Last week, in Lessons from Ezekiel’s Temple, Part 5c, we discovered that the number and position of the temple gates reminds us of three important ideas: That God’s presence is open to everyone, that it is importance to have a private place to meet with God, and that in our walk with God, we must remember to always look forward, forgetting what is behind and striving towards what is ahead.
Today’s lesson takes a look at the meaning and importance of the porches by the gates:
“Then he measured the porch of the gate facing inward, one rod. He measured the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and its side pillars, two cubits. And the porch of the gate was faced inward.” (Ezek 40:8-10)
As you read through Ezekiel 40, you will notice that each gate had three porches on each side. Of note is that: 1) they are covered; 2) they are supported by pillars on each side; and 3) they face inward. We also know their dimensions: 1 rod by 8 cubits, and the pillars were 2 cubits high.
Although these porches are described in great detail, the Bible doesn’t specify the importance of these porches. Matthew Henry’s Commentary suggests that these porches were: “for the shelter of those that attended in them from wind and weather”.
This is a very likely explanation, as the temple court was an open area, and there was no way to ensure good weather when the people came to worship. This explanation is also fully supported by scripture: “And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.” (Isa 4:6 NKJV). It is also supported by the fact that the porches faced “inward”.
What lessons can we learn from these porches?
Just this. When we are in Christ, we are under His special protection!
Remember: the porches face inward! This means that when we focus on Him, the One who dwells in our Spiritual temples, we don’t need to worry! He will provide for all of our needs! He, Himself, is our shelter, our ever-present help in time of need: “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” (Ps 46:1 NKJV); “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Ps 91:1 NIV); “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge …” (Ps 91:4 NIV); and “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19 NIV)
Friends, the porches on Ezekiel’s temple are there to remind us that we do not need to be afraid of anything. We need to simply place our trust, no matter what is thrown our way, in the One who not only desires to shelter us from harm, but is also able to do so!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that no bad things will ever happen. What it means is that throughout the bad times, we can rest peacefully, knowing that God is in control, and that somehow, He’s not only going to bring you through, but He’s also going to make everything beautiful, in His time! (See Eccl. 3:11).
And just how far does this “shelter” take us? We find the answer in Ps 46:2-3: “Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.” (NKJV)
Enough to ponder, but do ponder this: The porches in Ezekiel’s temple are there to remind us, in our spiritual temples, that we do not need to be afraid of anything, because God is our refuge, our shelter from any type of storm that is thrown our way!
Join us next week for another important lesson from Ezekiel’s temple: Lessons from Ezekiel’s Temple, Part 7: The Surrounding Wall.
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
 Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.
(To access the entire “Lessons From Ezekiel’s Temple” mini-series, please click here.)