Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 5 months ago

The Glory of the Lord Returns

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

So as you turning there to Zekiel fortythree one through nine, I want to explain just a moment why we areskipping so far ahead of where we've been. We just finished a chapter elevenand what you will see is the way things ended there in chapter eleven are beingpicked up here and connect in a new way in chapter forty three, I'm doing thisin part because our brother Christian here is going to be preaching in manyof our evening services over the summer, and so I thought and as he takes usthrough various parables right, and so I thought this might be a way to bring some of the major themes thatwe've been considering an I zegue to a conclusion at this point and perhapswe'll pick it up again in the future, but you'll really enjoy hearing this.The word of the Lord here from a egil forty three, it's very encouraging. Let's hear our God's word now versusone through nine, then he led me to the gate. The gatefacing east and behold. The glory of the God of Israel was coming from theeast, and the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters and theearth shone of his glory, And the Vision I saw was just like the visionthat I had seen when he came to destroy the city and just like the vision I hadseen by the Kabar canal, and I fell on my face as the glory of the Lordentered the temple by the gate facing east. The spirit lifted me up andbrought me into the inner court and Behold the glory of the Lord filled,the temple while the man was standing beside me. I heard one speaking to meout of the temple and he said to me, son of man. This is the place of mythrone and the place of the souls of my feet, where I will dwell in the midstof the people of Israel for ever, and the House of Israel shall no moredefile my holy name, neither they nor their kings by their horinge and by thedead bodies of their kings at their high places. By setting their threshold by mythreshold and their door posts beside my door posts with only a wall betweenme and them, they have defiled my holy name by their abominations that theyhave committed. So I have consumed them in my anger. Now let them be put nowlet them put away their horinge and the dead bodies of their kings. Far from me,and I will dwell in their midst for ever, then he may be seated well here in his Ekil. Forty three zekiel mentions two previous visions,the visions that we have been going over over the last severalmonths or so. At the beginning of the book, Zekiel mentions two visions. He noticehow he says and the Vision I saw verse three wasjust like the vision I had seen when he came to destroy the city, that's theone that we most recently heard of, and then he adds just like the vision thatI had seen by the Kebar Canal. You remember that, of course, and theLord in reveals to Ezekiel this amazing scene when he carries him up by thisvision, and he sees the Cherubim these ministers of flaming fire. He seesthese great wheels within wheels this mighty chariot, in which the Lordunmoved throughout the Earth. We saw the Lord himself seated on thisthrone, far above lifted up and in...

...these high places, ruling overeverything, seeing everything powerful over everything, the eyes of the wheelshaving eyes all over them, everything moving on according and perfectlyaccording to the will of the spirit of God. These amazing scenes that called it iscaused Zeki himself to fall on his face and, of course, humbled our hearts aswell in this scene. This vision that he sawin those early chapters of the book as it's recorded again, he had a similarvision in the latter chapters, the more recent ones that we read and there wesaw that this place the spirit the glory of the Lord was on the move, andit was on the move in a very terrifying direction. Last time we read about how the gloryof the Lord exited the Holy Place of the temple and movedout toward the eastaway, and he saw the presence of the Lord lift up and leave, leave the place where God had said. Hewould dwell, leave the place that Solomon had prayed to and had builtaccording to the Lord's will in which the Lord had descended and ruled a mudamong his people. We saw the Lord leave and in hisleaving, we saw all of that a terror and wrath and judgment against hispeople coming down upon them, and why? Because of the things that Ezekielspeaks of here, horinge after other gods, murder dead bodies of he speaksof the kings everywhere. But that was because of their judgment, their constant bloodshed in the kingdom.Instead of being a kingdom of a people united by love, neighbors watching out for neighbors,giving and sharing and supporting one another, Israel had become thisterrible place that looked just like the nations around them and this God had promised. If this hadhappened, they would be destroyed just like he destroyed the nations who werebefore them. The last time we looked at, weconsidered the temple of Zekiel was taken on a tour of the temple grounds. He was shown that, among the leadershipof the people and among the Laity of the people, idolatry had just grabbedhold of their hearts. Worthless objects had come to take residents in thetemple itself. The place where God was called was supposed to dwell the placewhere God had said his presence. People had the audacity to set up idols there in the temple, sometimes in hidden ways, sometimes inobvious ways, these foolish worthless places or objects had come to take thehearts of his people, the people of God, people that he hadrescued out of Egypt. He had decimated the the whole the whole a religioussystem in Egypt, as well as their economy and their king and all of therest. He had shown himself to be powerful and ruler and king over everyfalse god. Over every idol, Egypt and her king had not been able tohold God and his people in Slavery. He said they will worship me and he setthem free to do so, and now that people was enslaved to false gods instead of crusting, Godis their king, instead of him being at the centre of their kingdom at thecentre of their lives and their worship and their everything he had taken aback seat to their lusts...

