The glory of the Lord entered the temple. (Ezekiel 43:4)
Israel was in exile, Jerusalem was in ruins, and the glory of the Lord—his divine presence and protection—had left the Temple. For thirty years the people had been vassals of the Babylonians, cut off from God and weighed down by guilt.
Ezekiel had seen all this in an earlier vision, just as he had seen the glory of the Lord leaving the Temple by the east gate (Ezekiel 10:1-19). But Ezekiel also saw something else: “the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east … [and it] entered the temple” (43:2, 4). Just as God’s presence had left the Temple, it would return—and with it came a marvelous promise: “This is where my throne shall be … here I will dwell … forever” (43:7).
The promise in Ezekiel’s vision is not limited to a literal throne in a physical temple on a specific plot of land. Even as Ezekiel’s words gave hope to the Israelites living in a harsh exile, they also pointed to the day when the kingdom of God would come on earth. The promise extends through space and time to reach all of us today. Because of Jesus’ cross and resurrection, God’s resting place is with his people—wherever they are, and whenever they are! His glory dwells in us, both as a body and as individuals (2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19).
In Christ and through his indwelling Spirit, God has returned to his temple. He didn’t abandon his people forever, nor was his heart ever far from them. As the Israelites began to long for him, he answered them with his presence. The same is true for us today. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit. He will never abandon you. Even if you have sinned awfully and feel you have lost the grace of his presence, he is waiting to return at the first word of repentance. He longs to come in glory into each of our hearts. And his glory—his very life at the core of our lives—has the power to expel idolatry, adultery, and defilement of every kind. Oh, ask him in!
“God, come into my life today! Forgive me, and banish from me everything that does not exalt you. Fill me, and make me into your resting place.”
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne