Sacred to the Lord

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Ezekiel 45:1-25, Ezekiel 46:1-15, Micah 6:8

On April 9, 1865, documents were signed in a parlor in Appomattox, Virginia, effectively ending the US Civil War. Confederate general Robert E. Lee and Union general Ulysses S. Grant met, and Lee agreed upon the terms of surrender that Grant had proposed. Lee’s forces would turn over their major arms and weapons but then be allowed to return to their homes. A few days later, the Confederate soldiers deposited their weapons in a ceremony of surrender, marked by a formality recorded in numerous history books. Grant had dictated the terms, Lee had agreed, and the foot soldiers followed through. 

The last chapters of Ezekiel remind me of terms of surrender, established by the victor. God has told the Israelites that in the end, He will reign. No matter their rebellion, sin, or hearts of stone, God’s plan would win in the end. Chapters 45 and 46 read like an agreement: this is what you’ll do, and when, and exactly how it should be. These are the instructions for priestly sacrifice, for the celebration of Passover, and the development of the holy sanctuary, among other things. 

Parts of this passage read like an echo of Ezekiel’s early indictments of the people of Judah. Verses 8 through 9 call back to chapters 19 and 34, calling on the leaders of Judah to stop oppression and violence and “do what is just and right” (Ezekiel 45:9). Their habits would be repeated; they would likely fall back into the same pattern of injustice and cheating. In verse 16, God tells them that all the people must participate in the atoning sacrifice, echoing back to the end of chapter 22, where Ezekiel’s oracle described how all the people were guilty, and not one was righteous. 

The sinful people were given the terms of surrender: specific sacrifices to atone for their sins, measured with specific quotas from oil and from their flocks. The system was clear and precise, but it would never be enough. They would repeatedly fall away. In the same way, we too, always fall short on our own. If we had to follow the law perfectly to guarantee our righteousness, it would never work. 

The real terms of surrender the Lord offered were to come in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus would complete the work, fulfill the law, and live perfectly on our behalf. Romans 10:9–10 tells us what our part of the bargain will be: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.”

Believe and confess, and the kingdom is ours, because of the unimaginable love of God. It’s hard to believe those are the terms, but they are. Praise the Lord!

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43 thoughts on "Sacred to the Lord"

  1. Allison Bierly says:

    I so relate to how you feel. I’m more quiet and reserved and always felt bad that I wasn’t more outgoing and bubbly. But God made us this way and there’s nothing wrong with it!! I’m in my mid 30s now and starting to feel more confident in the way I am so hold hope, it does get easier as you get older. Definitely work on your self talk. Speak God’s truth to yourself and give yourself grace. ♥️

  2. Sarah Rogers says:

    Prayers for you sister!

  3. Terri Baldwin says:

    9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.” – Revelations 5:9-10

  4. Twila Senter says:

    Praying for you❤️

  5. Twila Senter says:


  6. Jodi says:

    At first glance, I thought vs 45:9 read “Just do what is right” and then I wondered how often God felt that way towards Israel and specifically how often He feels that way about me. We just keep messing up and certainly don’t always do what is right! And yet He was gracious then to tell them how to cover their wrong with the blood of a sacrifice and was most gracious in providing the perfect, final, and very costly sacrifice in His only Son. Praise God for His mercy towards us!

  7. Mercy says:

    Amen to acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with GOD. May our mouth (confessing) and our heart (believing) go hand in hand, to shine forth His glory through our human temple. I find that as I go through my day, facing a challenge, I confess with my mouth “I can do this and that through God who enables me” and also believing in my heart that I can do these things, the day becomes easier. It’s not just professing Jesus is Lord that this principle works, it’s our declaration, believing God’s power in us, based on our confidence in God’s words, resulting in our victories as well. Lifting our sisters in prayers. Thankful for all of you -amazing beautiful ladies.

  8. Tesslla Bernett says:

    God is so GOOD! Praise him. My faith in him has been nothing but produce more justice and good in my life. I’m dealing with evil liars and I kept having faith in God and the truth just keeps coming and He is so GREAT in all His Glory. Thank you Jesus for the miracles. Even finding this site today, while in search for a daily devotional, I had been searching for how to deal with liars and illegal eviction. And I told my landlord the first day he was caught in bad deeds GOOD ALWAYS WINS! He is witnessing the glory of God unfold and I see him fighting his demons but I’m praying the holy spirit comes into this man and rids him of the devil and his working and be a good man to his tenants and neighbors. Thank you everything you do Lord, Amen.

