Unfortunately, when you opened up to Ezekiel 40 today, you might have been tempted after the first few verses to say, “Blah, blah, blah, lots of numbers, temple, who cares?” and skipped the rest of the description of the temple. So why SHOULD you care?
Well, obviously, the most important reason is that if God saw reason to put it in the Bible, it was important. Romans 15:4 says, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” So what in this passage can give us comfort or hope?
The answer to that lies in discovering what exactly Ezekiel is describing. We know that there are multiple temples described in the Bible, so let’s use process of elimination to find out which one is being described. First, we know that it isn’t Solomon’s temple. That description is extensive and doesn’t match Ezekiel’s description. Also, Ezekiel takes place long after the destruction of Solomon’s temple. The second temple was built shortly after Ezekiel writes this, but doesn’t match this description. This second temple is the one in which Jesus would have taught. The third temple will be built near the time of the tribulation. This one will be defiled by the antichrist. (Mentioned in Daniel, Matthew, and Mark) This leaves the temple of the millennium, the time where Christ will rule and reign in His rightful place.
So, unlike Solomon’s temple, the temple of the New Testament, or the temple of the tribulation, you and I as believers will get to see this temple!
Have you ever gone on vacation to somewhere really famous? Maybe it was to the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, Mount Rushmore, or the Grand Canyon. You’d probably seen pictures before you went, but nothing, not all the pictures in the world, could really do it justice. So what good are the pictures? They do two things. They give people that will never see those sites in person the opportunity to visualize it and they whet the appetite for those who will get to see it.
Ezekiel 40-48 are going to describe a magnificent sight that one day will be a reality to us! Don’t gloss over these details as boring or unimportant. Instead, let them pique your interest. Let them whet your appetite for the future. Let them excite you!
“…that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”