“You shall say to the rebellious ones, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Enough of all your abominations, O house of Israel, 7 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,” (44:6-7).
Did Ezekiel shudder when he heard God assert He had had enough? I certainly did. I thought of all the times I had pushed my mom when growing up. Pushed her patience, pushed her kindness, pushed her tolerance, until I had finally pushed her buttons and heard her roar, ”Enough!” She was a petite woman, but when I heard her exasperation hit its tipping point, I knew I was reduced to the receiving end of her discipline.
And the nation Israel had pushed God so far beyond His kindness and patience, it’s a wonder He didn’t just zap them all. He certainly could have. But again, His mercy is immeasurable. And as we are still in the vision of end times, I was reminded that in that day, He will say, “Enough!” “Enough abominations!” “Enough profaning of My Sanctuary!” “Enough disregarding My statutes and laws!” “Enough rebellion!”
And in that day, He Will Purify His Priests for Service.
This chapter addresses ordinances of the priesthood and those who had been set apart to minister before the people and before Holy God. It is reminiscent of many similar laws given in the book of Leviticus. But due to going astray from their holy duties, some would be disqualified of the privilege of coming near to the Lord in service.
“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. 14 Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the house, of all its service and of all that shall be done in it,” (44:13-14).
Again, we come face to face with the reality that in and of ourselves we will never be fit to Serve Him in Purity. And while there are definitely aspects in today’s reading that have once again left me scratching my head, I was reminded that if we have trusted Christ for our salvation, then we have received the privileged calling into His Holy Priesthood and we should mark well all that we see and hear; for He has had enough of impurities. Mark well that it is only Holy, Almighty God Who Purifies His Priests for Service.
The Lord said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes and hear with your ears all that I say to you concerning all the statutes of the house of the Lord and concerning all its laws; and mark well the entrance of the house, with all exits of the sanctuary, (44:5).
But you will be called the priests of the Lord;
You will be spoken of as ministers of our God.
You will eat the wealth of nations,
And in their riches you will boast, (Isaiah 61:6).
Consider Him Who Purifies His Priests for Service
- He Purifies His Priests as He puts His Spirit within us.
- “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances,” (Ezekiel 36:27).
- He Purifies His Priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices.
- And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 2:4-5).
- He Purifies His Priests to proclaim His excellencies.
- But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, (1 Peter 2:9).
- He Purifies His Priests to bring Him glory forever.
- and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen, (Revelation 1:5-6).
- He Purifies His Priests to reign upon the earth with Him.
- “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth,” (Revelation 5:10).
How do we respond to Him Who Purifies His Priests for Service?
The offering of sacrifices was an integral part of the priesthood. And when we trust Christ for our salvation there is no longer any sacrifice for sin needed.
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, (Hebrews 10:15).
But, as we follow Him Who Purifies His Priests for Service, we are still called to Serve Him through sacrifice.
And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased, (Hebrews 13:16).
He alone equips and Purifies His Priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices, to proclaim His excellencies, to bring Him glory forever, and to reign upon the earth with Him through His indwelling Holy Spirit.
Oh, let us offer our whole bodies in faith to Him Who Purifies His Priests for Service as a living and holy sacrifice, for that is truly our acceptable Service of worship.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).
Oh that we would glorify Him Who Purifies His Priests for Service with all that we are.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
We can only live out our calling through the sacrificial offering of ourselves as we trust Him to live His Life through us. Let us live by faith in the One Who loved us and gave Himself for us, that all that we do would be a sacrifice of praise and thanks to Him Who Purifies His Priests for Service.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, (Galatians 2:20).
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name, (Hebrews 13:15).