Ezekiel 44

Ezekiel 44 has the prophet continuing to explain the vision of the temple as God reveals it to him.  He begins by taking Ezekiel to the east gate.  “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut”.  The East Gate was a special gate. The Lord had entered the temple through this gate. Only the prince could go into this gate. There he could eat bread in front of the Lord.  The prince will be the leader of the people. He will not be Christ because the prince needs to make a sacrifice because of his own sins.

God makes clear what the problems were with his priests serving in the temple.  “Enough of all your abominations, O house of Israel, when you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to profane it, even My house, when you offered My food, the fat and the blood; for they made My covenant void—this in addition to all your abominations”.  They had not protected the sanctity of their relationship with God, nor been obedient to His commands and laws.  They were failing in following God’s will.

God is not pleased with the  decisions the Levites have made.  “And you have not kept charge of My holy things yourselves, but you have set foreigners to keep charge of My sanctuary”.  They have allowed foreigners to participate in serving in the temple.  In the temple, foreigners did come in. The priests of Israel let them come in. The priests even let foreigners serve in the temple. This was against the law that God gave to Moses. In the end, the Israelites were even worshipping foreign gods in the temple.  They had gone way over the line.  Such things must never happen in the temple that Ezekiel saw.

The priests were to be protectors of the temple and what happened there.  “The Levites….shall bear the punishment for their iniquity…. became a stumbling block of iniquity”.  They failed in their job, and God has had enough of them.  He doesn’t want them near Him or any of His things.  “And they shall not come near to Me to serve as a priest to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they will bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed”.  As a group, the Levites had turned away from God. They had served false gods. In this, they led the Israelites to sin. So, the Lord will punish them. And they will be ashamed of what they did.  God has standards and rules that must be followed.  The Levites failed and will be punished as a result.

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