Bible Lesson: Ezekiel's vision of God's glory departing from the temple

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Bible Lesson:  Ezekiel's vision of God's glory departing from the temple
This lesson was prepared for a small group of students and was inspired by the the Gospel Project lesson.  Students will discover details from the vision in Ezekiel 10 that describe God’s glory departing from the temple.
Bible Story: Ezekiel’s vision of God’s glory departing from temple
Scripture: Ezekiel 10
Target Age Group: Age 6 – 11 (U.S. K – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
Supply List:  Bibles, plain paper or white board (for students to draw what they see described in Ezekiel’s vision) copies of activity pages, pens, markers, crayons.
Learning Goal: Students will learn that sin separates people from a holy God.
Learning Activity #1: Activity pages (This site made the lesson and activity sheets from the Gospel Project on Ezekiel 10 available to the public)
Learning Activity #2:  Use a dry erase board or blank pieces of paper and allow students to draw Ezekiel’s vision.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse:  Ezekiel 37:27 “My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Bible Lesson:  Ezekiel’s vision of God’s glory departing from the temple

(Begin with prayer)
God had been very patient with His people.  He sent many prophets to warn the Israelites that they were in danger of being punished for their wickedness.  He continuously warned them so that they might repent and turn from their sin and be forgiven.  Unfortunately the Israelites did not listen to God’s prophets and God kept His promise to punish them.  They were attacked by the Babylonians and taken prisoners to live in Babylon.
God is holy, that means He is perfect and without sin.  Sin separates people from God. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and Your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”  (Is. 59:2)
A picture of how sin separates man from God can be seen in the temple where God’s people came to worship Him with sacrifices and offerings.  In the temple there was a room called the Holy of holies.  It was separated from the other areas by a very thick curtain, or veil. Only the high priest could pass behind the veil and enter the Holy of holies with blood from the animal sacrifice.  He would place the blood on the Ark of the Covenant that was in the Holy of holies.  This veil is a picture of people unable to enter God’s holy presence, separated from Him because of our sin. (Ex. 26:33)
Let’s turn in to the book of Ezekiel and discover another prophet God used to speak to His people. Ezekiel was born and raised in the land of Judah.  While living in Judah he was being trained to be a priest.  Unfortunately Ezekiel never was able to be a priest serving in God’s temple because he was taken with God’s people as prisoners to the land of Babylon. Ezekiel lived near the Chebar River.  God gave him messages to share with His people who were living in Babylon.
Today our focus is going to be from Ezekiel 10.  In this chapter God gives Ezekiel a vision.  A vision is like a dream but the person is not sleeping.  God allowed Ezekiel to see amazing things in this vision.  Let’s read a few verses and learn what Ezekiel saw.  Let’s read verses 1-2.  For those of you who cannot read please put on your listening ears to hear what Ezekiel saw.
(After reading ask the students to describe in their own words what Ezekiel describes he saw.)
In Ezekiel chapters 8-10 the vision that Ezekiel sees is taking place in Jerusalem.
In 10:1-2 Ezekiel describes how God tells a man wearing linen clothes to take burning coals and scatter them over the city.  Because of the sin of His people God was going to allow Jerusalem to be burned.  Burning the city would clean the land of the wickedness of God’s people.
Read Ezekiel 10:9-14.  (Discuss what is described.) The cherubim had eyes on their whole body, rims, spokes, wings and wheels. They had four faces- cherub, human face, lion and eagle.
Read Ezekiel 10:18-19.  Do you know what the ‘glory of the Lord’ means?  It is visible evidence of God’s greatness and power.
Earlier we heard that God is holy and sin separates people from Him.  Because we are sinful we cannot comprehend what God looks like.  The Bible tells us that no one has seen God and lived. (Exodus 33:20)
Different times in the Bible we see evidences of the glory of the Lord.  As Moses was on Mt.Sinai, ‘the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.’  Exodus 24:17
When God rescued His people from Egypt and was leading them to the Promise Land, He led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. (Ex. 13:22)
When Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem and was dedicating the temple to the Lord, the priests who were serving at the temple ‘could not stand to minister because of the cloud, the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.’ (2 Chr. 5:14)
Sin separates sinful man from a holy God.  God made His presence and power visible to His people through His glory.
The temple was built according to God’s instructions.  His instructions for worship were made known to His people.  His glory was at the temple as a visible reminder that God was with His people.
In this vision Ezekiel sees the glory of the Lord leaving the temple in Jerusalem.  God’s people had rebelled and disobeyed Him so many times.  They were no longer worshiping Him according to His instructions but were worshiping false gods and bringing wicked things into His Holy Temple.  God could not allow His presence to be in a place that had been ruined by the sinfulness of His people.  He was leaving this temple and it would be destroyed.
Later in the book of Ezekiel God tells Ezekiel that even though He punished His people for their sin one day He promised to restore a small group (remnant) of people to return to Jerusalem and worship Him and He would once again dwell with them.
We are going to end by looking at our memory verse:  Ezekiel 37:27 “My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
Did you know that when Jesus died on the cross for sins, was buried and rose again He became the perfect sacrifice for sin?  Sin separated us from God. When Jesus was crucified on the cross the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (Mt. 27:51) Jesus was the sinless Son of God who shed His blood on the cross.  God no longer needed priests to bring the blood of animals into the holy of holies because Jesus’ blood satisfied God’s anger against all sin.  (Heb. 7:20-28; 10:20)
When Jesus returned to heaven God sent the Holy Spirit who lives in the heart of each person who repents of their sin and believes that Jesus died for his/her sins.  God’s Holy Spirit lives in the heart of the believer and will never depart like the vision Ezekiel saw.  Jesus promised that He would never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5; Mat. 28:20). He keeps that promise because His Holy Spirit lives (dwells) in us and goes with us wherever we go. (Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Tim. 2:14)
(For older students)  If you are a believer your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) It is important to live according to God’s Word.  Even though the Holy Spirit will never leave the heart of a believer, allowing sin to be our boss will put out (quench) the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives. (1 Thess. 5:19) Spending each day praying, reading and obeying God’s Word enables the Holy Spirit to empower believers to reflect the glory of the Lord through their lives.
Close in prayer.
Review Questions:

  1. Why does sin separate us from God?  (He is holy and without sin)
  2. Why were God’s people living in Babylon? (God punished them for their sin)
  3. Where did Ezekiel live? (Babylon by the  Chebar River)
  4. Describe something from Ezekiel’s vision in chapter 10. (Answers will vary)
  5. Why was God’s glory leaving the temple?  (His people continued to sin and the temple and Jerusalem was going to be destroyed.)
  6. How did Jesus keep His promise to never leave or forsake those who believe in Him? (The Holy Spirit lives in the heart of every believer)

Image courtesy of Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media

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