I never realized how much the “Glory of God” appears in the Book of Ezekiel. These 48 chapters of Scripture are “saturated” with that grand Concept, with God’s Very “Presence!”
And Ezekiel chapter 10 is certainly no exception.
The same Glory Ezekiel had seen, experienced, back in his initial chapter. “This is the (same) living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.” Ezekiel 10:20, referring to Ezekiel 1:1-27, whereupon Ezekiel worshipped in verse 28!
But today, as a result of the rank sin described in chapter 8 (and the ensuing judgment in chapter 9) God “withdraws” from His Very Temple! His Glory recedes!
Remember the Old Testament name “Ichabod?” The day Eli and his sons died in disgrace (at the hand of the Philistines), one of the daughters-in-law (Phinehas’ wife) gave birth. And when seeing the infant: “She named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.” That’s what the name means, “no glory.” Or better, “where is the glory?”
Well, in Ezekiel 10 that dark day is repeated, only worse, much worse!
Let me give you some of the specifics …
Again, because of sin, worse-than-the-heathen sin … “Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the BRIGHTNESS of the LORD’S glory.” Ezekiel 10:4, leaving the Mercy Seat, from “resting” between the Cherubim … to the entrance of the Holy of Holies, just a few feet, but significant! (To be a little more precise, about 15 feet or so.)
Everywhere God goes … He radiates “brightness!” Remember Jesus’ Transfiguration even, His Glowing! (Or Paul’s words in 2nd Thessalonians 2:8: “And then shall that Wicked (anti-Christ) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the BRIGHTNESS of his coming.” See?)
Back to our Story, our Narrative, the facts of the Matter:
Then, later in our chapter … “Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when THEY WENT OUT, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the EAST GATE of the LORD’S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.” Verses 18-19, now over 150 feet!
The “East Gate” was the very entrance to the Temple compound!
God is about to leave His Own House!
Then, one might say abruptly, Ezekiel chapter 10 comes to an end!
God’s Glory … slowing backing away!
Soon (tomorrow’s Lesson, the Lord willing) the Glory goes even further … Ezekiel 11:23. “And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.”
Now not only leaving the Temple, but now the whole City (Jerusalem) as well!
Yes, the Glory of God cannot live in sin. Or among a sinful people, apart from Blood atonement. Apart from repentance!
And the glory “stayed departed” from Judah for hundreds of years!
I’m going to say until one Day the Son of God walked into town, as Jesus, God incarnate!
John tells us about it, this way: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and WE BEHELD HIS GLORY, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
I wonder today, where is God’s Glory in reference to America?