding, not attached to the wall itself. The side rooms around the Temple became wider from first floor to second floor to third floor. A staircase went from the bottom floor, through the middle, and then to the top floor.

8-11 I observed that the Temple had a ten-and-a-half-foot-thick raised base around it, which provided a foundation for the side rooms. The outside walls of the side rooms were eight and three-quarters feet thick. The open area between the side rooms of the Temple and the priests’ rooms was a thirty-five-foot-wide strip all around the Temple. There were two entrances to the side rooms from the open area, one placed on the north side, the other on the south. There were eight and three-quarters feet of open space all around.

12 The house that faced the Temple courtyard to the west was one hundred twenty-two and a half feet wide, with eight-and-three-quarters-foot-thick walls. The length of the wall and building was one hundred fifty-seven and a half feet.

13-14 He measured the Temple: one hundred seventy-five feet long. The Temple courtyard and the house, including its walls, measured a hundred seventy-five feet. The breadth of the front of the Temple and the open area to the east was a hundred seventy-five feet.

15-18 He measured the length of the house facing the courtyard at the back of the Temple, including the shelters on each side: one hundred seventy-five feet. The main Sanctuary, the inner Sanctuary, and the vestibule facing the courtyard were paneled with wood, and had window frames and door frames in all three sections. From floor to windows the walls were paneled. Above the outside entrance to the inner Sanctuary and on the walls at regular intervals all around the inner Sanctuary and the main Sanctuary, angel-cherubim and palm trees were carved in alternating sequence.

18-20 Each angel-cherub had two faces: a human face toward the palm tree on the right and the face of a lion toward the palm tree on the left. They were carved around the entire Temple. The cherubim–palm tree motif was carved from floor to door height on the wall of the main Sanctuary.

21-22 The main Sanctuary had a rectangular doorframe. In front of the Holy Place was something that looked like an altar of wood, five and a quarter feet high and three and a half feet square. Its corners, base, and sides were of wood. The man said to me, “This is the table that stands before God.”

23-26 Both the main Sanctuary and the Holy Place had double doors. Each door had two leaves: two hinged leaves for each door, one set swinging inward and the other set outward. The doors of the main Sanctuary were carved with angel-cherubim and palm trees. There was a canopy of wood in front of the vestibule outside. There were narrow windows alternating with carved palm trees on both sides of the porch.


“The Holy of Holies” – Where God Presence comes to dwell.  The Most Holy Place, or Holy of Holies, was a part of the temple no one could enter. Jewish worshipers could enter the outer court, but only the priests could enter the Holy Place. And no one, except the high priest on one day a year, entered the Most Holy Place. No one. Why? Because the shekinah glory—the glory of God—was present there. No one but the high priest entered the Most Holy Place. No one. To do so meant death. A heavy curtain was the barrier between God and man.  The curtain signified this far and no farther. 

What did fifteen hundred years of a curtain-draped Most Holy Place communicate? Simple. God is holy. Separate from us and unapproachable.  God is holy, and we are sinners, and there is a distance between us.  God cannot come and be in the same room with sin.  Isn’t this our problem? We know God is good. We know we are not, and we feel far from God. The ancient words of Job are ours, “He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together” (Job 9:32–33).

Max Lucado eloquently declares; “Oh, but there is! Jesus hasn’t left us with an unapproachable God. Yes, God is holy. Yes, we are sinful. But, yes, yes, yes, Jesus is our Mediator. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 2:5). Is not a mediator one who “goes between”? Wasn’t Jesus the curtain between us and God? And wasn’t his flesh torn?”

“What appeared to be the cruelty of man was actually the sovereignty of God. Matthew tells us: “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split” (Matthew 27:50–51).  It’s as if the hands of heaven had been gripping the veil, waiting for this moment. Keep in mind the size of the curtain—60 feet tall and 30 feet wide. One instant it was whole; the next it was ripped in two from top to bottom. No delay. No hesitation.” (Lucado)

What did the torn curtain mean? For the Jews it meant no more barrier between them and the Most Holy Place. No more priests to go between them and God. No more animal sacrifices to atone for their sins. And for us? What did the torn curtain signify for us?  We are welcome to enter into God’s presence—any day, any time. God has removed the barrier that separates us from him. The barrier of sin? Down. He has removed the curtain. –All because of God’s love for us.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)  –All because of Jesus! 

Don’t put the curtain back up. Though there is no curtain in a temple, there is a curtain in the heart. We are not perfect.  We make mistakes.  And often, we allow those mistakes to keep us from God. Our guilty conscience becomes a curtain that separates us from God.  As a result, we hide behind a self-made curtain from our Lord.  You might wonder if you could ever feel close to God again. The message of the torn flesh is you can. God welcomes you. God is not avoiding you. God is not resisting you. The curtain is down, the door is open, and God invites you in.  Don’t trust your conscience. Trust the cross. God welcomes us with open arms.  There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a family member come home.

