Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 40-41
Following the defeat and utter ruin of Gog and his allies, Ezekiel turns his attention to a detailed description of the glory of the new Jerusalem and the new temple. Adam Clarke notes the similarities in the dimensions and ornaments of Solomon’s temple with the one of Ezekiel’s vision. Clarke commented that there was room to suppose that this was to assist the Jews who would rebuild the temple upon their return from captivity. Others (e.g. Barnes, JF&B) believe the vision and the various measurements were purely symbolic. I think Clarke is accurate concerning his comments regarding the temple based on what we will read tomorrow in chapter 43. The vision’s physical measurements of the holy city are obviously symbolic, as the measurements are far greater than the actual city before her destruction. Today’s reading and those that follow are quite tedious at times, with all the measurements, etc. However, from this vision I think we might infer that God has a pattern for His people and their worship and religious service (as we will also see tomorrow in chapter 43).
New Testament reading: Romans 1-3
“When you point your finger at someone, remember there are three pointing back at you.” Romans 2 is a sobering text in this respect. After reproving the Gentiles as completely reprobate in Romans 1, Paul turns his attention to his Jewish counterparts. He accused them of hypocrisy, a sin I once heard called “the sin never confessed.” Paul condemned the Jews of bring guilty of the very sins they condemned in others (v 1). This accusation is intensified in verses 17-24. Of particular concern is Paul’s statement that these Jews were storing up for themselves “wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (v 5). We are told in several New Testament texts of storing up treasures in heaven (cf Matt 6:19-21, 2 Tim 1:12), but what a dose of reality it is to think that we can also store up “treasures” in hell? We should be careful in our condemnation of others lest we find ourselves getting our britches caught on our own pitchfork! (Be honest! At the beginning, did you point at something to see if there were three fingers pointing back? J)