Ezekiel 1:1 KJV — "Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God."
The book of Ezekiel is an interesting book to say the least. It is full of visions and sights that are both vivid and prophetic. Yet, the very first verse of this book reminds of the great plight and predicament that Israel is in. They are in captivity by the river Chebar, an area controlled by the Chaldeans.
This captivity was something that was being endured, not enjoyed, for the writer knew exactly how many days this captivity had lasted.
More than likely, the Israelites were required to get permission from the Chaldeans to do the majority of their daily tasks, but the praise the Lord, God did not need their permission to speak to His people!
You situation may not be ideal, your circumstances may not be favorable, you may feel like a captive to your surroundings, but may I encourage you this morning and remind you that, God knows exactly where you are and He knows how to communicate with you!
There is no force of Hell or scheme of man that can hinder the ability of God to speak to His children! So get past your circumstances and get in the Word of God and let the Lord speak to you!
Ezekiel 2:6 KJV — And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Ezekiel was called by God to preach and prophesy to the nation of Israel. Yet, Ezekiel wasn't stepping before an eager crowd, who was just going to hang off of every word he said. No, at this time Israel had become a rebellious nation, and Ezekiel was given a message to tell them to repent and get right.
And here God gives Ezekiel a charge to not be afraid of them, but more precisely to not be afraid if their words. He lets Ezekiel know, that their words are going to irritate(briers), pierce(thorns), and sting(scorpios). But Ezekiel should not let the harsh words and critical attitudes put a stop to his message!
We are starting to see that same reception in America today, but may I remind that the message of Gospel should not come to a stop, because of what somebody may be saying about us! Take a page out of Ezekiel's play book and just keep speaking the truth in love! They may not like it, but they need it, and it is their only hope!
Ezekiel 3:22 KJV — And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.
You don't make it far into the book of Ezekiel, without coming to the realization that obedience plays important factor in this prophet's ministry. Already multiple times God has given him some simple tasks to be completed, some where quite peculiar, but simple none the less.
Ezekiel obeys the simple command and notice the result in following verse.
Ezekiel 3:23 KJV — Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.
He simply did what God had instructed him to do and God met him while he was doing it!
We often wonder why the church and most Christians are so carnal and spiritually anemic, it probably has great deal to do with a lack of obedience to the simple commands God has given us.
Here are a few simple commands the Lord has given us...
Read Your Bible - 2 Timothy 2:15
Pray - 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Attend Church - Hebrews 10:25
Share The Gospel - Mark 16:15
How can we expect to see revival or even grow in our Christian faith if we aren't being obedient in the simple commands?
It would be the equivalent of trying to get someone to understand Calculus, who hasn't grasped the functions of basic addition and subtraction.
Lets purpose in our hearts to nail down the basics for the glory of God!
Ezekiel 5:11 KJV — Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.
I praise the Lord to be part of a Bible believing Baptist church! We may not have the most ornate or fancy sanctuary, but we understand the purpose of the sanctuary. It is where we met to worship the Lord as a body of believers!
Unfortunately there are some churches, whose sanctuaries have become a place of defilement. They don't even carry a sense of holiness or godliness. The atmosphere in some is the equivalent of a club or rock concert. Some are places where doctrine is thrown out for caranality and feelings. Some are just as dead as the grave yards outside the church.
Praise God for a church that has a real sanctuary! By definition a sanctuary is a place of refuge or safety, and if we allow them to become like the world then, where will we find our place of refuge or retreat from the world?
We must endeavor to keep the sanctuary as a place of holiness and purity, for we need it more than we realize!
Ezekiel 6:5 KJV — And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.
Talk about some strong language in your Bible. This prophecy given by God to Ezekiel was definitely not one to be taken lightly. Yet it shows us the reality and end result of our idolatry.
Some men turn themselves into idols. They bask in pride and promote their great skills or abilities. This is a one way ticket to destruction.
Proverbs 16:18 KJV — Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Some turn their standards and regulations into idols. They turn the color of a dress shirt or length of a hem into measurable spirituality, but in turn making those very things idols.
1 Samuel 16:7 KJV — But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Some turn their accomplishments and achievements into idols. Not only should people be proud of what I have done, but God should be impressed with my accomplishment.
