The book of Ezekiel is described as; the death and resurrection of Israel.
These sections begin to reveal how this is a really helpful description of the book.
Amazingly we see in chapter 9 the Lord who had resided at the heart of Israel, who was at the centre of community life in the temple, departs:
18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. 19 While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the LORD’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.
This was a massive act. God who was to dwell amongst his people, departing, unable to reside any more with a hard hearted people. A people committed to rebellion.
The nation of Israel would be no longer. This would be its death sentence.
Yet signs of life appear:
17 “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’
18 “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
The Lord would be the one who could restore this disaster. Yet he knew it wasn’t that the people would need to return to the land, for restoration. For true restoration and true hope for the people of God, God would bring change to the real problem; their hearts.
He would undertake heart surgery on them. He would put a new spirit in them.
The people would one day return to Jerusalem and restore the temple, but the Lord would not return.
But one day he would, through his new meeting place with man, Jesus Christ. By trust in him we are given a new heart and a new spirit, God living in human hearts.
16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Cor 3:16