Isaiah 40:5 “And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
In the Book of Ezekiel chapters 10-11 we see the Glory of the Lord departing from the temple. In the first chapters of Ezekiel God brings out the sin of His people. God is warning them, but they are refusing to listen. This is most usually the case of His people. Not listening to His admonitions or warnings until it is too late.
Because they will not listen we see in chapters 10 and 11 that the Glory of the Lord is beginning to depart from the temple or mercy seat. The glory of the Lord is leaving the place of mercy (mercy seat) and entering into the place of judgment.
However, it is important for us to see that when God moves from a place of mercy to judgment it will always be with a steady but slow pace. But when He moves from judgment to mercy it will always be instantaneous. We see this in Ezekiel chapters 10-11 where the Glory of the Lord is departing from the temple and entering into a place of judgment.
What is interesting is to see how He moves. In 10:18 we see the glory of the Lord over the threshold. There God waits to see what His people will do. Will they listen to the prophets, heed the warnings and repent, or will He have to take another step towards judgment? They do not repent so He takes another step of leaving the temple and place of mercy. In verse 19 we see how He is now over the east gate and there He is waiting again. What will God’s people do?
They do not repent and so we read in chapter 11:23 that the glory of the Lord is now over the Mountain East of it: Mount of Olives. The glory of the Lord has now departed from the temple. God has moved into a place of judgment. We see the judgment that fell on God’s people for almost the rest of the book of Ezekiel, which also models the history of the Children up until today.
However, we find that repentance does come in and the Glory of the Lord returns. We read about this in Chapter 43:4 “The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east.” What is interesting is that there is no stopping over the Mountain, or east gate, or threshold, but immediately the Glory of the Lord is pervading the temple over the mercy seat.
In the New Testament we see something that is parallel to this: Luke 20:9-15 where we have the parable of the tenants. Here we see the landlord that planted a vineyard and went on a journey. Harvest time he sent his servants to gather fruit, but were wrongfully treated and cast out, some were killed. Almost in desperation we hear the owner say: “What shall I do?” and then it goes on to say: “I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.” But he is rejected, cast out and killed.
This ties in with Matthew 23:37-39 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'” Here we see the heart of God: “how often I have longed to gather your children together.” We also see the heart of man: “but you were not willing.”
So we read in Matthew 24:1 “Jesus left the temple.” The Glory of the Lord of Israel had departed from the temple. Jesus never came back to the temple after this. Where did He go? He went to the Mount East, the Mount of Olives. The Glory of God had departed!
Can we see God acting in this way in America with God’s people?