...and everything was falling apart. Bloodshed, injustice, bribery,corruption, abusive power of idolatry, of course, and the consequences ofthese things, war, famine and worse, and instead of learning from theirfoolishness and their foolish ways, they did what people enslave to send.Always always do they press harder in the present ever into that sin like a man, drowning who should knowhow to swim, but instead just flails and grabs at a graspless things allaround him. Israel was drowning in their own sin and though profit after profit wasthrowing them. Help was calling them to repentance wastelling them to turn they just kept flailing. They just kept grabbing andall the things that they wanted to grab and now God's people were going to come underjudgment and they did in the chapters that we skipped. We we, you will read there of the comingto pass. All of the things that is equil saw in the visions that we readthe destruction of Jerusalem. The destruction of the temple bloodshedeverywhere is Zekiel saw on those visions. WhatGod was going to do, having been rejected by his people, he was going togive them over to that rejection and those corrupt desires, and he was goingto leave and the result was the undoing of acovenant that God had made with Israel. They broke the covenant and now all thecurses were going to come upon them, and indeed they did. Israel broke apartthe most relation, most important relationship, not only in their livesbut in all the world because it was through Israel. Remember that the hopeof the nations would be founded, remember that it was in Abraham, thathe would be the father of many nations that many nations would be blessedthrough him through this family. Through this people it wasn't justtheir hope. It was all our hopes, and now it was all dashed or was it itwasn't all dashed, it wasn't all finally destroyed, and that was becauseGod had made promises and, unlike hispeople, who failed to keep their promises, God would keep his yes, hewould bring down the curses upon them. Yes, they would experience war andfamine and bloodshed, and all of these things he would destroy them for theirsins. But, according to his awesome promisesof grace that he had made to Abraham that had made to David God wouldestablish through this people a kingdom that would be for ever there would beoffspring that would be left. There would be a remnant that would preserve,God would keep his promises and he would save them from their sin and, as we read in solemn eighty seven,we we read of Cush, Egypt and Rahab, and these other foreign nations comingto call Zian their own city. What an amazing promise this sort ofbringing in of the nations foreign people saying yeah I belong. I belongto Israel Abraham's, my father says the Egyptian says the Babylonian says theAmerican. These amazing promises of the people ofGod coming in from all over the world to be established once again in thisplace and here in his Zekiel forty three,those glimmers of hope that we saw in the beginning the man who went throughthe city and took names of those who...

...were repenting in, for example. Here wesee that hope in a really wonderful way, because here, instead of the departureof God, which we saw before the exiting of the presence of God from the people,God abandoning them to their own sins. Here we see him coming back in amazing, seeing he goes to the gate.Verse. One He's led his ego is led to the gate, the gate facing the east, thegate where the Lord had left. By and behold, the glory of the Israel wascoming from the east, perhaps a reminder in a connection withthe sun itself, a light that shines in the darkness, darkness that does notovercome it, a light that raises a hope that comes up in the morning a dayspring. That brings us joy and gladness after a long night. Here comes from theeast, the God of Israel, but not the sun, the god of the sun coming from the Eastand all his glory and the sound of his coming whitelaws, the sound of hisgoing all of those angels and that great chariot, like the sound of manywaters, have you ever stood by the ocean andheard it as it roars even from the beach, evenif a relatively calm one, it's a loud thing, and here this is the sound that is Egelhears like the rush of many waters. The word is coming this giant sound and, as the glory of the Lord ComesZeke'll seize in this vision. The Earth itself Shining With glory the Lord's glory reflecting off of theEarth. This amazing resplendent thing remember that when the Lord showedhimself to Moses, when Moses went up into the glory of the Lord on MountSinai, and he live came back down his face to reflected the glory of the Lord,so much that the people said cover it up, it's too much, and here I zeke'll,seize the earth shining with the glory of God, and he remindsus, as we've already considered in verse. Three to think about this. Interms of the previous visions that he's had, the vision was like. The vision I saw was just like thevision I had seen when he came to destroy the city and just like thevision I had seen by the Kebar canal and I fell on my face and what happens well. The glory of the Lord enters thetemple by the gate facing the east and the spirit lifted me up and brought meinto the inner court and Behold the glory of the Lord filled, the temple before we learned as we consider theseimages several things. Let me list a few one in these visions. We learn about themajesty of the Glorious Most High God. We have these pictures in these visionsto help us to see, through these words, the great and glorious presence of God,visions which caused Ezekiel to fall on his face passages that have filled uswith awe and trembling at times, remembering the majesty of the Lord something in these visions that shouldtake cause us to take a deep breath as we contemplate the awesome power of Godin his mighty angelic armies in his a most awesome chariot in his Omnipresence in his omniscience in his omnipotence in his most holy nature. We also learned of God in his perfectgoodness that in all of this...

