“The name of the city…: The Lord is there!” – Ezekiel 48:35
The book of Ezekiel closes with this stunning statement. A great promise and a desire we have: we all would like to live in a city that could be summed up with this sentence: The Lord is there. We all want to live in a city where God’s presence is there. We all want to live in a city where God himself would be willing to live in.
What is true about a city where God promises his presence and is willing to be there? Ezekiel gives some guidelines for us.
- It’s a place of worship. (Ez 48:11. 14.) At the center of the land, the best part of the land and the most qualified people are dedicated to worship. It’s a city where a place (specific space) and proven, tested people are dedicated to serve God. It’s a city where worship is central, it’s at the focal point of the city. Everything is built around that sanctified place of worship. God resides in a city where there are places and people dedicated to worship him.
- It’s a place of social justice and business integrity. (Ez 45:9-11.) In such city the law serves the poor and needy and those in power don’t abuse their power to change the law. In such city the law-system provides security, the business integrity provides prosperity and both together provides equal opportunities for everybody. God is willing to be present in a city where the law-system is fair, righteous and creates equal security and the business interaction is based on integrity enhancing prosperity of the whole community.
- It’s a place of integration and not segregation. (Ez 47:21-22.) It’s a place where refuges, minorities find security, gets equal rights and opportunities with the original land owners. God lives in a city where immigrants, minorities, refugees are treated fairly, rights and properties are given to them and they are integrated into the majority society. It’s a place where racial and cultural integration happens.
- It’s a place of work. (Ez 48:18-19.) It’s a place that provides work and people from different “tribes” come together for jobs. It’s city that is a multicultural work-environment.
- It’s a place that has gates opened to every cardinals. It’s a place where the world comes together to interact. (Ez 48:30-34.) The city where God lives has opened gates to every direction to the world so people can come and go, can have access to the city, can influence it. It’s opened for people to come together from every cardinals to interact, to have business, to learn, to live, etc.. It’s not a closed, gated community, but an opened place for people from every cardinals to come and go.
This is the kind of city where God promises his presence and likes to reside in: 1. places and people are dedicated to worship; 2. social justice and business integrity provides security and prosperity; 3. racial and cultural integration happens; 4. jobs are provided; 5. it’s an opened, multicultural learning environment.
What can we do to make our cities to a place where God would want to reside in?