Psalm 127:1 KJV — A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
It doesn't matter what kind of idol we bow to or worship, they all lead us in the same direction, down and away from God. We must deal with them properly and thoroughly, before they leave us devastated and disgusted!
Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV — And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Ezekiel 12:2 KJV — Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.
We know that rebellion is a serious issue with the Lord.
We often think of it as someone who on purpose chooses to go against the truth and commands of God and His Word. No doubt that is rebellion, but here the prophet is taught by God of another firm of rebellion that we must be on guard from.
See the people here are described as having both eyes and ears, but they were using neither for their intended purposes.
Rebellion isn't just going out and doing wrong, but it is also not using what the Lord has given you for right.
How many times have we used our eyes to please our flesh instead of using them to observe the world and allowing what we observe to motivate us to carry out the Great Commission? How often do we turn our ears away from the truth of God's word and tune into gossip or worldly conversations?
You don't have to be a rebel-rouser to be in rebellion, you just don't have to use what the Lord has given you for His glory!
Are you giving all to Him or are you holding back?
Ezekiel 13:5 KJV — Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.
I've enjoyed sports my entire life. Whether it is participating in them, watching them, or merely just taking about them, I like it all.
Interestingly enough there is a common game plan when two teams meet on the court, field, or in a arena. They both want to exploit gaps that are present in their opponents line up. In baseball it is called hitting against the shift, in soccer it is called a through ball between two defenders, in basketball it is called threading the needle or finding the lane, and in football it is a defensive end shooting the gap between offensive linemen to get to the quarterback.
Different terminology but the same concept. Exploit the gaps!
Satan has the same desire for you, he wants to exploit the gaps in your life!
How do we keep him at bay? Don't just be mindful of the gaps in your life, but ask the Lord to help you mend and build up the gaps! Don't ever expect to give Satan an opening and him not take advantage of it!
Where are the gaps in your life and what are you going to do about them?
Ezekiel 22:30 KJV — And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
Will you be the one who does or one of the many who does not?
Ezekiel 14:1-3 KJV — Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
These men have come to Ezekiel to hear from God. I'm not sure what they were expecting to hear, but God knew what exactly needed to be dealt with.
Now these issues were not viewable from the outside, for Ezkiel only mentions the issues after the Lord speaks to him.
They may not have been visible by an onlooker, but they were very dangerous.
What were the issues? They were idols in their hearts and giving themselves over to inquity.
There were things that they had placed before God and things they were willfully participating in that they were wrong.
See we can play church and have a put on religious appearance, but if there are things we put before the Lord, we can't expect to enjoy genuine fellowship with the Lord.
We will always face temptation, but it is one thing to deal with it when it pops up unexpectedly in our lives, but if we are actively pursuing temptation, we cannot expect victory.
Purpose to live your life with this verse being your encouragement and example!
Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV — And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Ezekiel 16:6 KJV — And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.
This chapter in Ezekiel is one that is meant to be a great reminder to Israel. It starts of with God reminding Israel of just how bad off they were when God found them. This point is illustrated by comparing Israel to a baby that was born, but then left to die. It was helpless and hopeless, unless someone intervened.
When the Lord found them He didn't just render emergency medical aid, but he took them and made them great. It was nothing that they did by themselves, but all the work of God.
Yet, the Bible tells us that they trusted in their own beauty and strength and turned away from God. They lived as if they were the only means to their success and power. But if it had not been for a God who found them and saved them, they would have never it made it that far to start with.
One of the greatest downfalls to any Christian is to think they are the means to their own success or stability. In reality it simply boils down to, where would we be if the Lord had not found us?
What if the Lord hadn't saved you out of that drug habit or drunken stupor?
What if the Lord hadn't mended your marriage after infidelity?
What if the Lord hadn't opened your eyes to the fallacies of false religion?
What if the Lord hadn't showed up with life, when death was your only certainty?
By all means strive to make the right choices and wise decisions, but realize that if it had not been for God, you wouldn't know what right and wisdom are!
Live with the mentality and the understanding, that if it had not been God you would have died without hope and help!
I for one am grateful and thankful for His grace and mercy! Sure am glad He didn't leave me where He found me!
Ezekiel 18:14 KJV — Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like,
There are some people who come from Godly heritages. Their family trees are full of preachers, missionaries, and Christian servants. Mine isn't that way.
