Day 37

The Priests’ Duties and Privileges

from the Lent 2022: Come to Life reading plan


Ezekiel 43:13-27, Ezekiel 44:1-31, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 5:10

BY Lindsey Jacobi

One of the things I loved most in my grandmother’s house was an old spinning wheel. It sat in the room that I always stayed in when I slept over. It wasn’t really usable anymore—it was an heirloom from the Civil War era. But, even as a little girl, I was fascinated by it. I wanted to know how it worked and who had used it in the years before I laid eyes on it. I would think about the women in my family who in previous generations had spun yarn on it that would be turned into blankets and clothes and table linens. I hoped that when I got older and my grandmother passed, it might one day be left to me to have in my own house. There were many things of my grandmother’s that I loved, but for some reason, that is one of the things I treasure most. It doesn’t have the greatest financial value, I just love it because I associate it with her and the time I spent in her home.  

There is a rich meaning in the idea of an inheritance. Whether it is a small but meaningful knick-knack or a beloved family heirloom, an inheritance reminds us of the legacy that extends past a single life. 

In Ezekiel 44 the priests from the line of Zadok were given the richest inheritance of all—God Himself. All the other Levite priests had violated their calling and the temple of God, but Zadok and his descendents remained faithful even in the face of rampant rebellion. In a scene reminiscent of Moses on Mount Sinai, as Ezekiel envisioned a new temple and a restored Israel, he received God’s directions for how the future temple would be structured and maintained in both building and practices. God gave specific instructions for how the Zadokite priests should live and minister (Ezekiel 44:15–27). These weren’t just so the priests could appear holier than thou, but for the purpose of teaching the Israelites the difference between the sacred and secular—the holy versus the commonplace (Ezekiel 44:23). As a reward for the work, their inheritance was different than everyone else. They received no land or special portion. God alone was their inheritance. 

Let that sink in. 

God could have given them anything they wanted—all the land, wealth, or possessions they ever dreamed of. But He didn’t. God gave the priests everything they needed. He was more than enough. In the midst of a people who had pushed God away, He was drawing these faithful priests even closer—His nearness, their reward. What seems like God withholding from the priests at first glance was actually a provision of abundance. He opened up His own table to them, giving them the best of the best—the firstfruits of everyone’s offering. This is the abundance that we are invited to partake in during the season of Lent—the kind of abundance we find only when everything but Christ is cleared away. 

This was but a foretaste of the inheritance that has been given to us in Christ. The God of the universe saw fit to give us His only Son. He is enough. As the Great High Priest, He has called and commissioned us to be a royal priesthood, inheriting the very kingdom of God, and becoming temples of the Holy Spirit—His nearness, our greatest reward.

Post Comments (51)

51 thoughts on "The Priests’ Duties and Privileges"

  1. Sky Hilton says:

    The part about how the rebels of Israel let others profane the temple of Jesus reminds me of how in our culture people are encouraged to do things without thinking about how it would impact others first. We have such a ME ME ME culture, and I hope that all of us break out of that, and put God above us, and be more like the Levitical priests who did not put themselves over God, did not encourage others to do that, and instead followed God and did not forsake Him.

    Also, how incredible is it to have Jesus as an inheritance. Only God can truly make us happy. All the things we have material wise will one day fade.. but God never does.

  2. Brenda Huntsman says:

    Beautiful devotional today ❤️

  3. Mercy says:

    MICHELLE PATTIRE, praying for your strength and wisdom as you continue to share the truth and support to your sister. I just want you to know you are wonderful for working hard to help your sister in this time of need. Please don’t be discouraged at the disruption/rejection. Remember how the people of Israel murmured so much against Moses too, and Moses was just helping them to leave the place of bondage heading to the promised land. He did them a big favor, and what did he get? As you help your sister leaving the place of her own bondage, similar resistance may occur. May God lift the disappointment and frustration away for you. I pray for God’s grace to lead you in wisdom knowing when to say, what to say, or just simply being there showing love quietly as you pursue your sister’s heart. Just like how many times God has pursued us when we rebel against Him, avoid him or shut him out, but we are here now because He is long suffering toward us. For Love (GOD) endures all things, hopes all things, believes all things.

  4. Jennifer Anapol says:

    After reading this devotional, I have a passion to live a set- apart life. To live a life that is different from the world around me; to live a life that glorifies God. I interact with mainly Christians during my day to day life, so I pray that God would bring more non- Christians into my life who I can share his love with.

  5. Grayson Chatfield says:

    Today’s reading and devotion brought to mind Psalms 23:1 in the CSB translation “The Lord is my shepherd, I have what I need.”
    Thank You, Lord, for Your nearness and for that being abundantly enough.

  6. Grayson Chatfield says:

    Today’s reading and devotion brought to mind Psalms 23:1 in the CSB translation “The Lord is my shepherd, I have what I need.”

  7. Cindy Hanna says:

    Thanks to all who mentioned the parts missing in today’s reading. I too was a little confused when reading today’s devotional. Now it makes sense!

  8. Cindy Hanna says:

    @ Adrienne. Although I am not a scholar, my thoughts are that when Adam and Eve rebelled in the garden not only all mankind was cursed but all of nature was placed under a curse as well. Since the altar was made of natural resources and touched with the unclean hands of man during construction it would need to be cleansed upon completion for holy use. Continued prayers for your friends and their daughter. What a heart breaking situation.

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