March 18, 2023: Haftorah - Ezekiel 45:18-46:15
This week's Haftorah reading is from Ezekiel 45:18-46:15. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers as he explores the Divine purpose for the existence of the physical Temple that was completed, and ELOHIM'S desire to dwell among His people in His glory and Presence. Not only back in those days, but in us TODAY as well!
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 Haftorah:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftorah Portion – Ezekiel 45:18-46:15
In this haftorah we see the Temple was completed. The leaders and elders assembled as they transported the Ark from its temporary location in the City of David to its final resting place in the Holy of Holies. Immediately, Elohim’s presence appeared in the Temple. The Divine purpose for the existence of the Temple is very specific. Elohim wanted to have a place in which to record His Name, a place in which He could dwell among His people in His glory and presence. “The Name” in Scripture always speaks of “the nature” of Elohim, the character of Elohim, who He is in His own essential Being. Elohim has always wanted a place—indeed A PERSON- in which He could set His Name and all that is represented in that expression. Let’s look at the progression, especially in relation to Elohim’s dwelling places with Israel.
Shiloh was a central city in the time of Joshua, and until the time of Samuel the prophet, it was the place where the Tabernacle of Adonai was settled. It was at Shiloh where the Ark of the Covenant was taken captive by the Philistines. Because sin, iniquity and various abominations occurred, the nation of Israel lapsed into the idolatry and apostasy of other heathen nations. Elohim “forsook the tabernacle that was in Shiloh”, where His Name had been recorded. Therefore, Shiloh was desolated by the departure of the presence of Elohim. He forsook the tabernacle in Shiloh (Ps. 78:60).
Elohim forsook His people for “His Name’s sake”. In Jeremiah 7:1-16, 30 Elohim speaks to Judah saying to them, “Go back to Shiloh where I set MY Name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel.” It seems that the name “Shiloh” had prophetic significance also and pointed to the Messiah, who would bring “rest” to the people of Elohim. Yeshua is our place of rest! Ya’akov prophesied, “the scepter shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh come, and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” (Gen. 49:10).
Here at Shiloh, the glory of Elohim departed, it became desolate without His presence and this is seen in the symbolic name, “Ichabod”- “the glory is departed”, or “where is the glory?” Where is the glory today? Has the Kehillah polluted the Name of Elohim and He has left the building? Any group of Elohim’s people who “pollute the Name of Elohim” by sin and apostacy will lose the presence of Adonai. Elohim has to remove the Ark of His Presence and judge His people and do to them what He did to Shiloh. He does this “for His Name’s sake”. Paul stated this in Timothy, “Let everyone who names the name of Yeshua depart from iniquity” (II Tim. 2:19). We must depart from iniquity or Elohim will depart from us even as from Shiloh. Shiloh was a place where Adonai recorded His Name, at first.
Let’s turn our attention to the Tabernacle of Moses. Again, the distinctive purpose for its existence was that Elohim might have a place wherein His Name could dwell. “In all places where I record My Name, I will come unto thee and bless thee” (Ex. 20:24). “Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them” (Ex. 25:8). The Tabernacle which was Elohim’s dwelling place on the earth was the very place of His Throne in Israel. Israel had to gather at the Tabernacle where His Name was for all worship, prayer and other set occasions for Elohim. Here to the Tabernacle, where His Name was recorded, Israel brought their tithes and offerings, their sacrifices, vows and freewill offerings. They gathered to bless and worship Adonai. Why? Because His Name was recorded there! His Name meant His Presence. Elohim set His Name there. He placed it there! He caused it to dwell there. There He recorded His Name. Everything in Israel centered around His Name and this place. The Tabernacle was positioned “in the midst” of Israel’s camp. This is why we gather on His appointed day in His Holy Name, the uniter of His people and the guarantee of Elohim’s shalom.
Ezekiel points to Solomon’s Temple which confirms the same truth as in the Tabernacle and Shiloh. The very purpose of the Temple of Solomon was that Elohim might record His Name. David desired to build a house for the Name of Elohim (II Sam. 7:1-26). Solomon purposed to build this house to the Name of Elohim.
When the Temple replaced the Tabernacle, it was built in the City of Jerusalem, the city of shalom, the holy city. We see what joy and glory was in the city of Jerusalem because the Temple of Elohim was in that city. It became the joy of the whole earth. The Temple made the city the joy of all the kingdoms of the earth. It is in this city that Elohim says His Name is recorded. It was recorded not only in the Temple but also in the city. However, Elohim finally had to judge the city with destruction along with the Temple because of the corruption and iniquity of the chosen nation. The visions of the prophet Ezekiel reveal how various abominations were brought into the Temple of Elohim and the glory departed from the Temple and the city (Ez. 8-10).
However, Elohim gave Ezekiel a vision of a new Temple, and a new city. Here the Shekinah Glory returns and His Name is placed therein that city—forever! It is in the Temple and the city as described in the closing chapters of Ezekiel that Elohim has given a final note concerning Elohim’s Name. The redemptive Name reveals therein is “Yehovah Shammah”- Adonai is there, Adonai ever-present! The light and the glory of Elohim fills the city of the redeemed. This city will never be polluted by sin or corrupted by iniquity for in it shall reign everlasting righteousness.
Therefore, we have the Divine purpose for the building of the Temple. Elohim wanted to have a place in which He could dwell, a place for His presence, a place for His Name. All the glory of His redemptive Name would be manifest among His redeemed as they honored and hallowed it among the nations. The Kehillah is Elohim’s sanctuary. It is built for the Name of Adonai in the Name of Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach. All the redemptive Names of Adonai are comprehended in this all-inclusive redemptive Name. The Kehillah must live and minister to the lost in the power of that Name unto the glory of the Father. The progressive unfolding of the Name of Adonai in regard to dwelling places shows that Adonai set His Name in a place, on an article of furniture, in a habitation, and in a city, as well as upon His people.
The ultimate revelation is that Elohim sets His Name no longer in A Place but in A Person, even Yeshua HaMashiach. His Name is placed upon His people. It is of Him “the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph. 3:14-15). The Kehillah is Elohim’s Temple in which the Name of Adonai dwells—forever!
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Have a great Sabbath and let His glory shine on you and through you! Be the example. Let His Name be magnified in your life! See you at the altar!