...resplendent glory, he does nottolerates in. He doesn't wink at it. He doesn't protect it. He doesn't hide him,he destroys it. God doesn't respect those who abusetheir power and hide their sin and leave the people astray, he's notafraid of them like we so often are. He doesn't tremble. He who sits mightily a throned upon allof them, who can take the king's heart and turn it like water in his hand, heis not afraid of people that were often afraid of the chariots of Egypt. Don'tbegin to compare to the chariot of the Almighty God. We also learned that God, in hisjudgment, is awful and terrible. Not only does he not tolerate sin, not onlydoes he not tolerate the people who would abuse those whomthey are called to care for and the idolatry of his people, who are calledto be holy and and walking in love. That lack of toleration is, in fact agreat judgment and, terrible God doesn't brush these things underthe rug he destroys them. He destroys and punishes those who would committhem, and we learn from these things, as so much of the Bible teaches thatit's God's gracious presence. That is what saves us to be in the presence of the Most HighGod, apart from His grace, is to be destroyed. It's to be afraid, it's tobe terrified, but when he brings us in havingforgiven our sins instead of judging us for em in welcoming us in, we have life itself, and we have it abundantly all. This reminds us of the importanceof the centrality of God in the life of the people. God is not just an idea, but he must be present and centralamong us in every way. That's what this temple represented. That's what hispresence there represented love in this is important for us toremember, because our temptation is always toreplace God with idols, just as they did people in authority to replace hispower with their power, and sometimes this happens and really abold and outrageous ways, and sometimes ithappens in very subtle ways. Either way it shouldn't be acceptable in the livesof people who are made in the image of God. We should never be people that aremoving God to the periphery when he is the one who is to be at the centre. We treat him sometimes like he's anemergency savings account. You know just there in case. We need him or to use an analogy. We treat God asif he was to use another analogy. We cheat God, sometimes as if he was acandy dish on the counter at your office at work, something that you passby every now and then and grab a little something out and helps a little bitmakes the day a little better, but not really important. If it disappeared,you'd be fine. People think they can find their way inlife without this God, although he is the only one who gives purpose andmeaning to everything in whom is the beginning and the end of all things. We think we can find our own way. Wethink we can keep him at the edge, as we think we can put ourselves ascentral or fame or money or power business, family or whatever butthere's. Only one thing, only him...

...a trion God who, as can be and always,is at the centre of everything when we move away from that, that's how we loseour lives. There are so many people to day tryingto find their identity their place in the world, they're so lost. They try to find it through socialmedia, knowing that the bottom will fall out at any moment, get rich quick schemes are everywhere,I think of people putting all their hopes and cryptocurrency or whatever sad stocks, constant movement fromplace to place where Rudel wandering hopeless people, a culture filled with anxiety andsadness, constantly questioning our identity, not knowing where to turn.What to do these passages and his ea you'll tellus where our identity is to be found. It's in this awesome God who createdall the world and who has rescued us through his ownplan of salvation WHO's, called us out of sin and bondagethat we might live in him and that's what he's promising here in his egel inthis vision, a return into the world into the centerof the world into Israel itself and as we go on and read, we read that you remember his Ekil s brought intothese central places and what does God say through this manstanding beside him? He says and ver seven son of man. This is the place ofmy throne and the place of the souls of my feet. This is a reminder to us that, evenhere in this vision of the Temple of God, his temple, the most holy place is justwhere God sets his feet. This footstool this most glorious thing of everythingthat anything could be imagined in the most holy place in all the world. It'swhere God puts his feet. This is how far, above God, God isabove anything that we could imagine, the temple on Earth did not contain him,and indeed even the temples of the new heavens in the new earth will not beable to contain him. We ought to wonder and Mar and praiseGod for who he is, and here he is in his graciousness and his blessing,because he says here I will dwell in the midst of my people of Israelforever, these kings, that used to always vie for power that would set uptheir house right next to mine, no more of that. Their dead bodies will be removed away and all will bemade right. The central promise here we find in other places in these egil, forexample, is egil. Thirty, seven that we read this morning is that God woulddwell in the midst of his people. He would cleanse our hearts from all thisgross idolatry and he would be with us for ever and ever Una new dawn isdawning and ultimately we see this fulfilled inChrist. How do we know this? We know this because the a temple wasrebuilt, but this itself was just another earthly temple, pointingforward a to that Lord, who would come Matthew one in twenty three. We aretold that Jesus is called a Manuel God with us. He is the fulfilment of thepromise of these, of the presence of...

