Ezekiel 40-41

Artist’s interpretation of what Ezekiel’s temple will look like are varied, but they all have certain things in common.   I’ve included one such picture below to help us envision what chapter 40 is describing.
Read Ezekiel 40-41                                  
Take a look at this picture.  Isn’t it very different from the first temple?    And, the second temple didn’t look like this…even though they had Ezekiel’s vision to draw from when they built it.   The second temple was built to look more like the first one.  I wonder why that was?  For a size comparison, look at the lower right hand corner to see the temple area compared to the football field.   Wow.
Thinking of that, notice that there are some items missing from this temple description that were in the first one.   I don’t see the Bronze Sea, where the priests had to wash.   The Ark of the Covenant isn’t mentioned, and several artifacts from inside are missing (table of shewbread, incense, lampstands).         ** Continue reading below the picture.
Image result for ezekiel 40
Here’s a radical thought that I just learned today:   If God  showed this vision to Ezekiel, then it could be that He wanted the temple to look like this when Israel returned from exile.   I don’t think this was meant to be the millennial temple, because there are doors separating the Most Holy Place from the people, and sacrifices for sin are still offered there.   Both of those would seem to have been fulfilled with the sacrifice of Jesus.  (Remember that the curtain that separated the holy place from the temple was torn in half at the time of the crucifixion)  It seems plausible that the Jews were to build this temple when they returned to Jerusalem.    On the other hand, I don’t see a specific command to build it, but as we will see in future readings Ezekiel is told to prepare for the sacrifices that will take place there.
Thinking of that, and following the thought that the Jews should have built it on return from exile, I wonder:
1.  What “ripples” does it send through time when we don’t do what God told us to do?   
2.  If God knows everything, then hasn’t He already planned for our eventual shortfall?
3.  Since God knows that we won’t do what we are supposed to, did He make that part of the plan?
4.  If the Jews had built this temple during Ezra’s time, would the Messiah have come at that time?  
5.  If they were disobedient, did that delay what God had originally planned?
This temple is thought by many to be the “millennial temple”….since it hasn’t been built yet. But why would that temple need doors separating the most holy place from the rest of the temple?   Why would  their be priests kitchens and chambers if Jesus has already made the supreme sacrifice?   Other than the sacrifices of praise what further need could there be for sacrificing?
It seems strange to me that God would give instructions on how to build this temple and yet remain silent on the construction of the actual “second” temple…We know how much detail that God gave Moses about the items used in the tabernacle, and the details that He gave to David and Solomon about the construction of the first temple.    Why would He “skip” telling His people about the second temple and go right to describing the third one?
Very interesting.