  9. Sky Hilton says:

    I hope we can always do what the Lord requires of us. It’s hard… but in the end, it will be worth it!

  10. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    K Swenson I will be praying for you. Sisters, I am praying for you. That you would know the strength and peace that only Jesus can give, no matter the situation. Blessings.

  11. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love the way this study has really prepared my heart for Holy Week. I feel more understanding and anticipation for Easter than I have before. ✝️

  12. Jennifer Anapol says:

    K Swenson, I will be praying for you❤️ I pray the Lord would give you comfort and peace.

  13. Gwineth52 says:

    Dear K Swenson…In your confession of depression, I offer these words from a woman who knows a thing or two about the “fog of despair & distortion”, delivered by “demons & devils”.

    Dear Lord
    May our sister find shelter & security under Your wings of wisdom & wonder.
    May she witness unfailing faith and receive Your love beyond imagination.
    May she experience the fullness of Your upon grace…upon grace…upon grace.
    May she immerse herself in prayer & praise pondering Your words…
    “For I, the Lord, your God will hold your right hand. Saying to you. ‘Fear not. I will help you’.”
    (Isaiah 41: 13) KJV
    May she be reminded daily of Your infinitesimal being within the tiniest display … fresh cut tulips, a baby’s smile, a cup of fragrant tea, a hug from a friend … outward signs of Your glory & generosity.
    Lord Father, please comfort & keep our friend K in the Knowledge of Your Ways
    Which we know are True
    With Mercy Devine

    Dear K
    Please meditate on this prayer alongside the quiet murmurings of all Shes gathered here.
    Take a walk underneath His heaven, and breathe. And believe.
    Thanks be to God!

  14. Dorothy says:

    Melanie wrote, “God has told the Israelites that in the end, He will reign. No matter their rebellion, sin, or hearts of stone, God’s plan would win in the end.” Couldn’t we change that to read, God has told the me/us that in the end, He will reign. No matter my/our rebellion, sin, or hearts of stone, God’s plan would win in the end. Yes, Christ died for our sins but we still have try to live God-fearing, sinless, righteous lives. God and Christ don’t want us to just go out and keep sinning.

    Lord, God, I’m a sinner and You sent Your One and Only Son to die on the cross for my sins, I thank You a thousand times over for that. I try to live a life without sin and I will continue to honor You, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    Sisters, be blessed and honor God today.

  15. K Swenson says:

    If you would, please pray for me today sisters. The depression I’ve been experiencing for the past few years is crippling and I so long to be free. Thankful that there will come a day where there will be no more crying or pain, and for the Holy Spirit dwelling in me and strengthening me. Blessings to each one of you

  16. Beth AnneYoung says:

    Sarah D that is awesome that your church is remembering to pray for those practicing Islam. I will do the same. After reading your post I was thinking about how precious you are to God… how God made you with your personality and how He loves you so dearly.

  17. Mari V says:

    Victoria E. I was thinking and praying for you this morning. Hope all is going well with the adjustment as this precious baby. Good morning Churchmouse, miss seeing your post hope you’re well,

  18. Mari V says:

    Yes! Praise the Lord! And I am blessed to be part of this beautiful community.

  19. Carolyn L says:

    This has been a hard book, but the devotions and podcasts have been very helpful. I’m still confused about the temple Ezekiel describes and according to Dr. Hays in the podcast, there is much debate about the it’s meaning. Was there a failure to build it? With Jesus as the ultimate, final sacrifice why would this be a millennial temple? This article explains some of the options presented concerning the vision.

    I am glad to know that as we ask God for Holy Spirit wisdom He responds where we are. Our understandings of scripture may never be complete, but how wonderful that we can have confidence that God is sovereign, His love is eternal and requires only our belief in His plan. He has given us His seal, and we are His through Christ. After this Lenten season of reflecting on my need for a savior, I will surely celebrate that Amazing Grace and my freedom from sin on Easter morning. Thanks SRT folks for not turning away from this difficult book and walking us through a beautiful Lenten study.

