Wrapping up a study of Ezekiel 43:1-12, let’s take a look at one more verse in that passage:
“This is the law of the temple: All the surrounding area on top of the mountain will be most holy. Such is the law of the temple.
Ezekiel 43:12 NIV
So, what is “the law of the temple”?
The Lookout (cited below) says, “Part of what made the temple portray the holiness and glory of God were the regulations and laws. In other words, the law of the temple embodied the character, judgment, and love of God. These qualities live in perfect harmony in his presence.”
Similar to that, it sounds to me like the law of the temple is holiness: not just a special place to worship God, but a place for God’s Holiness to exist. And, if God’s defining attribute is His holiness (as you may have been taught in the past), and His glory has filled this temple, then the law of the temple seems to be closely related to God’s own nature.
Remember how God was offended (and rightly so!) that the Israelites would put other shrines right up next to – or in – the temple (see Ezekiel 43:7-8)? God is holy, and His glory is not to be shared with false gods. So, this entire part of the mountain top where the temple was needed to be reserved: set apart, or holy.
In that context, let me ask this: Why do adults tell kids not to run in church? Maybe you would say that this is so that they don’t knock people over, or because their tired parents can’t keep up with them otherwise! However, many would say that one should not run in a church building to show respect for God.
In fact, I remember one time, back in the balcony of a church building, I wanted to tell another student something (maybe reconciling something that had been said in the previous Sunday School class?), but they were sitting several rows in front of me, in front of a little aisle that ran across the balcony. So – I think that it was during the handshake time – I vaulted over the wall that separated my row of seats from the aisle, and I went over and talked to her. When I returned to my seat, another friend sitting with me said that he had been taught to respect a church building when he was younger, and I was appropriately reminded of that.
While I have seen church buildings used to bring great joy to running children (often during programs outside of the normal worship service), let us take an inventory of our own lives, and make sure that we’re not disrespecting God’s holiness with other things that we choose to do.
When we recognize and acknowledge God’s glory and God’s holiness, a natural response is obedience. There’s probably some fear and worship that we will naturally experience in the presence of God (as close as we can get, both now and in eternity), but obedience – as an act of worship – seems to me like a normal response to God’s character.
From Sunday School lesson prepared for September 25, 2022
- The Lookout, September 25, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.