THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part LXIII: The Millennial Temple Ministers: Their Allotted Inheritance Without Greed
A. Ezekiel chapters 40-48 predict God's restoration of Israel following His many prophecies of judgment on the nation for sin, and Ezekiel 44:1-46:24 predicts the temple ministers and their service in the restored Kingdom.
B. This section reveals God's great holiness in the realm of the temple ministries to the Hebrew people of Ezekiel's day in sharp contrast to the way they had profaned and desecrated the temple ministries in Jerusalem.
C. We thus view Ezekiel 45:1-12 for its lesson on serving the Lord without greed for our insight and edification:
II. The Millennial Temple Ministers: Their Allotted Inheritance Without Greed, Ezekiel 45:1-12.
A. Ezekiel 45:1-6 describes a holy district in the Millennial Kingdom for the temple, the priests and the Levites:
1. When the land of Israel in the Millennial Kingdom will be allotted for inheritance, a holy district running about 8.3 miles east and west and running about 6.6 miles north and south will be allotted for the temple area and for the lands of the temple priests and Levites, Ezek. 45:1; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1310.
2. Thus, contrary to having the tribe of Levi scattered throughout the twelve tribes in 48 separate cities, their lands would all be clustered around the temple area, Ibid., p. 1311.
3. The temple district will be within the land that will be allotted to the priests, an area running about 8.3 miles east and west by about 3.3 miles north and south, and the Levites will possess a strip of land running about 8.3 miles east and west by about 3.3 miles north and south just north of the land of the priests, Ibid.
4. To the south of the priests will be the city of Jerusalem running about 1.7 miles north and south by about 8.3 miles east and west, and it will be subdivided into the city proper with its pastures and farmlands, Ibid.
B. Extending from this sacred land both to the east as far as the Jordan River and to the west as far as the Mediterranean Sea will be the huge property that is allotted to the prince, Ezekiel 45:7-8; Ibid.
C. With this declaration of the divinely specified property holdings of Israel's spiritual and civil rulers came God's admonition to Israel's current religious and civil rulers regarding their greed, Ezekiel 45:9-12:
1. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God asserted, "'You have gone far enough, O princes of Israel! Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Stop dispossessing my people,' declares the Sovereign Lord," Ezekiel 45:9 NIV.
2. These rulers had disregarded the rights of the people they were to protect, greedily using their positions of authority and influence to take advantage of the people and grab up their possessions, cf. Ezekiel 19:1-9; 22:25; 34:1-10; Ibid. They had seized lots of property that did not belong to them as established by God's allotted inheritances. (cf. Ahab's seizure of Naboth's vineyard, 1 Kings 21:1-24)
3. Thus, Ezekiel directed the leaders of his era to use accurate measurements in business dealings, be they scales, dry or liquid measures and weights, Ezekiel 45:9-12; Ibid. Israel's leaders had cheated people by falsifying weights and measures, using one set of weights and measures to purchase items and a different set of weights and measures to sell items to others (Ibid.), what amounted to robbery (cf. Proverbs 11:1; Amos 8:4-7; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, footnote to Ezekiel 45:10)
4. In other words, the leaders of the people were to "establish honest standards for all Israelites," being careful to adhere to them themselves, Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T.
Lesson: In striking contrast to the greedy injustices by Israel's religious and civil rulers whereby they used their positions of influence to cheat their subjects out of possessions they rightfully owned, God determined that in the Millennial Kingdom, the religious and civil rulers would be allotted carefully prescribed properties, that there be no business cheating in the Millennial Kingdom so that every person might enjoy financial stability and peace.
Application: (1) May we who are in oversight of God's people in the Church avoid material greed, viewing our offices as opportunities to protect the welfare of subordinates and not to enhance our own fortunes. (2) May we learn to be content with what God has assigned us to own, knowing He will never leave us nor forsake us, for our material welfare is underwritten by Him so that we have no need to be greedy for gain, Hebrews 13:5. (3) Since the prince in the Millennial Kingdom will have land holdings far greater than what the Levites and the priests will possess, and that in accord with God's will, may we learn not to covet what greater amount of possessions others might have than us, but instead focus on God's will in using what we already possess, cf. Exodus 20:17, 15.