  20. Anne Klinkhammer says:

    I typed in a long reply and when I hit post, the earlier, I complete one posted. Ugh! Anyway, I had an awakening at 60, where I realized that God made me on purpose and for a purpose. I have strengths and I have weaknesses, and God desires to use all of who I am. My main purpose is to know and love God so I can know and love myself. Only then can I know and rightly love the people in my life. It’s a life long process that you need to cooperate with God, and surrender everyone and everything and let the Holy Spirit control you from the inside out.

  21. Patricia Stewart says:

    God knows we need structure. His structure helps us to raise our families and build His kingdom. I love how specific He is.

  22. Anne Klinkhammer says:

    Accidentally hit the return I guess… Anyway, at 60 I had an awakening to the truth that I was made in Gods image, on purpose and for a purpose. I have strengths and I have weaknesses, and God desired to use all of it for His glory and my good. My main purpose became to know and love God so I would know and love myself. Then I can be better used to know and love those around me. It is a lifelong process, and I hope and pray you will find tools and people that can speak truth into your life. The Enneagram was a tool, along with some good people, that God used to open my eyes and heart to how He made me.

  23. Anne Klinkhammer says:

    SARAH D.—I lived most of my life how you described yourself. And then at 60,

  24. Heidi V says:

    Congratulations Brooke P!! Continued prayers for peace as you wait to see the high risk doctor and have another scan. God knows every hair on your baby boys head!! Praying for all the requests shared today and praising all the joys!! So happy for you Gayle!!

  25. Ashleigh H says:

    Thank you, Michelle P and Brooke for your prayers. Brooke- I am praying for your little boy and that the abnormality does go away on its own. Michelle P- I hope that my words yesterday came off encouraging to you. I still remember words my family said to me when I didn’t want to hear it about faith. I am praying for your peace and hope through this as well as for your sister. My procedure is today and I’m not sure what to hope for. No new endometriosis or anything like it would be great but I also don’t want anything to be missed on the path to hopefully have an IVF transfer this summer. I am grateful that my God is a God of Hope to rely on.

  26. Heidi V says:

    Congratulations Brooke P!! Continued prayers for peace as you wait to see the high risk doctor and have another scan. God knows every hair on your baby boys head!!

  27. Debbie Sacra says:

    It is interesting that this iteration of the sacrificial system includes a prince when the Mosaic system did not. Did Israel ever have another prince/king? Is it foreshadowing the King of kings Jesus providing the sacrifice but once and for all, because as the devotion says, even if the system was followed perfectly it would not be enough. Just imagine the King coming through the gate and putting himself on that cosmic altar.

  28. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    Back in Ezekiel 43:14, the place where the altar of the temple sits, the “base of the ground” is literally “bosom of the earth” (mekek ha/Hebrew). Verse 15 the “altar hearth” in Hebrew is ha har’el “mountain of El” or “mountain of God”. This “cosmic locality opposite of heaven” is the earthly counterpart to heaven. By reading about the temple as a literal structure, we lose this cosmic reality of the supernatural metaphors. Reading in the context of the people in Ezekiel’s day, they would be familiar with these terms. If the Old Testament temple-talk points to the temple being the cosmic center, the New Testament describes the same idea. The body of Christ is the central thing, where God is working out His plan through us. We are the temple. The already waiting on the not yet return of Christ Jesus. He will usher in the New Jerusalem in a global Eden. Thoughts to ponder… If Ezekiel’s temple is a literal building, where is the command to build it? All I see is the command from God to “describe the temple”, “reveal the design so that they may observe the statutes and carry them out.” The beauty in knowing I am part of Christ’s body, the temple, and that He was the final sacrifice of atonement brings such relief here on earth. My sins are laid on the altar of the temple daily. He washed me clean then and now. Until… He will return to wipe away sin forever, and there will be no more tears. Maranatha.

  29. Michelle Patire says:

    Ashleigh– prayers God would give you comfort and wisdom in this time. He is with you every step and moment of this painful journey. God, please give these doctors wisdom and heal Ashleigh ‘s body. Help her to trust You with the results and give her such love and peace. Thank you, Lord.

