Scripture reading – Ezekiel 46-48
Today’s Scripture reading concludes our devotional study of the Book of Ezekiel. We have followed the prophet from his work as a 30-year old priest ministering to His people “in the land of the Chaldeans” (Ezekiel 1:3), to God calling him to serve as His prophet.
Ezekiel prophesied the judgment of God against Judah and foretold the siege of Jerusalem by Babylon. The prophet warned the Temple would be destroyed and the land left desolate. While false prophets lied to the people, Ezekiel faithfully confronted their sins, and warned the imminent judgment of God (2:3-5).
While the judgment and destruction of Jerusalem and Judah were assured, the LORD revealed to Ezekiel that He would not altogether forsake Israel, promising to one day resurrect the nation (Ezekiel 37). The LORD encouraged His prophet that the Jews would not only be restored to their land, but even described in exacting detail the dimensions of the new Temple the LORD Himself would build in the Millennium Kingdom (Ezekiel 40-43).
Having prophesied the Jews would be restored to their land, the guidelines and the role of priests was defined in Ezekiel 44:9-31. The division of the land was given, including the portion set aside for the LORD (45:1-5) and the portion of the sacrifices to be offered in memoriam to Christ’s sacrifice (45:6-27). Three Feasts or festivals are renewed during the Millennial reign of Christ: The New Year’s Feast (45:18-20), the Passover (45:21-24), and the Feast of the Tabernacles (45:25).
Ezekiel 46 – Sabbaths, New Moons, and Sacrifices
Ezekiel’s record of his vision of the Temple and the worship and offerings continues in chapter 46. Worship on the Sabbath and on the New Moon is noted (46:1-3). Guidelines for feasts and regulations for sacrificial offerings observed during the Millennial Kingdom are given (46:4-15).
Ezekiel 47 – The River of Life
The source of the “River of Life” is observed by Ezekiel as coming forth from the threshold of the Temple (47:1-2). The water begins to flow as a trickle of water and is described as ankle deep (47:3); however, it soon became a mighty river that nourished the city and the land (47:4-5).
The “River of Life” will bring new life to the land of Israel, nourishing trees, healing the Dead Sea and turning it into a thriving sea of life with fish (47:6-12) where fisherman cast their nets.
Guidelines, instructions, and boundaries for dividing the land is recorded in Ezekiel 47:13-23.
Ezekiel 48 – The Land Divided Among the Tribes of Israel
With the central portion of Israel, the land around the Temple and Jerusalem, noted as a sacred district (48:8-22), there were seven tribes to the north that were assigned their lands by tribe (48:1-7). The land south of the sacred district was assigned to the five remaining tribes (48:23-29).
Jerusalem, the capital city and the seat of Christ’s government during His millennial reign is described as having twelve gates, each named for one of the twelve tribes (48:30-35). I invite you to notice that new Jerusalem is given a new name: “Yahweh Shammah,” meaning, “The LORD is there” (48:35).
I close with an observation: With the exception of Israel, the nations and people of the antiquity are either a footnote in history or have been 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. 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 people.
There is no explanation for the existence of the Jewish people apart from Elohim.
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith