Details galore!

When I saw my Bible reading plan for today, I was a tad overwhelmed because of all I had to read, especially because five of the six chapters were from Ezekiel (one of the books of the Bible that I've heard is pretty cut-and-dry). Diving into chapter 40, Ezekiel goes up to a temple where he meets with a man. This man, who apparently looks to be made of bronze, takes the next ninety verses to measure out every part of the temple with his rod, explaining to Ezekiel every little engraving in the walls, the dimensions of the inner and outer courts, the distances between the jambs in the walls, how thick the ceiling is, etc., etc., etc. The question that pops into my head as I'm reading this is Why on Earth is this so thoroughly described? Is there such thing as too much detail, and if so, is this one of those moments? Why would anyone care about how many square cubits this temple is taking up?

After the man describes every part of the temple, Ezekiel is led to the gate facing east where he sees the glory of God (43:1-2). That is where my question was answered:
"When they [the Israelites] placed their threshold next to my threshold and their doorposts beside my doorposts, with only a wall between me and them, they defiled my holy name by their detestable practices. So I destroyed them in my anger... Son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their sins. Let them consider the plan, and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the temple--its arrangement, its exits and entrances--its whole design and all its regulations and laws. Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations" (Ezekiel 43:8,10-11).
 Maybe my question was answered with more questions. My initial thought was that Ezekiel noted every dimension that the man said not only because he said to "pay attention to everything [he was] going to show [Ezekiel]" (40:4) but because God was showing Ezekiel His greatness through the detail of the temple in which His followers worshipped Him. That got me thinking to my biology classes and how my professors constantly show us the complexity of life and how God created it all, showing us how great our Lord is because of all that He has made.

As I read it again, however, I took another train of thought: the Scripture says that the Israelites were placing their thresholds and doorposts beside God's thresholds and doorposts. Maybe they were trying to build like God (maybe "next to" meant they were comparing their work to God)? Maybe they were trying to BE God? Maybe they were building their own temples so they wouldn't need the temple of the Lord... yeah! Maybe that's it... because it says that the Israelites needed to "put away from [God] their prostitution and the lifeless idols of their kings..." (43:9). When God says to let the Israelites consider the plan, I have a feeling that is where the Israelites find shame in their lame attempts to build temples for their idols with the blueprints for the temple of the LORD.

How does this apply to us today? We may not have wooden idols that we worship, but we sure do have plans that we want to happen, so we try to branch off and do things on our own without God. When we take a step back and look at the sophisticated plans that God has measured out for us (by the cubit!), it shows how foolish we are to think we could have ever made it on our own. The temple of God is sturdy with a foundation that cannot be shaken. God has walked through the very doors of this temple (44:2)! Let's trust in the dimensions of God's temple and not sway from the plans He has set in stone.

God bless!

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