Jesus’ work on the cross to pay for our sins as well as His teaching about who God is portrays more beauty than we can think, dream, or imagine!  “How Beautiful”, sung by Twila Paris comes to my mind…

How beautiful the hands that served
The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth
How beautiful the feet that walked
The long dusty roads and the hill to the cross
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the body of Christ

How beautiful the heart that bled
That took all my sin and bore it instead
How beautiful the tender eyes
That choose to forgive and never despise
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the body of Christ

And as he lay down his life
We offer this sacrifice
That we will live just as he died
Willing to pay the price
Willing to pay the price

How beautiful the radiant bride
Who waits for her groom with his light in her eyes
How beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure lives so that others may live
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the body of Christ

How beautiful the feet that bring
The sound of good news and the love of the King
How beautiful the hands that serve
The wine and the bread and the sons of the Earth
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Is the body of Christ

Songwriters: Nancy Lamoureaux Wilson / Ann Dustin Wilson; Sung by Twila Paris, 1990

What is beautiful to God is our loving obedience to Him who loved us first and loves us most and best above all.


All I have is a humbled thank you this morning.  I am overwhelmed by your love and beauty.

In Jesus Name, for Your Glory, Amen

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Our grandparents who worked with building and repairing their own homes had a phrase, “measure twice, cut once.”  In building with wood, one should double-check one’s measurements for accuracy before cutting a piece of wood; otherwise it may be necessary to cut again, wasting time and materials. This phrase is also used figuratively in new projects in business. Plan and prepare in a careful, thorough manner before taking action for efficiency of time and personnel.

Ezekiel is taken in a vision back to Israel for a lesson in measurement.  It is recorded in history to be on April 28, 573 B.C.—the first day of Passover.  God gave Ezekiel the vision as recorded in chapters 40-48. The Jews had been captives in Babylon for twenty-five years, and Passover would only remind them of their deliverance from Egypt. Passover was also the beginning of Israel’s religious year (See Exodus 12:2), and the Lord chose that significant day to tell His servant about the glory that Israel would share when Messiah established His kingdom.

Ezekiel 40, The Message

Measuring the Temple Complex

1-3 In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year on the tenth of the month—it was the fourteenth year after the city fellGod touched me and brought me here. He brought me in divine vision to the land of Israel and set me down on a high mountain. To the south there were buildings that looked like a city. He took me there and I met a man deeply tanned, like bronze. He stood at the entrance holding a linen cord and a measuring stick.

The man said to me, “Son of man, look and listen carefully. Pay close attention to everything I’m going to show you. That’s why you’ve been brought here. And then tell Israel everything you see.”

* * *

First I saw a wall around the outside of the Temple complex. The measuring stick in the man’s hand was about ten feet long. He measured the thickness of the wall: about ten feet. The height was also about ten feet.

* * *

6-7 He went into the gate complex that faced the east and went up the seven steps. He measured the depth of the outside threshold of the gate complex: ten feet. There were alcoves flanking the gate corridor, each ten feet square, each separated by a wall seven and a half feet thick. The inside threshold of the gate complex that led to the porch facing into the Temple courtyard was ten feet deep.

8-9 He measured the inside porch of the gate complex: twelve feet deep, flanked by pillars three feet thick. The porch opened onto the Temple courtyard.

10 Inside this east gate complex were three alcoves on each side. Each room was the same size and the separating walls were identical.

11 He measured the outside entrance to the gate complex: fifteen feet wide and nineteen and a half feet deep.

12 In front of each alcove was a low wall eighteen inches high. The alcoves were ten feet square.

13 He measured the width of the gate complex from the outside edge of the alcove roof on one side to the outside edge of the alcove roof on the other: thirty-seven and a half feet from one top edge to the other.

14 He measured the inside walls of the gate complex: ninety feet to the porch leading into the courtyard.

15 The distance from the entrance of the gate complex to the far end of the porch was seventy-five feet.

16 The alcoves and their connecting walls inside the gate complex were topped by narrow windows all the way around. The porch also. All the windows faced inward. The doorjambs between the alcoves were decorated with palm trees.

* * *

17-19 The man then led me to the outside courtyard and all its rooms. A paved walkway had been built connecting the courtyard gates. Thirty rooms lined the courtyard. The walkway was the same length as the gateways. It flanked them and ran their entire length. This was the walkway for the outside courtyard. He measured the distance from the front of the entrance gateway across to the entrance of the inner court: one hundred fifty feet.

* * *

19-23 Then he took me to the north side. Here was another gate complex facing north, exiting the outside courtyard. He measured its length and width. It had three alcoves on each side. Its gateposts and porch were the same as in the first gate: eighty-seven and a half feet by forty-three and three-quarters feet. The windows and palm trees were identical to the east gateway. Seven steps led up to it, and its porch faced inward. Opposite this gate complex was a gate complex to the inside courtyard, on the north as on the east. The distance between the two was one hundred seventy-five feet.