  30. Stephanie Hyden says:

    GAYLE- as a Christian marriage counselor, I am beyond thrilled to hear this!!

  31. Michelle Patire says:

    Your words, prayers, wisdom and encouragement are wonderful. Thank you all for taking the time to do that. I wrote down what you all shared to remember as life continues. You have such beautiful hearts– thank you. <3

    Naya- Yes, a good reminder to trust God to do His finishing work. It's His salvation, not mine.
    Rhonda J– thank you!! As an older sister, that is my prayer!! To display Him to my younger sisters. God is faithful to use our stories to encourage each other. Romans 8:28
    Ashleigh — I don't know how she is truly feeling, you're right, and it is a good thing to remember I can't assume what's going on in her heart. Only God knows. Thank you.
    Mercy (love the name <3)- I love your analogy with Moses. I didn't think of that. I was telling my counselor yesterday how recently I've experienced a lot of rejection. Moses did too, yet he lived and did so much for the Lord. I hope to model his leadership.
    Heidi– I was also thinking next time this happens, if it does, to stop and tell her that it hurts me to not be able to express myself and ask why she does that. But I also like your approach of asking God to give you the specific words.
    Maggie Ham– amen, a change of heart is needed!! Thank you.
    Callie- thank you for your prayers of comfort and encouragement :)

    Love to all of the She Reads Truth women <3

  32. Sandi Stanley says:

    I know it can’t do anything on my own, I need the Holy Spirit for my next breath. Thank you, Dear God, for providing everything that we need through Your strength. You are an Amazing God and I am so glad to be one of your children.

  33. Morgan Latham says:

    Help me to always walk in Your ways all the days of my life.

  34. Erica Chiarelli says:

    @Maria there were shepherds who raised sheep just for sacrifice! I find that to be so amazing!

  35. Maria Baer says:

    Anyone ever wonder “wow that’s a lot of sheep and bulls.” A part of my brain always deals with the practicalities. I was doing the math of the animals to be sacrificed, and I wonder if some of the shepherd specialized in raising animals specific for sacrifice back then.

  36. Maria Baer says:

    While God’s judgement is severe, at the core of Ezequiel is God— our father— teaching His children a lesson. Just like a parent has to correct and discipline his/her children, ultimately it comes from a place of love.

  37. Sarah D. says:

    Our church is praying for those who practice Islam, since it is the month of Ramadan! Praying that they would confess and believe that Jesus is Lord.

    Yesterday and this week has been hard at work. It’s not even my co-workers or the parents I talk to on the phone, it’s me and my mindset. I give myself a hard time if I don’t know the answer to something and have to ask, because I feel stupid for asking. Part of me hates my personality because I’m “quiet/reserved” and I don’t want to be. I’m so much more than that. I wish could be naturally more confident and not have it be such a struggle. But today I’m going to work on giving grace and being kind to myself, not speaking/thinking degrading thoughts towards myself. This has been such a hard season since graduating college. Man. But I know God is still in control and is still with me. Praying he he would give me his peace and remind me of who I am in him.

  38. Kenya Rafferty says:

    It’s very clear that God wants His people to be different than the world. Although all the laws and statutes he lays out seems almost impossible to keep up with, the point is that they are focused on God – not on the wickedness they’ve been focused on for so long. Even though there are a lot of complicated directions, I do believe that God really just wants us to be good people – to love one another, to act justly, to be honest, to worship Him and be humble. Unfortunately we make this so much more complicated then it needs to be, but when we remember how simple it is and also that now we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into this goodness, we have no excuse or nothing to lose. God loves us and desires the best for us.

  39. Stormi Messmer says:


  40. Diana Davis says:

    God is completely trustworthy and His followers should be too.

  41. Pam Seipp says:

    Lord, help me to do what is right and just! Amen

  42. Mary Stephens-Clark says:

    Thank you, Jesus, for your instruction and correction. Blessed to be under your wings of righteousness and salvation!

  43. Kelly (NEO) says:

    The Lord establishes what is just. We benifit when we follow His precepts. They are not limitations but the means by which we nay fully experience a life with God.

    ASHLEIGH H – praying for your appt today.