March 4, 2023: Haftorah - Ezekiel 43:10-27
This week's Haftorah reading is from Ezekiel 43:10-27. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers as he delves into this climactic vision that Ezekiel received from ELOHIM, designated as a wake-up call to repentance for Israel, and for all of us today! ADONAI wants us to recognize our sin, and lead us to His designed sacrifice to make us holy unto Him.
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftorah:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftorah Portion – Ezekiel 43:10-27
When Elohim gave Ezekiel this climactic vision, He wanted Israel to turn from their sins and repent. It was supposed to be a wake-up call. This was a nation in exile. They were in exile as a judgment of Elohim from their sin. It is hard to deal with our sins because it makes us uncomfortable. There are so many emotions involved: sadness, frustration, fear, guilt, shame and despair…but one key reason Elohim reveals Himself and gives us a glimpse of our future is to help us repent. Guilt is not all bad, shame can be used to motivate us to look to Yeshua for forgiveness and seek to be transformed in newness of life.
Elohim never wants us to wallow in our guilt and shame over sin. Instead, He wants us to recognize our sin, and lead us to His designed sacrifice to make us holy. He is so good to us because he always provides a way for the forgiveness of sins.
In Ezekiel 43:10-12, Elohim calls Israel out and tells them to measure the Temple pattern. This will cause them to see what they have done and be ashamed. This call to point out Israel’s sin might seem harsh; remember we live in a culture allergic to the idea of sin. What does Elohim want from them and us? He wants all of us to see the seriousness of our idolatry, greed, sexual immorality, bitterness, gossip, and whatever unrighteousness we are participating in. He wants us to see how holy His Temple is, how holy He is, and how in its totality it is dedicated to Him just like we all should be.
When we look at the Temple, the altar is outside of the Temple proper in the courtyard. The significance is what happens on top of the altar…the sacrificial animals were offered on it. In order for Elohim to dwell with us there must be an atonement for sin. You and I are not good enough to dwell with Elohim. The sacrifice of Yeshua provides reconciliation to our Father. Yeshua gave His life for us…once being dead we live again by the blood of Yeshua.
In Ezekiel 43:18-22, it demands a week of purification, purification for the altar and for the priests. Only after this thorough offering would Adonai accept the priests as His servants. Please don’t overlook this important point. Putting Elohim first, honoring Him, obeying His laws was exactly what Israel had failed to do. They ended up in exile because they didn’t treat Him as holy. So, if they would repent, they needed to be purified through sacrifice and dedicate themselves entirely to Adonai. If we will dwell with Elohim, we must be made holy through sacrifice. Yeshua accomplished this for us by His death. He laid down His life for all of us.
People fail to realize that the sacrificial system in the Torah never was designed to remove all sin. It was designed to temporarily remove guilt and punishment and remind the people of their need for atonement. It covered their sin for a season but needed to be repeated. The old system anticipated, pointed to, the need for Messiah and the power of His atonement for our sin.
Ezekiel’s vision should bring us face to face with our sin, failures, unrighteousness, and unholiness. It should reveal the truth in our lives and how we have made that which is holy unholy. It should be a wake-up call for us in the Kehillah. We have so many strategies for not confessing our sin. We avoid thinking about it, distracting ourselves to the extreme. We justify our sin by comparing ourselves to the world around us, or to other believers we worship alongside which we deem worse than us. We even try to work off our debt by doing good works because we think Elohim desires our sacrifice over our obedience which is just the opposite. We need to confess our wrong-thinking, wrong-doing, wrong-speaking. We need to acknowledge the unholy living and turn over some of our own tables within our temple.
What is our degree of dedication? How do we live our lives? Do we walk the way He desires? Is He pleased with our commitment and lifestyle? Are we speaking, thinking, and acting in ways that put Him first? Elohim refuses to be marginalized in our lives!
In great detail, the Temple and its measurements had been given. Details for the priests and their duties have been set forth. What was missing was Elohim Himself which is revealed in this beautiful picture of His glory returning to the Temple. This was something all in exile longed for. It was a cause for hope in the wreckage of their choices. The remnant of the faithful would be restored.
Ezekiel’s vision was to get Israel to see they were stuck in years of living the consequences of their own disobedience to Him. They needed to come to full awareness of what they had done. Elohim’s restoration would cause them to recognize their sins that had placed them in the place to begin with.
In reality for all of us is that without shame for our sins, there is no forgiveness. When we see the goodness of Elohim and the sacrifice of Yeshua it should cause us to repent. What is extraordinary is that Elohim’s goodness comes before our own repentance. What I mean by that is His goodness is always there, but we won’t experience it if we are living in sin. The Prodigal had to come to his senses through tragedy and heartache before he returned to the father. But even before that took place, the father was watching and waiting for his return: Remember, the Good Shepherd seeks His lost sheep. The woman swept the house for the lost coin. Yeshua HaMashiach came to redeem even though people rejected Him. While we were yet sinners, Yeshua died for us. This is the goodness of Elohim that has always been there seeking the lost and making a way for redemption.
When we come to the full awareness of our state, when we consider the goodness of Elohim who has been faithful to us even when we were unfaithful, it brings our hearts toward repentance. It reveals our waywardness and sinful choices. This personal revelation for each of us has Elohim opening the door for our return. Our hearts are now sensitive and broken. This leads to restoration that is far-reaching. The Ruach’s presence in our lives is important for our holiness. Without the Ruach HaKodesh filling our temple (us), we will never have the capacity to produce spiritual fruit and turn from sin once and for all.
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,
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Have a great Sabbath, enjoy the presence of our King! Gather together as His body and give Him all the praise due His name. See you at the altar!