God. Consider what John says in John Onefourteen the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. This is a equallanguage, isn't it this? Is the prophecies being fulfilled?Jesus, the son of God coming and dwelling among US- and you want Johnsays after that in one fourteen he says, and we have seen his glory and we have seen is glory. We have seenthe glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Hebrews one three says: The sonis the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature in the song of Simeon Luke One, seventyeight and seventy nine. We read that because of the tender mercy of our God,whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sitin dark places and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way ofpeace. This is what God was doing in Christ. He was revealing his gloriousnature in the world through the Sun, our savior. Now that saviour would die, he would be a rejected. Stone is awayone of the way the scriptures put it. The nations would take him and in therea great building project of the world, they would look at Jesus and say notfor us not for our project. We don't need him, but that rejected stone. TheBible says, becomes the corner stone of the new temple and listen to this. WhatPeter says in First Peter two, four and five as you come to him a living stonerejected by men, but in the sight of God chosen and precious. You Yourself,like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holypriesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God throughJesus Christ. What the Bible teaches us is that thisfinal temple, in which God will dwell amidst his people, is a temple in whichhe is that self, the corner stone and we it are those living stones, built up his Holy Spirit dwelling in US, thebody of Christ. God is so more close with us than we can even begin toexpress and imagine the scriptures talk about it in these glorious ways, and wemust hold fast to those truths and when we do, we can begin I'm topray and sing as the psalms do and I'll close withthis. So one hundred and thirty nine, oh Lord, you have searched me and knownme. You know when I sit down and when I rise up, you discern my thoughts fromafar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with allmy ways even before a word is on my tongue. Behold O Lord, you know italtogether. You Hem me in behind and before you lay your hand upon me, suchknowledge is too wonderful to me. For me it is high. I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from Your Spirit orwhere shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to the heaven you are there.If I make my bed and Sheol you are there. If I take the wings of themorning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your handshall lead me and your right hand shall hold me. If I say surely, darknessshall cover me and the light about me be night. Even the darkness is not darkto you. The night is as bright as the day for darkness is as light with you...

OFOR. You formed my inward parts. Youknitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully andwonderfully made. Wonderful, are your works? My soulknows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when Iwas being made in secret intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Yousaw my unformed substance in your book were written every one of them, thedays that were formed for me as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, OGod? How vast is the sum of them? If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you, oh, that you would slay the wicked. OhGod, Oh men of blood, depart from me. They speak against you with maliciousintent, your enemies. Take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate youO Lord? Do I not love those who rise up against you? I hate them with completehatred. I count them my enemies search me, O God and know my heart. Try Me andknow my thoughts and see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way of everlasting. Here is the song and the prayer ofsomeone who is at rest in the presence of God, knowing that wherever they are in theworld, no matter wherever they go in the darkest praise in the brightestplace, God is supreme over them all over it all and he has them and thepalm of his hands. God is present with us in this way,through Jesus Christ and so beloved. Don't seek him elsewhere when God has revealed his glory to usin this person in this sun, don't go searching for him. anywhereeelse give him all your praise and give himall your glory, find your future hope here and remember that this Emanuel,this God with us in Jesus Christ. This glory that is revealed to us thiscorner stone of the new temple is the same one who said to us: Surely I amwith you always even to the end of the age we find God in Jesus Christ and in theHoly Spirit who unites us us to him in such a way that we become the verytemple of God all praise and glory to the trion. GodAmen. Let's pray.

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