This week’s HafTorah portion is taken from Ezekiel 43:10-27. Listen in as Dr. Jeffery Myers continues the discussion on the building of the Temple of ADONAI, and the teachings of the Laws and the important lessons YAH shows His people along the way.
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Parashat:
Lion of Judah Speaks; Haftorah portion from Torah Portion Tetzaveh:
Lion of Judah Ministries
Dr. Jeffery L. Myers
The haftorah picks up on the theme of the Temple, with YHVH instructing the prophet Ezekiel to teach the Hebrew people all the specifications and laws of the future Temple. YHVH appeared to Ezekiel and instructed him to teach the details and laws of the Temple to the people. One purpose was to remind them of why the Temple was destroyed in the first place, their sins they committed against YHVH and His commandments. However, it was also to remind them of His unconditional love, to know that YHVH had not and will never forsake or abandon them.
Ezekiel was instructed in verse 11 to “write all this down before their eyes, that they may faithfully follow its entire plan and all its laws.” In II Tim 2:15 the Scripture says, “Do all you can to present yourself to G-d as someone worthy of His approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because He deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth.” YHVH is not the kind of Master that accepts shoddy work! We are to study the instructions that were given to us, to guard against misapplying or twisting Scripture. He encourages us to strive or be diligent, to do our best to study so we don’t fall in the trap of society and cultural thinking, following man’s instructions instead of YHVH’s. We don’t want to stand ashamed, so we are to study, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. This involves contemplation, prayer, an open heart, a faithful life to the Word of Truth.
The problem Ezekiel had was that the study of the Temple Structure and its service could not be implemented practically because it had been destroyed. However, just because the physical Temple does not exist, we still have a way of “building the Temple”. Studying the laws of the Temple is part of building the Temple, that we engage in daily.
The beginning of our haftorah is actually the last segment of a detailed description of the Temple Mount. Here the prophet deals with the measurements of the mizbeach, the large altar in the Temple courtyard. The altar was the largest of the Temple furnishings. It’s size and position conveyed the importance and centrality which it occupied in Israel’s worship. It was situated prominently in the outer court near the entrance and it confronted all who approached YHVH’s House to worship and impressing upon the worshipper the truth that without sacrifice there was no way into HaShem’s Presence. It stood at the gate of repentance.
“Mizbeach” comes from the root word “zabach”, which means to offer, kill or slay an animal for sacrifice, eating or divine judgment. It is the place of complete surrender, a laying down of our will as a sacrifice to YHVH. The word mizbeach can be put into a sentence meaning, “The blood that is plowed in the tent of separation”. A place of acknowledging our weakness and our inability to save ourselves from sin. HaShem is reminding the children of Israel through His prophet Ezekiel to seek YHVH’s strength and in His power alone to save them from their sin. Because His power is made perfect in weakness. II Cor. 12:9 says, “but He told me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is brought to perfection in weakness.” Therefore, I am very happy to boast about my weaknesses, in order that the Messiah’s power will rest upon me.”
YHVH held no false expectations about the cost of following Him. Yeshua said in Luke 14:25-33 that the cost was great. Many want to follow Him for benefits but few are willing to give up everything to follow Him.
The altar is important and it cannot be bypassed. The children of Israel and us today cannot be fully dedicated or completely given to the service of YHVH or enjoy genuine fellowship and intimacy without grabbing hold of the horns of the altar.
Paul said in I Cor. 2:2, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Yeshua HaMashiach, and Him crucified.” The purpose of the mizbeach is to provide a place for our sacrifice. A place where blood/life was given to atone for our lives. YHVH desires the children to remember the Temple they lost from disobedience, to regain its purpose, procedures, laws and to study, recall all its dimensions. Therefore, they will be building it again in their hearts so that their memory will bring it into completion in the coming future.
The Temple was destroyed by king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon because of the abominations and idolatries Israel brought into it.
YHVH spoke to the prophet Ezekiel and told him to “make known to them the plan of the Temple…its entire plan and all its laws…write it down. He is pointing to Yeshua, the redemptive truths, worship truths and even governmental truths of the Temple of Solomon. Here we go from glory to glory, grace to grace, strength to strength, truth to truth, faith to faith in the dealings of YHVH with His people. Prov. 25:2 says, “It is the glory of YHVH to conceal a matter, but it is the honor of kings to search it out”.
As I close, let’s glance at the last verse of the Haftorah Ezekiel 43:27; “When these days are over, then, on the eighth day and afterwards, the cohanim will present your burnt offerings on the altar and your peace offerings, and I will accept you, says Adonai Elohim”. Coming in the midst of Ezekiel’s vision of the new Jerusalem, this particular chapter describes YHVH’s return to the Temple. But it is not the 2nd Temple, it is the Temple to come. YHVH is preparing us as a bride to meet the bridegroom. It begins at the altar, manifests through our obedience in following the commandments and ends in His Holy Presence.
Let us build the Temple daily in our own lives as we prepare to meet the King of Kings, the One Who sits at the right hand of our Father. Prepare yourself to be His Temple and make yourself ready for His return.