Friday, August 4, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Ezekiel 43-48
With today’s assignment, we conclude our scripture reading in the Book of Ezekiel. We have followed Ezekiel from his work as a 30-year old priest ministering in obscurity to the Jews “in the land of the Chaldeans” (Ezekiel 1:3) to God’s call for him to confront the sins of the people and prophesy the imminent judgment of God on the nation (2:3-5).
Israel rejected the Word of the LORD and the people refused to repent of their sins. False prophets, feigning to be prophets of the LORD, rose among the people and led them into greater wickedness (13:1-23). The “shepherds” of the nation, priests and leaders whose responsibility it was to lead the people, failed the nation and turned to idols and human sacrifice (16:15-34).
While the judgment and destruction of Jerusalem and Judah are assured, the LORD revealed to Ezekiel He would not altogether forsake Israel, promising to one day resurrect the nation (Ezekiel 37). The LORD encouraged His prophet that the day would come when the Jews would not only be restored to their land, but described the dimensions of the Temple they would build (Ezekiel 40-42).
The temple Israel will build when she is restored to the land following the Babylonian captivity is described in detail. The Book of Ezra describes the building of the same temple.
Ezekiel, however, describes in chapter 43 a temple that has yet to be built and is the temple of Christ’s millennial reign. Ezekiel is given a vision of that temple and describes the glory of the LORD filling it (43:2-5).
Promising the Jews will return to their land, guidelines and the role of priests are described in Ezekiel 44, including the restoration of the Passover and worship in the Temple (Ezekiel 45-46). The lands assigned to the tribes of Israel is also given (47:13-23; 48:1-35).
Admittedly, much of today’s reading (Ezekiel 43-48) is not only difficult to grasp, but has little immediate application; however, I close with a pertinent and simple observation:
While all the nations and people of the ancient past are either a footnote in history or altogether assimilated into the populations of the world; the Jewish people alone stand out as the exception. The Jews have survived indescribable suffering, atrocities, purges and attempts at mass annihilation; and yet there exists today a small sliver of land in the Middle East known as Israel…a testimony of God’s faithfulness and sovereign care of His chosen people.
You question, “Is there a God?”
There is no human explanation for the existence of the Jewish people and Israel apart from Elohim for He that is Mighty watcheth over Israel!
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith