Have you ever had a verse of Scripture bless you with new insight or application?
I have loved this verse for many years. It touches a place in my heart and speaks volumes to me. At first glance, it may seem a strange verse to love, but let me enlarge you.
“And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst.” (Ezek. 41:7 KJV)
I love that! Let’s draw from a few other versions of that portion and see if you catch it…
*“And the side rooms became broader as they encompassed the temple higher and higher, for the encircling of the house went higher and higher round about the temple; therefore the breadth of the house continued upward.” (AMPC)
*“The side rooms surrounding the temple widened at each successive story, for the structure surrounding the temple went up by stages.” (HCSB)
*“The side rooms at the top were larger than the ones at the bottom, all around the Lord’s house.” (NLV)
Are you getting it? No?
How have you come to know the Lord as you do? Has your heart been expanded through good or peaceful times? Maybe some. However…
*What enlarges you, stretches you, increases you?
*What compels you to seek the Lord, to draw you near to Him?
*What are those rooms in your heart that need widening, that lead you to rise higher, to that place where you grab hold of God and don’t let go?
Do you have a Peniel like Jacob, where he took hold of God and would not let go until God blessed him?
Are you confined by barred difficulties like Paul was? The Lord overwhelmingly expanded Paul through all his imprisonments and sufferings that the church might be enlarged by his work of spreading the gospel.
And David? He said to God, “You have freed me when I was hemmed in and enlarged me when I was in distress.” (Ps. 4:1b AMPC) Enlarged in distress.
Are you getting it? Maybe?
The Lord not only broadens us through His Word and in quiet times of communion with Him but also through trials and sufferings. And “as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.” (2 Cor. 3:18b TLB) “We are changed into his glorious image.” (NLT) “From one radiance of glory to another.” (Voice) From a lower chamber to a higher one.
It is not so much that trials expand us but that trials compel us into the very presence of God. That place where we are enlarged. Where the Lord shares His joy, dispenses His comfort, gives us His peace, supplies our needs, soothes our sorrows. All gained by sharing in the Lord’s character that we might draw from Him the graces for survival in this life.
In his commentary, Matthew Henry said of the Ezekiel passage, “The higher we build up ourselves in our most holy faith the more should our hearts, those living temples, be enlarged.” And as our hearts are enlarged, our whole household, those side rooms, will expand, and so, too, will the church be increased.
Therefore, I pray you may be enlarged and “build yourselves up in your most holy faith” and “grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Jude 20a NIV, 2 Peter 3:18 TLB)
Did you get it? Have you been enlarged?