Today’s devotion comes from Daniel chapter 4.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+4&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“28 “All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king.  29 Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon.  30 The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’  31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared:  sovereignty has been removed from you, 32 and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field.  You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’  33 Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled;  and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

34 “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

36 At that time my reason returned to me.  And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out;  so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me.  37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”  Daniel 4:28-37.

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First, let us meditate on the sovereignty quality of God.

“… For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”  Verses 34-35.

Second, let us also take warning from what God did to Nebuchadnezzar who was prideful and ignored God’s sovereignty.  Nebuchadnezzar personally experienced and verbally concluded that God “is able to humble those who walk in pride”.  Verse 37.

Many take pride in their doctrine which focuses on man and man’s works and man’s wisdom and man’s will.  But, we read:

“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”  Verse 35.

Like Nebuchadnezzar, they think they are great by what they have done.  But, their pride will be humbled like the pride of Nebuchadnezzar was humbled to the point that he admitted:  “He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”  Verse 37.

“Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.”  Proverbs 16:18.

“The pride of man will be humbled
And the loftiness of men will be abased;
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,”  Isaiah 2:17.

“The Lord of hosts has planned it, to defile the pride of all beauty,
To despise all the honored of the earth.”  Isaiah 23:9.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  The world is passing away, and also its lusts;  but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”  1 John 2:16.

Today’s devotion comes from Daniel chapter 3.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+3&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire;  he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!”  Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire.  The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.

Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God.  Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.”  Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.”  Daniel 3:26-30.

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“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.” Psalm 34:7.

“4 In You our fathers trusted;
They trusted and You delivered them.
5 To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.”  Psalm 22:4-5.

“3 When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me?”  Psalm 56:3-4.

“Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.  Selah.”  Psalm 62:8.

“3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.”  Psalm 37:3-6.

“4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.”  Psalm 40:4-5.

“11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!”  Psalm 84:11-12.

“He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”  Proverbs 16:20.

“7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
8 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8.

Today’s devotion comes from Daniel 2:31-49.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+2&version=NASB

I quote only the following verse.

“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people;  it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. ”  Daniel 2:44.

——————–

“20 Daniel said,

“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings; …”  Daniel 2:20-21.

 

“6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”  Psalm 2:6-9.

 

“6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”  Isaiah 9:6-7.

Today’s devotion comes from Daniel 2:1-30.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+2&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision.  Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven;  20 Daniel said,

“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding.
22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.
23 “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

26 The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?”  27 Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king.  28 However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days.  This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.  29 As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future;  and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place.  30 But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.”  Daniel 2:19-23 and 26-30.

———————-

“The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?”  Verse 26.

Daniel was appropriately humble:  “But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man …”  Verse 30.

But, Daniel recognized:  “However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries …”  Verse 28.  “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;  He knows what is in the darkness, …”  Verse 22.

Daniel gave all credit to God:
“To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”  Verse 23.

Other doctrine gives some credit to man whether it be works (being a good enough man to motivate God to reveal such things to that man) or wisdom (being studious and knowledgeable enough of Scripture) or even if it as little as will (asking God fervently enough, persistently enough, and piously enough).

But, Reformed Doctrine, consistent with today’s Scripture, gives all credit to God.

“But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him.  This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke:  “Lord, who has believed our report?  And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”  For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, “He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.”  John 12:37-40.

“At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.  Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.  All things have been handed over to Me by My Father;  and no one knows the Son except the Father;  nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”  Matthew 11:25-27.

“He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 16:15-17.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

Today’s devotion comes from Ezekiel chapter 48.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+48&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“These are the exits of the city:  on the north side, 4,500 cubits by measurement, shall be the gates of the city, named for the tribes of Israel, three gates toward the north:  the gate of Reuben, one;  the gate of Judah, one;  the gate of Levi, one.  On the east side, 4,500 cubits, shall be three gates: the gate of Joseph, one;  the gate of Benjamin, one;  the gate of Dan, one.  On the south side, 4,500 cubits by measurement, shall be three gates:  the gate of Simeon, one;  the gate of Issachar, one;  the gate of Zebulun, one.  On the west side, 4,500 cubits, shall be three gates:  the gate of Gad, one;  the gate of Asher, one;  the gate of Naphtali, one.  The city shall be 18,000 cubits round about;  and the name of the city from that day shall be, ‘The LORD is there.’”  Ezekiel 48:30-35.

——————-

Despite the sin of Israel and the punishment of Israel detailed in the book of Ezekiel, the book of Ezekiel concludes with God’s provision of land, portions, and even gates for Israel.

The naming of each tribe and the naming of the city as “The LORD is there.” shows how abundant and tender such care of God is.

Today’s Scripture gives us hope too.  If God showed such care for the nation of Israel who sinned so much, then we can have faith in the promises of God in Scripture to care for us.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man;  though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”  Romans 5:6-11.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  Ephesians 2:4-7.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 7, 2017

The LORD is the “fountain of living waters”.

Today’s devotion comes from Ezekiel chapter 47.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+47&version=NASB

I quote only the following verse.

“Then he brought me back to the door of the house;  and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east.  And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar.  He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east.  And behold, water was trickling from the south side.

