March 22 – Devotion

Date: March 22,2017

Scripture: Ezekiel 45-46

Thus says the Lord God: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness. (Ezek. 45:9, ESV)

Ezekiel is the last of the major prophets of the Old Testament. As such, Ezekiel speaks to a time when all of Israel, both the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom of Judah, has been defeated soundly and/or sent into exile. The leaders of both Israel and Judah had rejected the Laws of Jehovah and done what was right in their own eyes. When there was no evidence of repentance, each was defeated, destroyed, and/or sent into captivity.

The prophet’s message is to remind the people of God of His faithfulness, His holiness, and His Glory. Their sinfulness has caused the judgment of their God. However, that judgment from God was to remind the people who He Was. God’s punishment is meant to redeem His people, not to destroy them. When He allowed Jerusalem to be defeated, God demonstrated His faithfulness to His own Holy Character. Ezekiel writes to an exiled people to remind them that He has not forgotten them nor has He forgotten His Promise to them that one day the promised Messiah would come to lead and deliver His People.

Ezekiel, as the last of the major prophets, had the thrilling opportunity to remind the people that one day they would return to their homeland and live in a glorious kingdom ruled by the Lord himself. So certain is Ezekiel of this that the prophet begins to detail just how the land is to be divided and to be ruled by the perfect Law of the Lord. In chapters 45 and 46 Ezekiel writes with exact precision concerning an allotment for the Temple and for the Levites. He also includes exact descriptions of behavior. He requires an end to violence and the presence of justice and fair treatment of all equally, among other things. He further announces exact requirements for worship and tithing and offerings. The prophet describes the final glory for the people of Yahweh.

During Lent we move from a season of grief to the greatest celebration of all, the Resurrection of our Lord. As the Lord gave Ezekiel the vision of a restored Israel, so we too have the promise of Scripture from John, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God … ” (Rev. 21:1-2, ESV). No matter how difficult life becomes, nor how evil the world becomes, Ezekiel reminds us, as does John, that this is not the final outcome. God is going to do what He has said He is going to do. There are a better place and better conditions for all of God’s people.

Prayer for the Journey: Help me, Father, to face my present and future with the hope of the new Jersualem in my heart.

Prepared by Farris Smith

2 Responses to “March 22 – Devotion”

  1. Patricia hasselman says:

    What a day of rejoicing that will be! Thanks for reminding us.

  2. Debbie Keen says:

    Thank you, Farris, for today’s devotion!

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