This morning the Lord led me to read the passage of Ezekiel Chapter 40. I really wasn’t understanding the purpose of Him leading me there until I reached a section that spoke on offerings. He told me to finish the chapter and then go back to the offering section. When I went back to where He told me, He said, “Don’t you see what I am showing you?” I didn’t see right then. I read it over and over and I stopped and asked Him what is He wanted me to see because I was having trouble understanding. He then said this, “Do not think of this being ‘old testament’, think on it as now. Think on not the offering as much as the reason for the offering.” And I closed my eyes and cleared my head and started thinking on what He had just said. I knew I ‘got it’ when the Lord said, “Now you see.” This is what I found in what He was showing me:
This section of passage speaks of a place in the temple where offerings will be made. God speaks to me often about repentance, so this is one more lesson He has shown me about it.
Just as back then, we need to ‘offer up’ our shortcomings and sins. Let me explain a little more. People used to take actual animals or fruit of the land to offer to God for forgiveness. That was the only way they could ask for forgiveness back then because Christ had not yet given Himself for the ultimate offering for our sins. Today, however, we can go straight to the Big Man Himself for that forgiveness. What greater gift could anyone receive than that one!
Now here is where the tie in is with the old way offerings and today. God showed me that so many of us are skipping some steps when we ask forgiveness for our sins. We ask for forgiveness, God gives it to us, and we just go on with life as usual. The problem is that we have missed the most important step in this process, the repentance. Repentance is the goal we should all be moving toward. With repentance, we put that forgiven sin away and we push forward to never commit that sin again. We need to stop making the excuse that we aren’t perfect and never will be. In God’s eyes, sure we may never be perfect here on earth, but we can sure be real close to it! Think of repentance as a modern day sin offering, minus the actual physical offering.
Try this the next time you sin: Just as always, ask God for forgiveness, but then close your eyes and think on the sin you are asking forgiveness for. Picture it as if the sin is in physical form. In the passage of Ezekiel 40:38-43, the offering is to be washed-which is asking Jesus to forgive and wash it away. Then it speaks of slaying the offering-which means to take the life from the sin. The offering is then to be burnt unto God-set fire to the sin which will cause such a physical state that it is unusable in the future. And finally, the flesh of the offering is left on the altar for God-leave the ashes for God and let Him dispose of them----disposing the whole sin. This is riding yourself of that sin, offering up that sin….repenting that sin.
When we do this in our mind while asking forgiveness from God, its as if we are physically offering up that sin to God. This can keep that sin from showing itself again because it is burnt up into ashes and in the Hands of God. With the forgiveness He gives us and the burning of the sin, we are repenting and getting rid of that sin for good because it is dead and washed away.
Here is the scripture the Lord led me to for this:
“And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering.
And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering.
And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables.
Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices.
And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice.
And within were hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering.”