The New City

Open Your Bible

Ezekiel 48:1-35, Zechariah 2:10, Revelation 21:3, Revelation 21:10-22

I’m from a small town in Indiana where cornfields and railroad tracks are the distinguishing features. I’ve lived in a few, much bigger places since then, but one thing I’ve learned for certain: I’m not a big city girl. I prefer wide-open spaces over skyscrapers, trees to block the sun rather than buildings, and don’t even get me started about my love for cows over crowded city streets. It’s the familiarity that draws me in. I feel at home in the suburbs, and even more so in the country, the very places I’ve spent a lifetime growing accustomed to. 

As we draw to a close after six full, rich weeks of Ezekiel, we reach what many consider to be the climax: the new city. In this final chapter, Ezekiel describes God’s promise for His people’s return to the restored land, the very place they had been exiled from. Alongside Ezekiel, Revelation 21 details John’s strikingly similar vision—a fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy made over 500 years before. 

Whereas Ezekiel’s vision centers on the use of the city, John’s pays careful attention to the makeup and architecture. The details, though they are enough to stop us in our tracks, are not the climax of these visions. In Ezekiel’s, the central location and focus of the city is the temple—the center of worship, the place of God’s presence. Yet as John, a Jewish man familiar with the temple’s importance, looked for the temple in his vision, he couldn’t find it—because “the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22). The temple has been replaced—God’s presence has overtaken the city.

Whether it’s crowded city streets or a calm countryside, it’s easy to feel at home in what’s familiar. While it will appear more brilliant and unique than anything we have experienced, this new city won’t be entirely new to us. More important than all its stunning features, this city will be the home we were always intended for—the very presence of God.

“The name of the city from that day on will be The LORD Is There.” —Ezekiel 48:35 

For the exiles who had witnessed the departure of God’s presence (Ezekiel 10–11), the hope of this new city brought the security of His presence forever. As a people living in between Jesus’s first and second coming, it can be easy to read this prophecy assuming its hope doesn’t translate. After all, we still live in the broken cities of this world. It’s here, in the in-between, that we get to join John in looking to the very city in his vision. This Lenten season, because of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, we can cling to the hope that we will one day be home forever. This is the hope secured in Christ that we will read about this Holy Week.

 The book of Ezekiel has reminded me that what’s most important is not whether God’s eternal kingdom looks more like a bustling city or a quiet countryside; what I desire is the presence of God—that’s where we were meant to feel at home.

(32) Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

32 thoughts on "The New City"

  1. Ashlee Hickson says:

    I have truly enjoyed this study! I give thanks for it

  2. K Swenson says:

    Thank you to those who prayed for me and my journey with depression! It means so much to me!
    I’m so relieved that Ezekiel is finally taking this turn. It’s been a rough read, but it’s certainly made me more thankful for the death and resurrection of Christ and for the Holy Spirit’s constant presence with us. I can’t wait for the day when we’ll all truly be home.

  3. K Swenson says:

    Thank you to those who prayed for me and my journey with depression! It means so much to me!

  4. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love looking forward to our future in the beautiful city!!

  5. Jennifer Anapol says:

    The book of Ezekiel has made me more aware of how connected the Old Testament and the New Testament are. It’s so amazing to see how the God of the Old Testament really is the God of the New Testament. I feel so ready to start Holy Week!

  6. Traci Gendron says:

    I’m so good at starting my day with SRT studies. My routine has been turned upside down as we are not in our home right now. My own fault for not getting up earlier and putting God first. My husband and I have been going out for walks. I’m very grateful for that because I don’t often have much time with him. But I feel I’ve lost out on the last few days of Ezekiel. You just cannot cram these readings into one day! With that said, I’m hoping next week will be better!
    Praying for you all.

  7. Leslie Gray says:

    I am so grateful that this was my first Lent study to participate in. I have always dodged Ezekiel, because I just didn’t think I could ever understand it. This study has helped me not only understand the book more, but it has shown me more about God’s character that I hadn’t really looked at before/or essentially just ignored. I am thankful for not only a loving God, but for a JUST and HOLY God, that exposes and punishes our sin and uses that to bring us back to him ❤️

  8. Jenna W says:

    Wow! Would I have ever guessed that I would say that I love the book of Ezekiel?! Uh…no! But now, after having read and pondered at this pace, with the mindset of lent in recognizing sin, merciful rescue, and the hope of actually being in God’s presence, I have a whole new mindset of this book! I have a renewed gratefulness and I know He is the LORD!❤️

  9. Margaret W says:

    Thank you, Searching ❤️

  10. Susan Victoria says:

    With an imminent move on the horizon for our family (from a beautiful town to a city), some of my fears have been, “Will this be home?” Today’s reading is a promise that where we go, THE LORD IS HERE and that will be home.

