November 22, 2011
Ezekiel 44:1-45:12; 1 Peter 1:1-12;
Psalm 119:17-32; Proverbs 28:8-10
Ezekiel is shown that this prince is allowed to sit in the closed gateway in order to eat in the Lord's presence. We learn that in this millennial Temple the Levites will not be administering sacrifices because of their past sins. Only the descendants from Zadok's family in the tribe of Levi will be ministering to the Lord in the Temple. God will again institute rules and regulations with regard to their ministry and sacrifices.
Land will be divided among the tribes of Israel and land will be provided for foreigners who want to live in Israel among the tribes. Rulers will no longer oppress the people under Christ's reign on earth. God is getting pretty specific here about what goes on during His earthly reign in His holy capital city.
What do you think of this?
1 Peter 1:1-12
Now we get to the first epistle of the Apostle Peter. As you may remember, Jesus told Peter that he was going to change his name from Simon to Petros. Petros or Peter means "rock." Peter had given the first oral testimony that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus responded to the testimony of this simple fisherman by declaring that on this rock I will build my church. Christ intended to use Peter and his testimony about Christ to begin the earthly Church. Sure enough, after Pentecost and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we see the ignorant fisherman become the rock-man preacher, who preaches the first sermon of the New Covenant. Peter's message converts thousands of people to Christ, immediately. Jesus' prophesy is fulfilled. With God all things are possible. Peter is going to lead us on a journey that teaches us that suffering brings joy. This is a lesson from a man who has learned about suffering from experience. His faith has been forged on the anvil of suffering.
Peter is a man who was used to working in deep waters as a fisherman. Today, he dives into spiritually deep waters as he introduces great doctrines of the faith. This letter is addressed to Christian Jews who are scattered throughout Asia Minor. Peter reminds them that they have been chosen by God according to His foreknowledge through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Whoa! Okay. We have the concept of election, God's omniscient foreknowledge of who would be His, and the sanctification of believers by the Holy Spirit all in the first sentence. I love it.
Peter begins by praising God, because we have new birth and a living hope in Jesus Christ, who was resurrected from the dead. This gives us an inheritance in heaven that lasts forever and does not decay, spoil, or fade. This hope makes present suffering more than tolerable, it makes suffering joyous.
Peter reminds the saints abroad that the prophets of old wanted to know more about this type of faith and salvation. They prophesied about this salvation and yet, had questions about it. They did not understand Christ's suffering and what his resurrection glory would be like. They did not know who this person would be. This did not happen during their lifetimes.
These modern believers are the beneficiaries of Christ coming to earth. The Good News can now be announced as having occurred. The Holy Spirit inspires the preachers who are spreading this Good News, and even the angels watch eagerly as it all unfolds. May I note that Peter is a man who has been rescued from jail by an angel of God. He knows that of which he speaks.
Do you realize that God chose you to be His own? Do you love and trust Him, even though you have never seen Him?
Listen to the humility and desire of the psalmist. This pleases the Lord.
The prayers of one who despises the law/and God will be ignored. Did you realize this?
What are you seeing as you read? Please share.