“And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There.”
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
Today, we come to the end of Ezekiel’s vision of a rebuilt and restored temple – and also to the end of the book!
We read of waters that trickle from the inner sanctuary and flow out of the temple forming a river with extraordinary life-giving properties. The vision continues with an idealized allotting of land to the 12 tribes – including land for the Prince, Levites and common ground for food to be harvested for the workers of the city.
The vision ends with the gates of the city described… One gate for each son of Jacob. It points forward to the imagery used to describe the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21:12-14.
In a most striking ending, Ezekiel reveals the name of this city – located just south of the rebuilt temple… Its name is “The Lord is There.” This name summarizes the entire emphasis of Ezekiel… The first half of the book described Judah’s gross sin which led to God leaving the temple and his people. The second half is filled with promises of restoration culminating in this final temple vision describing how God’s glory will return to the rebuilt temple.
This is all wonderful, but it hasn’t happened yet! We know and trust that God will dwell with His people forever in the new Jerusalem. But what about now? Where is God now?
Well… we see evidence of His sovereignty and Presence in today’s reading from Acts…
From leading Paul to stay in Corinth – to multiplying Paul’s ministry into Priscilla and Aquila – who then teach and train the effective minister, Apollos… God’s Spirit is at work. God is at work leading and building, equipping and empowering. The Corinthian and Ephesian churches experienced the power of His presence. His Spirit lived in them, and His Spirit lives in us.
Where is He now? The Lord is here!