I come from a long line of working men and women, who through effort and labor, carved out a small piece of the Anerican dream, but godliness was not very high on some of their lists.
One of my ancestors escaped to America after a card game in which he thought he had killed his opponent after punching him. Others came to settle and farm in the Midwest, but alcoholism and false religion, have been some of their most enduring qualities.
That was the mold that I was being formed to fit into, but thank God that, he is a God of personal choices! He gave me a choice to either follow Him or to keep trying to fit into the mold of my family's history.
Because of my choice to follow Him, I'm now being made to fit into a new mold.
Romans 8:29 KJV — For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Yes, I am my father's son, but thankfully I do not have to follow after my family's sins! I can follow after Christ!
Follow Christ and help those coming up after you to know which way is right!
Ezekiel 20:30 KJV — Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?
A verse like this is very unpopular in modern day Chrsitianity. It's too rough, too vulgar, and seemingly goes away from the narrative of a loving God. Needless to say it doesn't make people feel good.
Now is God love? Of course He is! Yet, that is not the only attribute of God. Just as much as He is love, He is righteous! He doesn't sacrifice any of His attributes in favor for another. He doesn't have to shelf love to express His righteous or vise versa. He is completely love and righteous at the same time!
Now, I wouldn't take to kindly to somebody describing my father's actions as "whoredoms" and "abominations", yet the Lord in His righteousness calls them exactly what they are! He doesn't sugar-coat or even in the slightest way condone sin. He could not do that and still be righteous!
We must get on the same page with the Lord in our view of sin and disobedience. If we don't, we will view it as light thing, participate in it and then suffer through its devastating consequences.
Do you see these terrible and disgusting things like God sees them? View sin with the same view as God, and it should cause you stomach to turn and not entice you!
Sin is nothing to be played with, so don't make excuses to get involved with it!
Ezekiel 22:2 KJV — Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations.
I often think about how wonderful it must have been for some of the propthets to prophesy about the coming Messiah and amazing plan for redemption.
But more often than not God, used these men to deal directly with Israel and their apostasy and lethargy.
Men like Ezekiel had to be willing to say things that went directly against the popular culture and opinion of the day.
They had to be willing to call wrong things exactly what they are...wrong!
We need to have that same willingness about us as well! Yes, we are to preach the Gospel, but we also must be willing to stand with the Lord on the issues of morality, holiness, and sanctification.
If we lose our willingness to call out abominations as they have been outlined in the Scriptures, we will sooner or later conform to those same abominations either through participation or condoning.
So be willing to stand for what is right, but don't be afraid to speak out against what is wrong too!
Ezekiel 24:12 KJV — She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire.
This verse comes out of a prophesy given by Ezekiel concerning the nation of Israel. Yet, there is a phrase in it that stuck out to me.
"She hath wearied herself with lies..."
Lying will wear you out!
Lying to others will wear you out. You have to try to keep up with what lie you told to who and which one you are going to tell next to keep everybody off your case.
Lying to yourself will wear you out. If you are not alright, quit telling yourself that you are, so you can get the real issues resolved.
Lying to God will wear you out. He knows that you can't handle it, but as long as you keep telling Him you can, He is going to let you attempt to do so!
There is only one thing that can make you and I free and that is truth. Yes, we may wonder how one may receive the truth when we tell it, but at the end of the day we will feel at peace, because we told the truth!
Just tell the truth, you can't wear it out and it won't wear you out!
Ezekiel 25:6 KJV — For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel;
God has begun to pronounce judgment on the nations that have made light at, rejoiced in, or laughed at the desolation of Israel. And He didn't take it easy on them!
So many times, we see this scene continue to play out before our very own eyes in today's society. Conservative attitudes and Biblical truths are seemingly always under attack and treated with a double standard. For example in some states you can attend a peaceful protest or a funeral of a famous person, but in-person church services with safety guidelines in place are punishable by the law with fines and possible jail time.
How can we continue to operate when it seems so bleak and disheartening?
We must remember two things:
Romans 12:19 KJV — Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
The Lord takes perfect record! He knows exactly who is for Him and against Him! And He will reward both properly!
