Key Passage: Ezekiel 37:27 “My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Big Picture Question: Why did God leave His people? God left His people because they kept sinning against Him.
Christ Connection: God did not stay in the temple. He left because the people sinned. God cannot be around sin. Jesus came to earth to take away our sin. When we turn from sin and trust in Jesus, we can be with God forever.
Today in The Gospel Project® for Kids, Ezekiel brought God’s message to the exiles in Babylon. God’s messages to Ezekiel came in the form of visions, full of symbols and signs. The prophecies shared by Ezekiel include details of God’s judgment on Jerusalem: the people would lack bread and water (Ezekiel 4:17), die by plague and famine (Ezekiel 5:12), and be ruined and disgraced (Ezekiel 5:14).
In Ezekiel 10, God told a man in linen to scatter coals over Jerusalem—a symbol of both punishment and purification. God had used fire to cleanse the lips of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:6) and to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24). In those days, when something was too dirty to be cleaned with water, it was burned up.
God’s judgment also came to Jerusalem through His departure from the temple. We must not think God was confined to the temple; He is omnipresent. (1 Kings 8:27; Jeremiah 23:24) But the temple was the place God’s people went to worship Him. (See 1 Kings 8:33-34.) When the people refused to be righteous before God, God’s glory left the temple.
God left the temple because He was unhappy with His people’s sin. Sin separates people from God. But we do not have to stay separated from God. Jesus came to earth to fix our relationship with God by taking the punishment of our sin for us. Because of Christ, we can enjoy God’s presence.
Family Activity: Ask everyone to explain how they know when someone else in the family is unhappy. How did God show He was unhappy with Israel? God’s presence left the temple. God left because the people sinned. God cannot be around sin. Jesus came to earth to take away our sin. When we turn from sin and trust in Jesus, we can be with God forever.