Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ezekiel -- 47 and 48

Study 34 – Ezekiel 47:1-12

  1. The river of Ezekiel 47 has its origins beneath the altar of sacrifice. True spiritual renewal must begin at the point of sacrifice.

  2. The further the water went out from the temple the deeper it became and the more it affected. Likewise, we should continue to thrive and ‘deepen’ the further we go from our initial contact with the Cross of Christ.

  3. Christ had His greatest impact upon the poor and the disenfranchised of His day. He once said, “It is not the healthy that need a physician, but the sick.” The church in our day must do better at reaching out to those that society has discarded.

Study 35 – Ezekiel 47:13-48:35

  1. Our world is in constant political turmoil and the U.S. has recently fought two wars that were begun by terrorists over reasons which could have been avoided had Israel remained obedient to the  verses of Ezekiel 47:21-23 when they returned to their homeland following WWII. The Palestinians never would have been relocated on the modern day reservations of Gaza and the West Bank had the returning Israelites obeyed the command of the Lord as outline in these verses. Their failure to do so is a source of constant tension in our world today and has cost untold loss of life and limb as well as trillions of dollars which could otherwise have been spent on meeting the needs of the poor among us.

    As the Apostle Paul states, “In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.” Israel was meant to foreshadow Christ and open its arms to the aliens in the same way that Christ opens His arms to every tribe, nation, and tongue. The Church more often than not stands on the wrong side of this issue in regards to the role of Israel in the world. Yes, they are God’s chosen people, but they were chosen to foreshadow Christ and to point towards Him. They were to model the Messiah, instead they chose to reject Him and their rejection of the aliens living among them is a reflection of that. The words of Ezekiel are no less important to the future of Israel today than they were a few thousand years ago.

  2. Seven to the North and Five to the South. Judah and Benjamin – were closest to the central zone containing the sanctuary. Judah was singled out because of the coming King – Jesus and Benjamin was singled out because it represented King David.

  3. The new name to be given to the city was “THE LORD IS THERE.”
    The purpose of the last vision of Ezekiel was to reinforce the centrality of the presence of God among His people. For there to be life and vitality among the people of Israel the altar and the Ark of the Covenant must be at the center of their society. From that altar would flow streams of living water that would bring healing to their land. The important thing was the presence of God – not the land. What a pity that Israel has still not learned that vital lesson. They fight for land that they refuse to allow the aliens to have an inheritance in yet they express little concern for the lack of God’s presence among them. Ezekiel would truly be grieved.

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