Sunday, October 26, 2014

On 11-2-14, Ezekiel 43:1-12 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as God’s Divine Glory Returns or God’s Glory Fills the Temple

God’s Divine Glory Returns         
Or
God’s Glory Fills the Temple
Ezekiel 43:1-12
International Sunday School Lesson
November 2, 2014
                                                                                 


Commentary
By
Jed Greenough

Remember before you start this study in Ezekiel that visions can be literal or figurative and they are written in a way that makes it nearly impossible to fully understand unless clarity is given within them.  By that I mean they take a moment and explain what was just seen and I think the best example is the book of Daniel but even then things aren’t always clear and much is debatable.
Having said that we know that the temple as described in Ezekiel has never been built which only leads to more questions and again debate.  For me, since it is a vision, I am comfortable in thinking this is an idea that would have taken place as an ideal temple had Israel been ideal.
We sometimes hear rumors today of certain Jews stock piling material to rebuild the temple one day.  Perhaps this is the temple they would build.  But Jesus put an end to sacrifice and the sacrifices and Sabbaths mentioned further along in this book would indicate a contradiction.
We know “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind.” (Numbers 23:19) so I believe we can be certain that this is not something that He would institute.
You can see the man mentioned in our first verse for today coming into view by going back and reading beginning at 40:3.  Here he was described interestingly as having an appearance like bronze appearing human enough to be called man.
This man and Ezekiel are together the next few chapters going in an about this visionary temple.  When they were finished the appearance of the glory of God arrived.  At this point I usually walk away from this as it literally hurts my mind trying to make sense of it all.
It would seem that God is speaking with certainty of a time when Israel would no longer defile His name.  That they would be as the people of the New Covenant we read about back in September while studying Jeremiah.  But then there is this matter of the sacrifices, it just doesn’t fit.
At the time that this was written the people of Ezekiel’s day were still in exile in Babylon.  We know that when they returned and rebuilt the temple this one which we are reading about today is not the one they built and after that temple was destroyed shortly after Jesus there has not been another.
Many argue that this temple will be rebuilt very near the End but this temple as we read in Ezekiel and its sacrifices seem to be what God desired.  But to do it in fulfillment now would be as I said a contradiction to what He wants since Christ’s sacrifice was once for all.
I cannot give you a clear understanding of this because I do not have one that I would care to pass on.  I hope that you can at least gather from today’s scripture that God is in fact consistent.  He does not want to be treated in an unholy way as we read in the verses in which He is speaking.  For Him to want to institute sacrifices would seem to be inconsistent and treat the blood of Christ’s sacrifice as an unholy thing.  Not gonna happen!

For Discussion:
  1. Discuss other appearances including those in the book of Ezekiel of God’s glory.
  2. Discuss certain details that are omitted from this temple as opposed to the others.
  3. Discuss how God wants to be treated in a holy manner.
  4. Discuss verse 8.
  5. Discuss verse 10-11.
  6. Discuss alternative ideas.



Upcoming Lessons
11-9-14     The Altar, A Sign of Hope or The Altar Offers Hope, Ezekiel 43:13-21
11-16-14   A Transforming Stream or Water from the Sanctuary Gives Life, Ezekiel 47:1-12
11-23-14   A Transformation Continued or Inheritance Marks a New Beginning, Ezekiel 47:13-23
11-30-14   Let Zion Rejoice or Good News Brings Rejoicing, Isaiah 52:1-2, 7-12
                                                                                                              
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved



Monday, October 20, 2014

On 10-26-14, Job 42:1-10 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Hope Satisfies or Things Too Wonderful for Me

Hope Satisfies                                  
Or
Things Too Wonderful for Me
 Job 42:1-10
International Sunday School Lesson
October 26, 2014
                                                                                 


Commentary
By
Jed Greenough

You have read what the Lord said to Job haven’t you?  If you haven’t that is where you need to begin with chapter 38.
Having done that the visuals in your mind are overwhelming and of course Job has a contrite spirit.  Having read all that you might think that God is upset with Job until you read verse 7.  There you can see God is instead angry at the friends as he says, “I am angry with you…you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.”
If you have done your due diligence and read all of Job you might be a bit confused having read what Job said and read what the three friends said.  I think clearly however God is revealing what we can’t see, a man’s heart.
For the friends they must have been speaking mere words perhaps without faith but Job spoke with honesty while never losing faith.
Still a bit confused?  So am I.  In gives one a quandary to know what to do in certain situations of stress for others.  What to do, what to say.  I’m pretty certain the best path is to pray, admit if we have or haven’t experienced what the other person is experiencing and be there for them.
It seems those who “teach” are in fact judged more strictly (James 3) and these 3 friends certainly had a lot to say.  God’s reaction to them despite much of what they said seeming solid presents an interesting lesson to keep in mind.
For Discussion:
1.      Discuss God’s reaction.
2.      Discuss Job’s reaction.
3.      We talk above of God’s reaction to what the three friends said, discuss Job’s saying, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand.”
4.      Do we talk too much?
5.      Do we “carry on” to much in our prayers?
6.      Discuss personal experiences.


Upcoming Lessons
11-2-14     God’s Divine Glory Returns or God’s Glory Fills the Temple, Ezekiel 43:1-12
11-9-14     The Altar, A Sign of Hope or The Altar Offers Hope, Ezekiel 43:13-21
11-16-14   A Transforming Stream or Water from the Sanctuary Gives Life, Ezekiel 47:1-12
11-23-14   A Transformation Continued or Inheritance Marks a New Beginning, Ezekiel 47:13-23
                                                                                                              
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved