November 30 | Daily Devotion

November 30 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” ~Ezekiel 43:5

This final section of Ezekiel is one of the most difficult prophecies in Scripture. Scholars are still trying to decipher the precise meaning of Ezekiel’s Temple. There are those who think it refers to the Second Temple built under Ezra and Nehemiah, although there are significant differences between the actual temple and the envisioned one. Others maintain that Ezekiel’s Temple will be built in God’s future, restored kingdom precisely as described, although the restoration of sacrifice would seem out of place. In addition, John’s revelation does not appear to include a temple (Rev. 21:22), although interpreters differ over the meaning of this verse (some say he did see a temple because the entire city was the temple).

I have therefore sided with the scholarly consensus that Ezekiel’s vision or dream is to be understood as a sign of great things to come. God gave him a vision using real things that he and the people could understand. I like what C. S. Lewis said about apocalyptic language in Scripture, language about visions and dreams. “All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. [These images] suggest ecstasy, splendor, power, joy and timelessness. People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs.”[1] (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity). In other words, the language isn’t literal, but the text does point to literal (real) things.

God is telling the prophet that a day of great restoration is coming. The restoration begins when the people return to the land with Nehemiah, but it culminates in God’s return to the land (a future event we’re anticipating too). God Himself will come to earth and dwell among men (see Revelation 21:1-5). His special presence will reside in something like a temple, or perhaps the entire city will be the temple (which may explain why John didn’t see a separate temple in Revelation 21:22). The worship of God will be restored, God’s people will be completely forgiven, and “foreigners,” those who reject the King, will not be allowed into this city. Perhaps there will be something, like a fire that burns continually on a great altar, that serves as a constant memorial of the great sacrifice that has been made so that God could restore His people.

Use your imagination, and dream with Ezekiel about what it will be like when God restores all things—you, me, His people, and the earth and the heavens. This time is called the “blessed hope,” and we look forward to it now while we live today with all our might.

[1] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Touchstone, 1980), 122.


Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.