Last week, in Lessons from Ezekiel’s Temple, Part 10B, we discovered that the presence of the sacrificial rooms in Ezekiel’s temple, along with their tables, utensils and hooks, are to remind us of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. They also serve to remind us that a Godly life will demonstrate an abundance of sacrifice, and that sacrifice will come not from our overflow, but from what we think we need for ourselves. Finally, when God receives our sacrifices, He may not use them the way we intended for them to be used. Instead, they are often processed and changed so that they can be used, in His utmost wisdom, to the maximum of His glory.
Today’s lesson takes a look at the meaning and importance of the third type of rooms found in Ezekiel’s temple: The People’s chambers.
“Then he brought me into the outer court. There I saw some rooms and a pavement that had been constructed all around the court; there were thirty rooms along the pavement. It abutted the sides of the gateways and was as wide as they were long; this was the lower pavement. Then he measured the distance from the inside of the lower gateway to the outside of the inner court; it was a hundred cubits on the east side as well as on the north.” (Ezek 40:17-19 NIV)
By far the most numerous of the rooms described in Ezekiel’s temple are the rooms in the outer courts. In the above passage, we see reference to 30 of them, and they are all identical in size and cubic in shape. Interestingly however, the Bible does not describe the use of these rooms, as it does the priests’ chambers and the sacrificial chambers. But because we know that only priests could enter into the inner court, we can speculate that these chambers were for the ordinary people who attended the service of the temple.
What does this mean for us today?
Two weeks ago, in Lessons From Ezekiel’s Temple, Part 10a, we learned that when we accept Jesus into our hearts, we are considered priests and we have access to the inner courts. We know then, that these rooms in the outer courts are not for us. Instead, they serve to remind us that our temple hearts must have room for everyone.
We are admonished numerous times throughout the New Testament alone to love. There is the admonition to “Love your neighbor” (see Matt. 19:19, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27, etc); to “Love your enemies” (Matt 5:44, Luke 6:27, etc.); and to “Love your wives” (Eph 5:25, Col 3:19, etc). These numerous little chambers in the outer court can serve to remind us that we are to love everyone.
The fact that the rooms are identical reminds us that not only does God love and treat everyone equally, but we are to do the same! God loves the lost as much as He loves those who are covered with Jesus’ blood. He will do anything to bring the lost into the Kingdom of God, and we must do the same. Remember the stories of the Prodigal son, the lost coin, the lost sheep? Jesus admonishes us that: “In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” (Matt 18:14 NIV). All of these rooms in Ezekiel’s temple can serve to remind us of all the lost ones we are in contact with everyday, and how much God wants us to bring them home!
Speaking of Heaven, Jesus told His disciples: “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:2-4) These little chambers in Ezekiel’s temple can also serve to remind us that God has room in Heaven for everyone, and that He will come again!
Finally, there is also a message of humility in this text. Remember what David tells us in the book of Psalms? “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” (Ps 84:10 NIV) These little chambers in the outer courts are to remind us that anything we do for the Lord, no matter how humble, is more important than anything else we could possible do on Earth.
Enough to ponder, but do ponder this: Although we are given very little information about these little chambers in the outer courts, they serve to remind us of many important lessons. They remind us to love everyone and treat them equally. They remind us to continually be about our Father’s business of spreading the gospel and saving lost souls, and finally, they also remind us of the importance of humility!
Join us next week for another important lesson from Ezekiel’s temple: Lessons from Ezekiel’s Temple, Part 10d: The Side Rooms of the Temple
God bless each of you as you seek to draw closer to Him!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org , with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .
(To access the entire “Lessons From Ezekiel’s Temple” mini-series, please click here.)