Worship Well, Live Well

Ezekiel 46:1–18 (NKJV)

46:1 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened. The prince shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway from the outside, and stand by the gatepost. The priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings. He shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening. Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the Lord on the Sabbaths and the New Moons. The burnt offering that the prince offers to the Lord on the Sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish; and the grain offering shall be one ephah for a ram, and the grain offering for the lambs, as much as he wants to give, as well as a hin of oil with every ephah. On the day of the New Moon it shall be a young bull without blemish, six lambs, and a ram; they shall be without blemish. He shall prepare a grain offering of an ephah for a bull, an ephah for a ram, as much as he wants to give for the lambs, and a hin of oil with every ephah. When the prince enters, he shall go in by way of the vestibule of the gateway, and go out the same way.

“But when the people of the land come before the Lord on the appointed feast days, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall not return by way of the gate through which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate. 10 The prince shall then be in their midst. When they go in, he shall go in; and when they go out, he shall go out. 11 At the festivals and the appointed feast days the grain offering shall be an ephah for a bull, an ephah for a ram, as much as he wants to give for the lambs, and a hin of oil with every ephah.

12 “Now when the prince makes a voluntary burnt offering or voluntary peace offering to the Lord, the gate that faces toward the east shall then be opened for him; and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings as he did on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he goes out the gate shall be shut.

13 “You shall daily make a burnt offering to the Lord of a lamb of the first year without blemish; you shall prepare it every morning. 14 And you shall prepare a grain offering with it every morning, a sixth of an ephah, and a third of a hin of oil to moisten the fine flour. This grain offering is a perpetual ordinance, to be made regularly to the Lord. 15 Thus they shall prepare the lamb, the grain offering, and the oil, as a regular burnt offering every morning.”

The Lord here offers the proper procedures for the prince and the people to offer sacrifices on the Sabbath day.  It appears that the prince (king) would be expected to be in the temple, among the people, on the Sabbath.  He would have a special entrance, but would nevertheless observe the same worship as the people.  This is a great example of leadership by example.  No one is exempt from the worship of God if you choose to obey Him.  Also, this shows the need for regular worship of a corporate nature.  Be in the house of God regularly.  While Christians observe the first day of the week as a day of worship, it is the same principle of joining together with the people of God to worship and should be observed regularly.  See you in church on Sunday!

16 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “If the prince gives a gift of some of his inheritance to any of his sons, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. 17 But if he gives a gift of some of his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be his until the year of liberty, after which it shall return to the prince. But his inheritance shall belong to his sons; it shall become theirs. 18 Moreover the prince shall not take any of the people’s inheritance by evicting them from their property; he shall provide an inheritance for his sons from his own property, so that none of My people may be scattered from his property.” ’ ”

Two issues are addressed here.  First, the prince has possessions and land.  He is allowed to pass them down to his sons.  He may even give some to his servants, but not as an inheritance, but simply as a gift until the year of Jubilee, or at least a designated time.  Second, he could not take someone else’s inheritance or land.  This is a restatement of the prohibition from a previous chapter, seeking to safeguard each tribe’s distribution of land.  

What this passage says is clear:  the days of privilege and royal rights is coming to an end.  No one can take what rightly belongs to another.  Even the king must respect deeds and property possession, and not take what belongs to another.  God is leveling the playing field, and showing that He is no respecter of persons.  God cares about you as much as He cares about the king, or prime minister, or president of a nation.  Be encouraged, God cares about you.  Oh, and be in church on Sunday.  Everyone should be!

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