In Ezekiel’s Vision of the Millennial temple we read of a man with a measuring stick, measuring the different aspects of the temple. The words “measure” or “measuring” are used about 40 times in chapters 40-47. However, when we come to chap 43: we find something in the temple that could not be measured. This was the very thing that temple was made for, namely the very presence of God. How can we measure that? How can we measure the immeasurable? And it is the immeasurable that gives the measurable it’s very meaning or significance.
What purpose would temple serve without his presence? It doesn’t matter how beautiful it is, without his presence, the temple is just a building, the holy of holies is just a room and the ark is just a box. Oh but with His presence it is the most amazing place on earth. What a difference the presence of God makes. This is why the Psalmist said “One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple” (Ps 27:4) and “a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, Than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Ps 84:10). The Psalmist understood that the most important part of the temple was that God’s presence was manifested there.
Jacob was in the barren wilderness, under the night sky, and yet because of God’s presence could say “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”. He then called that place “Bethel”, meaning the house of the lord. It’s so easy for us to be naturally minded, armed with our measuring stick, but the scriptures would have us be careful how and what we measure. Be careful not to measure God’s work by the cubit or our own effectiveness by sight. We must see beyond the measurable, and will often discover the immeasurable. And that is the most important thing that is happening.
Some people, may walk into a church service and only see the natural, the temporal and the measurable, but we have learned, and are still learning, to recognise the spiritual, the eternal and the immeasurable. Familiarity is our greatest enemy, for it robs us of so much, but reverance recognises that God is in this place. But whether we are in a church building, a field or our home, we can take off our shoes, consider the holy ground, look up to the stars and say “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”