Ezekiel 44:20 They shall not shave their heads or l let their locks grow long; they shall surely trim the hair of their heads. 21 No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court. 22 They shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman, but only virgins of the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. 23 They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.
Ezekiel 44:1 - 31
ESV - 1 Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east. And it was shut. 2 And the Lord said to me, "This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut.
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This chapter in Ezekiel is about admission to the temple and about the laws governing the priests. What importance does this have today? Leviticus 21:5 tells that bald heads, shaved beard edges and hashes were prohibited in pagan rituals. Numbers 6:5 gives the law for a Nazarite. The long hair was a symbol of devotion to God. Psalm 40:12 says that innumerable evils have surrounded me, I am not able to look up, there are so many that they are more than the hairs on my head. Matthew 10:30: "The number of the hairs on your head are counted, you are more valuable than many sparrows.” In Leviticus 10:9, priests were not to drink wine or show bereavement going to the tent of meeting. In Genesis 9:21 we read of the problem caused by Noah 's drunkenness. Habakkuk 2:15 is another warning about drinking and what can happen. Think of Noah 's trouble! Revelation 14:8-10: “And another angel followed, saying, 'Babylon has fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all the nation's drink the wine of wrath.’ “Then a third angel followed and spoke, 'If anyone worships the beast...and takes the mark, he will drink the..wine of the wrath of God.’” Psalm 75:8: There is a cup in the hand of the Lord, surely all the wicked of the earth will drink it down. Isaiah 51:17 warns to, "Wake" and stand, you have drunk the cup of fury.” Revelation 17:2,4; 18:2,3 declare that the nations drank the wine of sensuality and excesses. Beware of the trappings of worldly goods. In Ezekiel 44, the laws governing the priests are discussed. So what does that have to say to us, here in 2022? Psalm 84:3,4: "Even the sparrow has found a home...even your altars, oh Lord of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are they who dwell in your house.” God cares so much that even a sparrow does not fall without being seen. The hairs of our heads are counted. Leviticus 26:40, 41: If they confess their sins and return to Me, even though they were contrary, when they accept their guilt, I will remember MY covenant.” Jesus came, the Priest of All Priests. Anyone who accepts Him shall be forgiven. We must recognize that we depend on God for everything. We must not drink the wine of the world. We must turn to God. Beware the unclean snake in the grass. Remember Eve.
Before I became a pastor, I came across Ezekiel 44:22. It says, "They [the priests] must not marry a widow or a divorcee, but they may marry a virgin from the house of Israel or a widow who is a priest’s widow." I realize this was talking about ancient Israel and the requirements God placed upon them. But I felt that leaders, no matter when they live, bear greater responsibilities than those they lead. So I asked God to send me a virgin to marry. And he did! So I married her!
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