Romans 8:31 KJV — What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Do not let the amount of your adversaries out weigh the actuality of your situation. GOD IS FOR YOU!!!
Ezekiel 26:17 KJV — And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it!
God through the prophet, Ezekiel, has just pronounced this great judgment, a death sentence of sorts against the kingdom of Tyrus.
It would be a downfall and destruction that would be catastrophic and complete. At one point he even tells them that He will wipe the dust from their city! When it is all said and done, what was once a great kingdom will become nothing more than a place for me to cast their fishing nets.
What did they do to bring this judgment upon them?
Ezekiel 26:2 KJV — Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste:
They simply went against God's people and took pleasure in the judgment of Jerusalem.
But the biggest difference between these two, is the God was purifying Jerusalem and punishing Tyrus. This is shown by the fact that Jerusalem remained, but Tyrus was to never be rebuilt again.
Ezekiel 26:21 KJV — I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD.
Unfortunately, this principle still holds true today. Many times as Christian suffer through trials, those who oppose God either mock and take pleasure in their trials.
And just as sad, some will choose Hell instead the free gift of salvation.
Thank the Lord that I might experience the fire of trials in my life, but it is for my own growth and purification! I'll never feel the fires of Hell and eternal domination! Praise the Lord!
Just be glad today, that you are not going to Hell!
Ezekiel 27:32 KJV — And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea?
It may be the next chapter in the book of Ezekiel, but the Lord is still dealing with Tyrus.
Due to its strategic location, Tyrus was great hub city. It not only drew tremendous amounts of trade, which exponentially grew the city's wealth, but they had some the greatest armies and soldiers guarding its walls.
Talk about security. A thriving economy and a strong military force. Tyrus had all the wordly means to be successful and have a lasting legacy.
But worldly means and success will not impress God or cause Him to turn a blind eye to wrong doing. That's still true today!
There is only one way to get in right standing with God, and that is through the finished work of Christ, the Son of God!
"Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling;"
Praise the Lord if you know that truth, but don't forget to share that truth with someone who might not know!
Ezekiel 29:12 KJV — And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.
It is now Egypt's turn for judgment. Egypt has taken credit for the creation of its great river, the Nile River. Yet, we know that man has not constructed this river, but God himself created the river. They had become arrogant and prideful because of their great success.
What I find interesting, is that Egpyt is still a country today, but no where near the empire they were back during Biblical times. One of its major forms of income is tourism. Thousands of people a year come to Egpyt to see the ruins of a once great civilization.
Some may be amazed at the ingenuity of the pyramids, or the beauty of the Sphinx, but in reality these monuments are nothing more than ruins of a once great power that was brought down because of pride.
What about you? When you come to the end of your life, will there be just ruins left as a by-product of a prideful life, or will there be memorials that will continue to point others to Christ after you are dead and gone?
Ezekiel 33:9 KJV — Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
Have you ever got a coffee/hot beverage to go from a restaurant or coffee shop? Typically there will be a card board ring around the cup, with a simple message on, "Caution, Contents May Be Hot!"
I used to wonder, "Why would somebody who ordered a hot coffee, need to be reminded to that their coffee was hot?"
I later found out that, the ring isn't necessarily a friendly reminder, but rather it is the business' way of staying out of lawsuit. There was one man who got burnt by hot coffee and sued the company he purchased it from because they did not remind him that it was hot, and yes he won his case in court. So now every little cardboard ring serves as a warning and a reminder, but ultimately removes the liability off of the company.
We as Christians have a far greater reminder than a hot beverage, and that is the reality of someone spending eternity in the lake of fire, without the comfort of Christ!
Don't be afraid to warn others about the reality of Hell! If you don't, who will? But don't just sound the alarm, remember to extend the invitation of salvation. A knowledge of Hell does not save, the acceptance of Christ does!
Don't be silent, sound the alarm!
Ezekiel 34:14-16 KJV — I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
Ezekiel 34 opens up with a rebuke of the shepherds of Israel. They have taken advantage of the sheep and exploited the sheep, but have not cared for the sheep in the most basic way, they have not fed the sheep.
