Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 4, 2017

“How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You To dwell in Your courts.”

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.


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