Day 38

Sacred to the Lord

from the Lent 2022: Come to Life reading plan


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

BY Melanie Rainer

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!

Post Comments (43)

43 thoughts on "Sacred to the Lord"

  1. Twila Senter says:

    Praying for you❤️

  2. Twila Senter says:

    ❤️

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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. ✝️

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