  11. Cindy Hanna says:

    I have loved this study of Ezekiel. It felt significant, weighty even and forced me to contemplate the heart of God in ways I hadn’t thought of before. He emerged more holy, more just, more merciful and more faithful than ever. Oh how he loves us! Oh, how very much I want to dwell in His presence and worship.

  12. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Praying for you all this morning and your requests as I read them.
    @Sarah D. – praying that God will heal you of your anxieties and that He will comfort you and help you through in the meantime.
    @Jenn Taylor – what a scary thing to have happen! I will be praying for you all…I found you on FB and am following you – I will be praying for you regularly as you serve our Lord in Chile. There is another family in Chile that I pray for as well.

    Blessings All!

  13. Dorothy says:

    “…because of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, we can cling to the hope that we will one day be home forever. This is the hope secured in Christ…”, these words of Hannah’s really “hit home” today. Maybe it’s because last night my d-i-l text me to tell me that my son’s aunt on his father’s side is in ICU. She has cancer of the bladder and kidneys. Her name is Patricia but she goes by Tricia or Trish. She is a year younger than me and that’s what really makes it hard. I believe she is saved.

    Be blessed and cling to His hope sisters. Have a great weekend.

  14. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    What a story of hope the Bible has for us, and it goes full circle! It begins in Genesis with Adam and Eve living and walking in the presence of God. But because of sin they were separated. Then we read of the tabernacle and later the temple, where again man was separated from God by the veil. Because of man’s sin the only one allowed behind the veil were the priests who offered atonement for sin. In the New Testament we find the same – separation from God by sin and a veil. But then, Jesus died on the cross for our sin — the veil of separation was torn in two! Now, we have access into the holy of hollies through the precious, poured out blood of Christ! And one day in our future, we have the promise of once again living and walking in the very presence of God, in the New Jerusalem! Eden is restored! Oh what a day – a glorious day that will be!!

    Have a wonderful weekend my She Sisters!

  15. Rebecca says:

    As I look out the window and see the budding dogwoods and life returning to a cold brown earth I am reminded that a whole new earth is coming forever! And Jesus will be there with us forever! Too wonderful to truly grasp!❤️❤️❤️
    Jenn T- Prayers for courage and peace after your ordeal
    Sarah D- thankful you had a better day and will continue to pray for peace and calm in your soul
    Jennifer Loves Jesus- your words are beautiful and eloquent and touch my heart.
    Have a fabulous Friday!

  16. Rhonda J. says:

    There is a coming day
    where no heartache shall come
    No more clouds in the sky
    No more tears to dim the eye
    All is peace forever more
    on that happy golden shore
    What a day, glorious day that will be!

    What a day that will be
    When my Jesus I shall see
    When He takes me by the Hand
    And leads me to the Promise Land
    What a Day, Glorious Day
    That will Be!

    The old hymnal I love to sing! Happy Friday She’s!
    Friday is my day to listen to “The Unfolding” podcast! Take a listen to hear an uplifting testimony, that I’m sure will bless you! I missed the SRT podcasts this week, so I have to catch up on that tomorrow!

    Thank you for the comments today, they are beautiful as always!

  17. Morgan Latham says:

    I was reminded of an excerpt from Psalms. “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalms‬ ‭23:6‬ Then this lyric from a hymn came to mind: “What a day of rejoicing that will be.” I’m looking forward to it!

  18. Leigh Gorham says:

    The name of the city shall be, The Lord is There. How magnificent! The Hebrew pronunciation for the city’s name is [yeh-ho-vaw’][shawm]. (Accent on the ‘vaw’). What a beautiful truth. His very physical presence is our holy space. Forevermore. ❤️

  19. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    “…and the name of the city from that day on will be YHWH SHAMMAY” (Yahweh is here). Ezekiel 48:35. We are being gathered by our Father’s hands. He is restoring us, healing us, preparing us as His bride. The flowers are blooming, the candles are glowing, the scene is being set each new day. The joyful expectation of a restored land anchors my hope today. “Sing and rejoice O daughter of Zion, for behold, I am coming, I will dwell in your midst.” Zechariah 2:10.
    God is in His glory, He is with us now. And He is coming for us here. Right now, where the pain is, where the questions seem unanswered, where fear tempts, where loneliness tries to swallow us. He is coming to rescue us from all of it. Remember who I am. Remember Whose I am. I am a daughter of the one true God, the King. My inheritance far outweighs any trouble or affliction I experience now. Hard to imagine on some days, yet no less true. Comfort me here Lord, as I wait for Your return. And in the meantime, give me strength and peace that comes from the Word. Fall afresh on me. Maranatha.

