THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part LXVII: The Millennial Kingdom Offerings: The Property Gifts And The Year Of Jubilee
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 ministries in the Millennial 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 46:16-18 on the gifts of property in the future Millennial Kingdom (as follows):
II. The Millennial Kingdom Offerings: The Property Gifts And The Year Of Jubilee, Ezekiel 46:16-18.
A. The forced seizure of property belonging to vulnerable people had long been a wicked practice in Israel, and the nation's officials were known for violently oppressing vulnerable subjects and evicting them from property they had inherited from their forefathers, cf. Ezekiel 45:8b-9.
B. In our day, Marxism similarly proposes the "abolition of property" and "of all right of inheritance" (The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848), learn-usa.com, "Goals, 'Communist Manifesto'"), and Marxist ideology is increasingly influencing many people in society with the tendency for many citizens increasingly to look to the government for its livelihood, what results in oppressive taxation.
C. In answer to these Marxist beliefs and practices, God's directive on the property gifts and the Year of Jubilee in the future Millennial Kingdom is very instructive for us (as follows), Ezekiel 46:16-18:
1. In the future Millennial Kingdom, if the Prince who has been granted a large piece of property by the Lord makes a gift to any of his sons as his inheritance, that property will belong to his sons as their rightful inheritance, Ezekiel 46:16. So, opposite Marxism, there will be personal property rights in the Kingdom!
2. However, if the Prince makes a gift out of his allotted property to one of his servants, that servant will possess that property until the year of Jubilee that occurs every 50th year, Ezekiel 46:17a. At that time, the Prince's gift will revert back to the property of the Prince, and it will be his and his sons by right of inheritance, Ezekiel 46:17b. In other words, wealthy people will not have their properties confiscated to be dispersed to the poor as in Marxist ideology, but they will retain the right to possess their properties.
3. On the other hand, as has occurred in abuses under capitalism, the Prince will not be allowed to seize any of the inheritances of the common people, evicting them out of their rightful inheritance, Ezekiel 46:18a. Rather, the Prince will give his sons their inheritance out of his own property so that none of God's people at the commoner level will be scattered from his rightful land of inheritance, Ezekiel 46:18b.
4. The principle behind these directives is that the whole earth belongs to God, that all human beings on earth are mere tenants on the earth that God created and thus possesses: after all, Deuteronomy 1:20, 25 claims the Promised Land was God's gift to Israel where God had granted Mount Seir [Edom] to Esau and his descendants (Deuteronomy 2:5) and God had given the land of Moab to the Moabites (Deuteronomy 2:9). Thus, as God wanted Israel to respect the property rights of relative nations, every person must respect the property of every other person on earth, be they rich and powerful or lowly and poor.
Lesson: The Year of Jubilee will be observed in the future Millennial Kingdom so that all properties will revert back to the original owners or their rightful descendants as their rightful inheritance from the Lord. In this way, the poor will not see the properties of the rich and influential dispersed to them, nor will the rich and influential be able to evict commoners from their properties, but each person will be called to respect the personal rights of inheritance from the Lord that is that person's divinely assigned inheritance.
Application: (1) May we respect the God-given right of every person to possess what God has legally granted him to own, and what he has legally earned by his labor, be he rich or poor, influential or a commoner. (2) May we respect the rights of inheritance among all peoples. (3) May we realize that the earth and its natural resources really belong to the Creator and thus use what access we have to them by legal transactions as conscientious stewards who are responsible to the Lord for what we do with His property! (4) Since many relationship problems have risen over arguments relatives have over inheritances, may we recall that just as God had Israel avoid seizing Edom, the land of Jacob's brother Esau and his heirs, and just as God had Israel avoid seizing the land of Moab that belonged to the heirs of Moab, a son Abraham's nephew Lot, may we respect our relatives' properties!