Ezekiel 44

No one was permitted to enter through the outer gate of the sanctuary which faced east, it had to remain shut, for the God of Israel had entered by it, vs 1,2.

Only the king was permitted to sit in it and eat a sacrificial meal in the Lord’s presence, vs 3.

This signifies that on account of the holiness of God, He cannot be accessed, except through the offering of our bodies as a living sacrifice unto Him, and being cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. Once again as Ezekiel experienced the glory of the Lord filling the temple, he threw himself face downwards, vs 4.

He was told to pay close attention to all the statutes related to the tabernacle as well as all its entrances and exits, vs 5. This was because the Israelites were breaking God’s laws by permitting uncircumcised foreigners to enter in and out of the gates of the sanctuary and permitting them to change the laws concerning the offering of the fat and blood of the sacrifices, on which account God told Ezekiel to rebuke them, vs 6-9.

The Levites who did not take care to stop this would be held responsible for the same and would therefore be restrained from serving God at close quarters, but instead would only serve the people at the gates and offer sacrificial offerings on their behalf, vs 10-14. However, the sons of Zadok who kept God’s charge, when the Israelites went astray, would be the only ones who would be permitted to minister unto the Lord concerning the holy things and offer unto Him the fat and the blood, vs 15,16.

Nevertheless, they would have to use linen garments, turbans and undergarments to do so, such that nothing that caused sweat to be generated would be worn by them when ministering unto the Lord, vs 17,18. Further, they had to remove these garments before leaving the Holy Place, so that holiness would not be transmitted to the people as a result, vs 19. Others laws with regard to the length of their hair, drinking of wine, marrying a widow or divorcee, and ceremonial cleansing with regard to defiling themselves on account of the death of a very close family member also had to be followed by them, as well as laws regarding the Sabbath, vs 20-22,24,25-27.

Walking in obedience to these laws would qualify them to teach the people the difference between what is clean and unclean and holy and profane and they were expected to be judges who judged according to God’s righteous laws too, vs 23,24. God Himself would be their inheritance and they were also entitled to the best part of the offerings that were offered by the people, vs 28-30.

Nevertheless, they were not permitted to eat any bird or animal that has died a natural death or was torn to pieces by a wild animal, vs 31. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, God does not expect us to entertain that which is defiling and in line with worldly principles to enter into our eye, heart and mind gates as the gentiles do! He expects each one of us to serve Him first, just as the sons of Zadok did, without compromising our convictions, (that are based on His Word) even if we see others doing so. He also expects us to serve Him in His strength, such that no sweat is generated on our part while serving Him.

As we do so, He promises to be our inheritance and supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.