  20. Benita Whittle says:

    What a beautiful ending to Ezekiel, “and the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord is There”. I can’t imagine what hope that must have given the people at Ezekiel’s time, when they witnessed the devastating lost of their home and destruction of the temple and thus gone was the explicit presence of God. Yet God promised to return and dwell with them again! And we have seen this because Jesus has become the true temple and one day we will see God face to face and dwell in the same city with him! Just amazing to see how promises from old still translate for us New Testament believers, this is the same God who is merciful and gracious to live us with, and let us be his people, and Him our God! Praise God!!

  21. Sarah D. says:

    Praise the Lord for Jesus, who came to dwell with us, so that we may have the hope and security of dwelling to forever with God in heaven! Thank you Lord for the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us. We are not alone.
    Thank you for your prayers sisters, yesterday went better as the day went on. I watched a message by Pastor Jonathan Pokluda who I am always encouraged by, and he described from the book of Job how we can stand FIRM against the enemy’s attacks.
    Fall into worship
    Identify good
    Resist sin
    Maintain hope.
    It was really helpful for me yesterday, and I’m definitely going to try praying a lot more when I start feeling anxious. God is with me, so I have access to him through prayer at all times!! Prayers still appreciated, praying for you all.

  22. Ally M says:

    My heart overflows with hope. We may not be home yet, but we will be someday. We will be with God forever. I also am just struck by the parallels in Ezekiel and Revelation- it’s so cool. God is SO GOOD!!!! I’m so thankful that we have the Bible so that we can learn more about Him and His plans. :)

  23. Searching says:

    The details in Ezekiel were difficult to read on some/many days but l have loved this study overall, gaining more understanding and thankfulness for the Lord’s patience, love, justice, relentless pursuit of me and so many more attributes, and as a reminder that God has a plan for each of us.

    Praying through my sisters’ requests and thankful for each of you.
    MARGARET W – praying for you (and Henry) as you both heal. The things you shared that brought you to your decision reminded me of this (can’t remember where I first saw it) – when we are trying to decide what is the right choice/decision, deep in our hearts we usually already know what we should do. Since many times the right thing is the also the most painful route, we look for an alternative thinking that something close to the right thing might be acceptable. Thankful for the Lord’s guidance and wisdom when we are faced with these situations.

    Praying also for SARAH D, K SWENSON, JENN and RHONDA J. Also for Muslims and other groups to know the one true God, and especially for the people of Ukraine in their unimaginable suffering.


  24. Laura says:

    Jenn Taylor – Praying for you this morning. What a trauma you and your fellow missionaries have experienced. My family lived as missionaries as well, and experienced some things that could have discouraged us and sent us packing home. Our home was robbed in the middle of the night while our young children were sleeping. Our son woke up and caught the intruders. Our vehicle was totaled 2 weeks after arriving in country. Muggings, sickness, miscarriage, the list continued. A friend said to us, “Either you are way outside of the Lord’s will, or you are doing exactly what God wants you to do and Satan doesn’t like it.” We knew that it was the Enemy and we did not waver on our calling, even though it was so hard sometimes. But God carried us through in so many ways, kept us safe (everything that was lost was replaceable), and He blessed us and the ministry in so many ways. I am so sorry for what you and your ministry partners are going through. It is not easy. Keep trusting in the Lord that He will sustain you and continue to use you. Satan doesn’t like when we do the Lord’s work, but God is the victor here, He is the stronger one, and so we can rest in His protection and His provision. Blessings to you today.

  25. Emilee Dickman says:

    I love that it’s not something we even have to wait for. I’ve moved a lot in the past 20 years, but I was always able to find a familiar “home” with His presence.

  26. Emilee Dickman says:

    The presence of God is where we’re meant to feel at home—- AMEN!

  27. Sharon Smith says:

    ❤️The Lord is There

  28. Blessed Beth says:

    Oh being in the presence of God, wow what a peaceful reassuring feeling, unexplainable. This is the feeling I want to start each day with.

  29. Karen Roper says:

    Amen – I love that – the presence of God is where I will feel at home- no more longing but right there. So looking forward to it❤️❤️

  30. Donette Mullinix says:

    I love how the Bible is one big story. My Bible study group has studied Exodus the past six months and we read about the tabernacle in the wilderness being built and then I read about the temple during Lent from Ezekiel, and now today from Revelation. What a beautiful story and hope we have for eternity with Him.

  31. Kelly (NEO) says:

    O Lord God Almighty, Your willingness to reside in me is so mind blowing. Oh that others who interact with me would say, “The LORD is there!”.

    Have a great day Shes ❤

  32. Arina says:

    I cannot begin to imagine what it will look like. Sometimes that scares me, not knowing how it will be. Will I be good enough? How can I ever be without sin? Wont I get bored with always praising God? At the same time, I rest in the knowledge that it will be good because God is there. All hardship, worry and sin gone. Everything made new and we, for always, in the presence of God. Finally home.