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July 30, 2023 - Ezekiel 45-46

Ezekiel instructed that a portion of land should be set aside: “It shall be the holy portion of the land. It shall be for the priests, who minister in the sanctuary and approach the Lord to minister to him, and it shall be a place for their houses and a holy place for the sanctuary” (45:4). Furthermore, there were parcels of land for the larger city, for the priests and Levites, and for the rulers.

Regarding the last, the Lord instructed, “Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness. Cease your evictions of my people, declares the Lord God” (45:9). But not only must the rulers cease their wrongdoing, it was the ruler’s “duty to furnish the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the new moons, and the Sabbaths, all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel: he shall provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings, to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel” (45:17). And, then, there are instructions for the burnt offering and the giving of various other regulations.

All this is just a reminder that biblical religion is not merely a future “pie-in-the-sky” sort of thing. It is to be lived out obediently and in the real world, day after day, according to God’s good instructions. Thus, Peter writes, “Preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:13-15).

Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;

Living with Jesus, a new life divine;

Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,

Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.

Moment by moment I’m kept in his love;

Moment by moment I’ve life from above;

Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;

Moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine. -- D. W. Whittle (1894)

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