24-27 Then he took me to the south side, to the south gate complex. He measured its gateposts and its porch. It was the same size as the others. The porch with its windows was the same size as those previously mentioned. It also had seven steps up to it. Its porch opened onto the outside courtyard, with palm trees decorating its gateposts on both sides. Opposite to it, the gate complex for the inner court faced south. He measured the distance across the courtyard from gate to gate: one hundred seventy-five feet.

* * *

28-31 He led me into the inside courtyard through the south gate complex. He measured it and found it the same as the outside ones. Its alcoves, connecting walls, and vestibule were the same. The gate complex and porch, windowed all around, measured eighty-seven and a half by forty-three and three-quarters feet. The vestibule of each of the gate complexes leading to the inside courtyard was forty-three and three-quarters by eight and three-quarters feet. Each vestibule faced the outside courtyard. Palm trees were carved on its doorposts. Eight steps led up to it.

32-34 He then took me to the inside courtyard on the east and measured the gate complex. It was identical to the others—alcoves, connecting walls, and vestibule all the same. The gate complex and vestibule had windows all around. It measured eighty-seven and a half by forty-three and three-quarters feet. Its porch faced the outside courtyard. There were palm trees on the doorposts on both sides. And it had eight steps.

35-37 He brought me to the gate complex to the north and measured it: same measurements. The alcoves, connecting walls, and vestibule with its windows: eighty-seven and a half by forty-three and three-quarters feet. Its porch faced the outside courtyard. There were palm trees on its doorposts on both sides. And it had eight steps.

* * *

38-43 There was a room with a door at the vestibule of the gate complex where the burnt offerings were cleaned. Two tables were placed within the vestibule, one on either side, on which the animals for burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings were slaughtered. Two tables were also placed against both outside walls of the vestibule—four tables inside and four tables outside, eight tables in all for slaughtering the sacrificial animals. The four tables used for the burnt offerings were thirty-one and a half inches square and twenty-one inches high. The tools for slaughtering the sacrificial animals and other sacrifices were kept there. Meat hooks, three inches long, were fastened to the walls. The tables were for the sacrificial animals.

* * *

44-46 Right where the inside gate complex opened onto the inside courtyard there were two rooms, one at the north gate facing south and the one at the south gate facing north. The man told me, “The room facing south is for the priests who are in charge of the Temple. And the room facing north is for the priests who are in charge of the altar. These priests are the sons of Zadok, the only sons of Levi permitted to come near to God to serve him.”

47 He measured the inside courtyard: a hundred seventy-five feet square. The altar was in front of the Temple.

* * *

48-49 He led me to the porch of the Temple and measured the gateposts of the porch: eight and three-quarters feet high on both sides. The entrance to the gate complex was twenty-one feet wide and its connecting walls were four and a half feet thick. The vestibule itself was thirty-five feet wide and twenty-one feet deep. Ten steps led up to the porch. Columns flanked the gateposts.


FACTOIDS (From Warren Wiersbe Study Bible)

  • Ezekiel saw a new land and a glorious new temple. Just as Moses had received the tabernacle plans while on a mountain, so Ezekiel received the plans for the temple while on a mountain.
  • Ezekiel held a cord and a rod, both of which were used for taking measurements, the cord for long distances and the rod for shorter measurements. The rod was probably a little over ten feet long. To measure property is symbolic of claiming it for one’s self. This was also a sign that the temple and the city would one day be restored. 

John, the writer of Revelation, also had a vision that included measuring. God commanded the apostle John to measure the temple in Jerusalem before it was trampled down by the Gentiles (Revelation 11). This was evidence that no matter what happened, Jerusalem and the temple belonged to God and would one day be restored and sanctified.

Jesus, the Messiah to come, will change everything while fulfilling God’s commandments.  The outer courtyard covered nearly 400,000 square feet, but it would not have a Court of the Gentiles with the all-important separating wall, nor would it have a separate Court of the Women. Our Lord’s desire would be fulfilled that His house be a house of prayer for men and women of all nations (See also Isiah 56:7; Jerimiah 7:11; and Mark 11:17). The size of the outer court and the accessibility of so many rooms suggest that the area would be a place for fellowship, where people could meet and enjoy sacrificial meals together. 

Paul wrote to clarify exactly what Jesus did for all of us in Ephesians 2:12-18;

“You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.  For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.  He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”

We respond by measuring our lives (the temple of God) against the life of our Lord who came to save us, leaving his glory behind, he humbled himself and taught us how to live in humbled praise of God, the Father.


Because of what you did, no one is left out of receiving your love, mercy and gift of grace.  You pardoned all sins for all who come to you, repent and believe, ready to follow you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In Jesus Name, Amen

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