I’ve been reading through the book of Ezekiel.
I know that the book in the bible that everybody complains about is Leviticus, but I think maybe that book is easier than Ezekiel. (At least Leviticus has all those nasty skin-disease description to keep the images popping through my head.)
Quite suddenly, Leviticus shifts gears.
The whole first thirty-something chapters are really variations on a theme. There will be several pages describing how horrific things are going to get for Israel. And then a couple sentences describing how groovy everything will be for Isreal after all the suckiness.
Things change when a man/angel seems to be taking Ezekiel on a guided tour of the temple. I’ll have to do some homework on this. (If you’ve got some information, please leave me a comment.) My assumption is that this is for the new temple, Babylon having destroyed the original.
The thing that jumps out is how precise the description is. There are quite exact measurements for just about everything you can think of: Doorway sizes, wall widths, etc.
Honestly, this isn’t a whole lot more compelling than the prior chapters. (The bible isn’t here for my entertainment and I’m not saying it should be. I’m just being real about how intersting I found it.)
I did get interested at chapter 43. God shows up. God has been talking to the prophet through the whole book. But he’s suddenly there, in all his glory, in a new way.
And in chapter 43, God says that Ezekiel should share these plans, down to the smallest detail, with the people of Israel. He emphasizes that this is the place where people meet up with him.
I had this ah-ha moment, as I read this.
The first thing I realized was that if God were a God who kept his distance, then our sin would be less of a big deal. If God kept his distance, then we would have more of an excuse for not knowing what to do. Furthermore, if God kept his distance, our sin would impact Him less.
The second thing I realized is that we tend to locate God in the improvised, creative, and spontaneous. And while God is certainly in these places, God is also in geometry, math, and architecture. God is in the details as well as the big picture. He is the long-term plan as well as the moment. I’m not denying that it’s an act of worship within each moment to dedicate ourselves to him. I’m saying that dedicating ourselves to every tiny little details, in advance, is important too.