Ezekiel: he Lord explains to Ezekiel the offerings that are to be made in this new temple. These include measurements of wheat, barley, and oil and numbers of sheep. They are for burnt and peace offerings as well as to make atonement for the people. The people are to give the offerings to the prince. The prince is to provide the offerings including sin offerings for the various festivals.
On the first day of the year the priest shall take the blood of a bull and put it on the doorpost of the temple and on the corners of the altar. The same on the seventh day for sins of error or ignorance. This makes atonement for the temple.
On the 14th day they will celebrate the Passover. The number of animals and other elements of the offering is provided for each day. These are provided by the prince.
The east gate of the inner court will only be opened on Sabbaths. The prince will enter and take his place by the gate. After the priest offer his burnt offering and worship, the prince will leave but the gate will not be shut till evening. The people will worship there at the entrance to the gate. The details of the prince’s offering is provided.
The people will come in by the north or south gates but must leave by the opposite gate. The prince will enter and exit at the same time as the people.
During the week, if the prince makes a freewill offering, they will open the east gate for him and close it immediately after he leaves.
The daily offerings ae then described.
If the prince gives any of his sons part of his inheritance, it will be theirs. If he makes a gift of his inheritance to a servant it will be his only until the year of liberty. The prince may not take any of the people’s inheritance from them. No one may be taken away from their inheritance.
The Lord showed Ezekiel the holy chamber for the priests. At the far western end the Lord told him the place was where the offerings were boiled and where they bake the grain offerings. They do it there so that the people would not be made holy. He was brought to the outer court and in each corner there were kitchens where the people’s sacrifices were boiled.
Psalm: The Psalmist asks the Lord to teach, give understanding, lead, change his heart, keep his eyes away from worthless things. He wants God’s promises confirmed. He fears God’s reproach.
He asks for God’s steadfast love, answers for his enemies, and not to lose God’s truth. He will then keep God’s laws and even tell kings. His delight is in God’s commands. He loves them and meditates on them.
Proverbs: A person with riches thinks he is wise but even poor people understand and can see whether or not the rich man is wise.
1 Peter: Because of all that God has done for us in the first part of the chapter, we are called to use our minds to focus on God’s grace when Jesus comes back. We must live holy lives instead of the way we used to live before being saved. We are to be holy because God is holy. We call upon God as our Father while living in exile; we need to remember we were ransomed from out sinful lives we learned from our earthly fathers by the blood of Jesus. We were not ransomed by money but Jesus’ perfect sacrifice. That sacrifice was planned before the earth existed and occurred later so we could believe in God through Jesus. God raised Jesus from the dead so our faith and hope are in God.
Our obedience shows we have purified ourselves and should therefore have a pure love for each other. We were born again not from human seed but by God’s word, which doesn’t perish and is living. We are like grass or flowers that wither and dies but God’s word is eternal and that is what was preached to us.
With this in mind, we need to get rid of all ungodly actions and grow up in our salvation by longing for God’s word, that is, if we really are saved. We come to Jesus like a stone because we are living stones being built in to a spiritual temple. We are also the priests offering spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus. God laid the stone in Zion, a cornerstone for this spiritual temple. When we believe in him, we are not put to shame but are resting on the cornerstone. Others reject Jesus as the cornerstone when they don’t believe and therefore stumble over him. They stumble when they disobey just as they were destined to do.
But we are chosen to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people who belong to God. Our purpose is to praise him who called us out of darkness into his light. Once we were lost and not his people but now we are his people and have received his mercy.
What Stood Out
Ezekiel: “It shall be the prince's duty to furnish the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the new moons, and the Sabbaths, all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel: he shall provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings, to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel” (Ezek 45:17).
Psalm: “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!” (Ps 119:36).
Proverbs: “A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out” (Prov 28:11).
1 Peter: “They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do” (1 Peter 2:8).
Ezekiel: The rules for the millennium temple are very similar to the rule given to Moses. However, there are some interesting differences. The prince is a very important part of the ceremonies. There was no prince when the Law was given to Moses. The prince appears to be the one who brings the offerings for festivals and one of them is the sin offering. The prince is supposed to be a descendant of David. In ways, he represents Jesus as he brings the sin offering. In other ways, it is obvious he is not Jesus because he has sons to whom he may give part of his inheritance.
Another anomaly is making atonement for the temple. The priest puts the blood of a bull on the doorposts of the temple. This is done before the Passover and has no comparison in Moses’ Law. The people can only come in the north or south gate and exit by the other gate. There isn’t any reasonable explanation for this in human terms and the Lord doesn’t give any reason either. If they all had to come in the same gate, then it would be traffic control, but it says they can come in by either gate.
You may point out that there is still sin offerings and mentions of atonement, which would presumably eliminate the idea that this is the millennium temple since Jesus is the last sin sacrifice. That is a good argument. My only response would be that these sin offerings are memorials, just as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper as a memorial of Jesus sacrifice for our sins.
Rather than being adamant about this being the millennium temple, we should simply acknowledge that Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb for our sins. He died once for all sin, past, present, and future. So even the Old Testament sins were covered by Jesus and he has already covered the future ones also. We can celebrate this in the Lord’s Supper or perhaps in the millennium at the temple. Either way, the glory goes to Jesus.
Psalm: As David continues to extol God’s word, he makes a couple of statements that we should note. One is that when we have our hearts fixed on God and his word, our selfishness and desires to get and use riches for ourselves should diminish. It doesn’t come about automatically. We have to turn to his word and we do that by asking him to draw us in that direction. We need God’s help to do that. We need to ask the Lord to help us turn for worthless things and look instead to his ways.
Proverbs: Riches tend to make people think more of themselves than they ought. While some are very smart and have been able accumulate great riches, it doesn’t make them wise. In fact, poor people can look at them and see that they aren’t wise at all. They put their riches ahead of their concerns for other people and even worse, they often ignore God completely. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, not the accumulation of riches.
1 Peter: There is a lot more theology in these verses about election. One point of theology that is very disturbing to us is the concept that God has destined some people to disobey the Lord and not be saved. 1 Peter 2:8 makes it clear that those who disobey are the ones who were destined to do that. I point this out only to say that it isn’t something that we can explain but is something that the Lord has said. It doesn’t absolve us or anyone else from the consequences of disobedience because we are all sinners. It is simply that in God’s understanding, foreknowledge, and choosing, he has called some of us out of darkness of our sinful lives, given us grace, and saved us. He hasn’t done that for others. This doesn’t make God unjust because it is his decision to grant mercy to the ones he wants (Rom 9:14-16).
However, we can focus so much on election or nonelection that we miss what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to live holy lives. We are supposed to proclaim the excellencies of God. We are to love each other in purity and get rid of the sins and ugliness that held us captive before Jesus ransomed us with his blood. We can do these things because we are being sanctified by Jesus and we are being built into a temple where we offer spiritual sacrifices to God as our lives are transformed from the ways of the world to God’s ways.
I want to be a person who proclaims God’s excellence to others. I want them to hear the eternal word of God and join us who have received mercy. I don’t have to worry if they are called or not as long as I’m doing what he wants. They will come according to God’s will.