Ezekiel 8 & Psalm 46-47

Ezekiel 8

    In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elders of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord GOD fell upon me there. Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man. Below what appeared to be his waist was fire, and above his waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal. He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the gateway of the inner court that faces north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the valley.

    Then he said to me, “Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north.” So I lifted up my eyes toward the north, and behold, north of the altar gate, in the entrance, was this image of jealousy. And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see still greater abominations.”

    And he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, there was a hole in the wall. Then he said to me, “Son of man, dig in the wall.” So I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance. And he said to me, “Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” So I went in and saw. And there, engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up. Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.’” He said also to me, “You will see still greater abominations that they commit.”

    Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD, and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? You will see still greater abominations than these.”

    And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east. Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence and provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”

(Ezekiel 8 ESV)


Psalm 46

To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song.

    God is our refuge and strength,
        a very present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
        though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
    though its waters roar and foam,
        though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
    
    
    There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
        the holy habitation of the Most High.
    God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
        God will help her when morning dawns.
    The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
        he utters his voice, the earth melts.
    The LORD of hosts is with us;
        the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
    
    
    Come, behold the works of the LORD,
        how he has brought desolations on the earth.
    He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
        he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
        he burns the chariots with fire.
    “Be still, and know that I am God.
        I will be exalted among the nations,
        I will be exalted in the earth!”
    The LORD of hosts is with us;
        the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

(Psalm 46 ESV)


Psalm 47

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

    Clap your hands, all peoples!
        Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
    For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
        a great king over all the earth.
    He subdued peoples under us,
        and nations under our feet.
    He chose our heritage for us,
        the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
    
    
    God has gone up with a shout,
        the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
    Sing praises to God, sing praises!
        Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
    For God is the King of all the earth;
        sing praises with a psalm!
    
    
    God reigns over the nations;
        God sits on his holy throne.
    The princes of the peoples gather
        as the people of the God of Abraham.
    For the shields of the earth belong to God;
        he is highly exalted!

(Psalm 47 ESV)

The Holy Habitat

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.(Psalm 46:4-5)

 

Zion was a hill just outside of Jerusalem, but it was often used to refer to the entire area of the city and all of God's people in general. This psalm celebrates Zion as the place where God has pledged Himself to His people, and promised to bless the world through them. God is their refuge and strength and has chosen Zion to be His place of holy habitation.

The refuge found in God's dwelling place at Zion foreshadows the refuge we now find in the Son of God who came to dwell among us. And we can take that a step further and consider the refuge we have in the Holy Spirit by which God has now made His people His holy habitation.

May we be still long enough to consider the implications of what we have been given in our God's promise to be with us. No matter what disasters may come upon this earth, we belong to the dwelling place of God that can never be destroyed. May we find joy and peace that even our death is now a doorway to something much greater.