So the Lord using this imagery begins to express His intentions as the Great Shepherd of Israel, towards the sheep. We see the phrase "I will" multiple times in this verse. The Lord doesn't stop at the bare minimum of feeding the sheep, no He goes even further. He is willing to give the sheep a safe place to rest, to find the ones who may have wondered off, to heal those who are broken, and to strengthen those who are weak. He isn't just a good shepherd, He is the Great Shepherd!
How many of us could agree that He has done way more than just barely supply our most basic needs, He has given is the best kind of care?
Ezekiel 36:17 KJV — Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
We all have the tendency to want to blame somebody else for our problems.
If my boss would just pay me more, I would like to do my job.
If my wife would just respect me more, I would want to spend more time with her.
If my children would just listen, then I wouldn't be grumpy all the time.
Now there are times when the choices of others and their consequences do have an affect on us, but so many times we blame others for our bad attitudes and dissatisfaction.
God ultimately held Israel responsible for the wickedness and worldliness that they allowed within their borders. They not only had the choice to reject Paganism and Idolatry, but they also had the commandment for God to reject it.
We must realize that what we allow into our lives will influence us, and we can blame it for our disobedience and detours, but at the core we are responsible because we allowed it to influence us!
Let Psalm 101:3 be your filter for what you will allow to influence you in life.
Psalm 101:3 KJV — I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Ezekiel 37:7 KJV — So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
That is one of the secrets to a successful Christian life. You cannot please the Lord while being disobedient. That just doesn't make any type of sense. Yet how many times in the Scriptures do we see the amazing results that are brought on by simple obedience.
Here in Ezekiel, it was a valley of dead, dry bones coming back to life. Even when Ezekiel wasn't so sure it was going to work, he still obeyed the command of the Lord.
How obedient have you been to Him lately?
Have you prayed, when you felt the need to do so?
Have you read and study the Word of God, like we have been instructed to do?
Have you witnessed to and shared the Gospel with those you have been given a burden for?
See the majority of the Christian life boils down to you and I just being obedient.
In all seriousness, how obedient have you been?
Ezekiel 39:3 KJV — And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
This the Lord speaking directly to Gog, an nation that would rise up against Israel.
Notice to the utter defeat that would leave them totally useless and unable to attack.
Often times we think the Christian life can only be lived in the defensive mode. We must wait for Satan to attack before we begin to fight or prepare for battle.
Thankfully we have a verse that tells us that we do have great defense from the attacks of the enemy.
Ephesians 6:16 KJV — Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
But, we not only have a God who is behind us, but He goes before us! He can win the battle before we even know there is a battle afoot. That's why we are comforted by a verse like this...
Isaiah 54:17 KJV — No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
He may be defending you in the midst of battle, or He may have won a battle you haven't even noticed yet, I'm just glad I'm on the winning side!
Ezekiel 42:15 KJV — Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me forth toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east, and measured it round about.
Ezekiel has spent the last 3 chapters in a vision from God. In this vision, he has traveled around the temple and the sanctuary, with a man who has a measuring reed.
This man measures every part of the temple and sanctuary with Ezekiel in tow. It literally sounds like a cut list need to complete a construction project. Cubit after cubit, we can see not only the specific layout and size, but we can also see the extreme detail that is taken by the Lord.
Though these numbers and measurements may bore us while we read through them, I was reminded this morning that God does not cut corners! He isn't satisfied with close enough or within tolerance! He is perfect!
This is especially true concerning our salvation, it is not a "close enough" salvation or "just about there" salvation, we have a perfect salvation!
When is the last time you took out the measuring reed and just measured how great your salvation really is?
Ezekiel 44:15 KJV — But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:
Faithfulness is extremely important to the Christian life, it is an essential quality that is necessary for the sustained and continued growth of a Christian. Notice here that those who stayed faithful to God were rewarded with an amazing ministry, while those who were unfaithful, slipped into grievous sin and apathy.
How faithful have you been to the Lord lately?
Have you been faithful to study and read the Word of God?
Have you been faithful to not forsake the assembling of the people of God?
Have you been faithful to pray for others and make time to fellowship with the Lord?
Have you been faithful to share the Gospel, with those in need of it?
Have you been faithful in choosing the leadership of the Holy Spirit, over the misleading of the flesh?
Is faithfulness that big of a deal? Yes! Just ask these sons of Zadok, and they would tell you the best choice they ever made was to be faithful!