When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles.  Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees.  Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins.  Again he measured a thousand;  and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded.  He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?”  Then he brought me back to the bank of the river.  Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other.  Then he said to me, “These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah;  then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh.  It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live.  And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh;  so everything will live where the river goes.  And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it;  from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets.  Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many.  But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh;  they will be left for salt.  By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food.  Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail.  They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”  Ezekiel 47:1-12.

—————–

The LORD is the “fountain of living waters”.  Jeremiah 2:13.

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.”  Psalm 46:4.

“9 You visit the earth and cause it to overflow;
You greatly enrich it;
The stream of God is full of water;
You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
You settle its ridges,
You soften it with showers,
You bless its growth.
11 You have crowned the year with Your bounty,
And Your paths drip with fatness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness drip,
And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.
13 The meadows are clothed with flocks
And the valleys are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, yes, they sing.”  Psalm 65:9-13.

“12 For thus says the Lord, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river,
And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees.
13 “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;
And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.”  Isaiah 66:12-13.

“Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  She *said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep;  where then do You get that living water?  You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”  Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst;  but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”  John 4:10-14.

“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”  But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive;  for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”  John 7:37-39.

“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street.  On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month;  and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:1-2.

Today’s devotion comes from Ezekiel chapter 46.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+46&version=NASB

I quote only the following verse.

“When they go in, the prince shall go in among them;  and when they go out, he shall go out.”  Ezekiel 46:10.

——————

Like yesterday’s Scripture, today’s Scripture again points to Christ, the Prince, but instead of focusing on His provision of peace, we focus on His provision of presence.

The Prince’s place is His presence with His people.  “When they go in, the prince shall go in among them;  and when they go out, he shall go out.”  Verse 10.

We are reminded of the following Scripture.

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”  Matthew 18:20.

“… the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9.

“… He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”  Hebrews 13:5.

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.  Selah.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.  Selah.”  Psalm 46:1-7.

Today’s devotion comes from Ezekiel chapter 45.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+45&version=NASB

I quote only the following verse.

It shall be the prince’s part to provide the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the drink offerings, at the feasts, on the new moons and on the sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel;  he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel.”  Ezekiel 45:17.

——

Today’s Scripture points to Christ, the Prince of Peace, Who provided His own peace offering, namely His own blood, to make atonement for the sins of God’s people to achieve peace between God and His people.

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6.

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.  He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”  Acts 5:30.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”  Romans 5:1.

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.  And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;  for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.”  Ephesians 2:14-18.

“For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross;  through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”  Colossians 1:19-20.

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance.  The Lord be with you all!”  2 Thessalonians 3:16.

Today’s devotion comes from Ezekiel chapter 44.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+44&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“‘Thus says the Lord God, “No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the sons of Israel, shall enter My sanctuary.  But the Levites who went far from Me when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity.  Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house;  they shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them.  Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn against them,” declares the Lord God, “that they shall bear the punishment for their iniquity.  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.  Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the house, of all its service and of all that shall be done in it.

“But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me;  and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood,” declares the Lord God.  “They shall enter My sanctuary;  they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.” Ezekiel 44:9-16.

—————-

We see three levels of access (or lack of it) to the LORD.  These levels should cause us to long and yearn to be as close to the LORD as we can get.

First, “No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the sons of Israel, shall enter My sanctuary.” Verse 9.

Second, “But the Levites who went far from Me when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall …  be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house;  they shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them.”  But, “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”.  Verses 10-13.

Third, “But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me;  and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood,” declares the Lord God.  “They shall enter My sanctuary;  they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.”  Verses 15-16.

How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You
To dwell in Your courts.
We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Your holy temple.”  Psalm 65:4.

“How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
3 The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You.  Selah.

5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
7 They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears before God in Zion.

8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!  Selah.
9 Behold our shield, O God,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.
10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!”  Psalm chapter 64.

Today’s devotion comes from Ezekiel chapter 43.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+43&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“And He said to me, “Son of man, thus says the Lord God, ‘These are the statutes for the altar on the day it is built, to offer burnt offerings on it and to sprinkle blood on it. You shall give to the Levitical priests who are from the offspring of Zadok, who draw near to Me to minister to Me,’ declares the Lord God, ‘a young bull for a sin offering. You shall take some of its blood and put it on its four horns and on the four corners of the ledge and on the border round about; thus you shall cleanse it and make atonement for it. You shall also take the bull for the sin offering, and it shall be burned in the appointed place of the house, outside the sanctuary.

‘On the second day you shall offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering, and they shall cleanse the altar as they cleansed it with the bull. When you have finished cleansing it, you shall present a young bull without blemish and a ram without blemish from the flock. You shall present them before the Lord, and the priests shall throw salt on them, and they shall offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord. For seven days you shall prepare daily a goat for a sin offering; also a young bull and a ram from the flock, without blemish, shall be prepared. For seven days they shall make atonement for the altar and purify it; so shall they consecrate it. When they have completed the days, it shall be that on the eighth day and onward, the priests shall offer your burnt offerings on the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you,’ declares the Lord God.” Ezekiel 43:18-27.

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The Law in today’s Scripture was only a shadow of the good things to come. Yes, God would accept His people. Yes, the shedding of blood was necessary. But, only the shedding of the blood of God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ, could take away sins and be the basis of God’s acceptance of His people. And, Christ’s blood had only to be shed once.

“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Hebrews 10:1-4.

“By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:10-14.

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