Ezekiel 45:1 KJV — Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about.
What a great experience that must have been for Israel, to be able to once again have the land that God has promised to them.
Yet notice who given the first piece of land. The first parcel is given back to God and designated as a place for holy service and worship.
We should follow this example daily in our lives and learn the truth and blessing of giving God our first fruits and not just our leftovers. Whether it be the hours of our day or the energy of our service, the Lord deserves our best, and we should not make Him to settle for our leftovers.
Put God first and He will take care of you!
Matthew 6:33 KJV — But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Ezekiel 46:13 KJV — Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning.
When we hear the word offering, our minds go to a specific time of church service where a collection is taken up and some one sings a special. Prause the Lord for those who faithfully give to the Lord through the local church.
But notice the schedule that is mentioned in this verse concerning the offering. It was to take place daily. Does that word describe your schedule of offering? Are daily looking to offer to God something of great value that He can use for His glory?
It goes beyond financial means, what about your time or your talents? Do you get up daily looking only to get from God, without ever seeking ways to give back to Him?
We are to be a living sacrifice, for it is our reasonable service, in order to do that, we must have a time of daily offering unto the Lord.
Ezekiel 48:14 KJV — And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD.
This verse is in reference to certain piece of land that was to be set aside as God divided the land amon the tribes of Israel.
This parcel of land was to go to tribe of Levi and was to be set apart as holy unto the Lord.
Notice the stipulations that were put on it were very clear. Don't sell it, don't trade it, or change its purpose.
Now we may not have a special parcel of land, but we do have a very special relationship with Christ!
Don't sell Him out! Don't trade Him for some one else! Don't use your relationship with Him for selfish means!
Titus 2:12 KJV — Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
I don't know about you, but I want my life to exhibit the characteristics found in the latter part of this verse. I want to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
No doubt we should have a desire to do so, but the first part of the verse tells us one of the vital steps in the process is that we must deny worldly lusts and ungodliness. Don't entertain them in the slightest bit, but rather put at stop to them in the earliest moments.
The image that comes to my mind is of a former basketball player named Dikembe Mutombo. He was 7'2" and a prolific shot blocker. He was known to wag his finger, and say "No,no,no" after swatting away the opponents ball.
We need that same attitude in our life, where we through the power of God, reject the advances of lust and ungodliness, and turn to righteousness and godliness!
Titus 3:8 KJV — This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
One of the biggest misconceptions about being a Christian is that as soon as you believe on Jesus Christ, and are saved by grace, you never struggle with making a wrong decision or your flesh never flares up again. This just simply isn't the case!
There is a word in this verse though, that can help us as strive to do right and bring glory to the Lord in our daily lives. That word is careful. It means to move with caution or great care.
Just think if you had to navigate through a mine field, with nothing but a map of where the mines were located, would you consult the map for every movement or just dash off into the field and hope for the best?
One of the greatest aids in our Christian life is to learn the necessity of being careful. Learning to wait on God and His timing, the moment we rush to anything, whether it be conclusions or decisions, or when we react based strictly on our feelings, we tend to make a mess of it.
Don't ever under estimate the value of being careful!
Ecclesiastes 1:9 KJV — The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
We live in a time of vast innovation. It seems like there is something new coming out every day. New cars, new phones, new televisions, new fridges, new, new, new.
All of these new things are supposed to make our lives more enjoyable and easier, and in turn give us more contentment and satisfaction. Yet, technological innovation and ease of living inventions, might keeps of connected to each other, they haven't made a dint in the real issues of life.
Suicide, divorce, and violence are still prevalent in our society, the real solution isn't something new, but rather it is Christ! It has always been Christ, and always will be Christ.
Just stick the with the old stuff, it works every time!
Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 KJV — And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
I'm all for hard work! I'm a firm believer that consistent effort leads to a successful outcome. As a matter of fact, one of the main ingredients in the American Dream is hard work. Yet, if all of our effort is only invested in worldy success and fortune, it simply is reduced to vanity. For when we die so does our success and achievements. Worldly effort that leads to worldly success, has worldly expirations. That is why we are instructed as Christians to seek first the kingdom of God! For in heaven is our reward and there it will not rust or be at risk for corruption. So work hard, but just make sure your effort is invested in the right place!