The Place to Boil the Sacrifices of the People
Speaker: Reverend Philip Lee
Service: Moriah, 2nd Service
Date: July 5, 2020
Boiling place for the sacrifices of the people
In the last hour, we examined the boiling place for the priests. Today we will look at the boiling place for the sacrifices of the people. This is the 22nd place that God showed to Ezekiel.
Location of the boiling place for the sacrifice of the people
First, the boiling place for the sacrifice of the people is located in the four corners of the outer court in Ezekiel’s temple (Ezek 46:21). Secondly, the size of these boiling places was 40 cubits long (21.28 meters) and 30 cubits (15.96 meters) wide. When we look at Ezekiel’s temple, it is 500 by 500 long cubits with the inner and outer courts. In the four corners of the outer court, these are the boiling places for the sacrifices of the people (Ezek 46:22). These boiling places were enclosed, meaning there was a “wall around.” In Hebrew, the word “enclosed” is קְטֻרוֹת (qatar), meaning "surrounded," "enclosed," or "shut in." Thus, there is a surrounding wall inside, like a fence. Inside, there is no roof so that the smoke that comes from the boiling can escape. Thirdly, the usage of the boiling places for the people was like a cooking place where the sacrifices will be boiled (Ezek 46:23). Inside each of the boiling places, there are many separate spaces for boiling in that room.
The Levites who served in the temple
The Levites were the ministers who served in the temple, and they boiled the sacrifices that the people brought in. This demonstrates how God differentiated holiness. In the last hour, we saw how there were separate boiling places for the priests and boiling places for the Levites, the ministers. All the sacrifices were brought by the people. However, there was a separate cooking place for the priests and another separate cooking place where the ministers who assisted the priests did the boiling. So clearly, there is a difference between the inner and outer courts.
The sacrifice that is acceptable to God
The boiling places for the priests are located inside the inner court but the boiling place for the ministers, the Levites were in the outer court (Ezek 46:24). Based on this, we can see that God differentiated the level of holiness between the two cooking places. The word “sacrifice” in Hebrew is זֶ֫בַח (zebach) meaning "sacrifices" as in animals killed and sacrificed (Ezek 44:11). Thus, these boiling places were the sacrifices of the people. This demonstrates that during the days of the Old Testament, sacrifices were offered but if we convert the word “sacrifice” into a term in the New Testament it means “worship” service. Therefore, our worship is all about making sacrifice in which we offer God “time.” If we don’t sacrifice our time, then we are not able to come to church. God really desires for us to be physically present in the sanctuary to make the sacrifice of our time. Also, there is a sacrifice of our wealth. When we come into God’s presence we must come with our wealth and our offerings, for we should not come empty-handed but with a prepared heart to offer up to God the worship that is acceptable to Him (Rom 12:1).
So, let us always be engaging in this living and holy sacrifice that is acceptable to God.
Ezekiel 46:24 says, "the boiling places.” The sacrifice, the meat, would be placed in this huge pot and they will boil it. It is the people’s sacrifice that is being boiled. This signifies that we must pass through fiery trials (Job 23:10). God will try us with fiery trials so that we can come forth as pure gold, free from all impurities, and “boiled” as a sacrifice to God. Without fiery trials, we become arrogant and proud, but through the fiery trials, our “esteems” are shattered which will make us humble and transfer us into a more acceptable sacrifice to God.
God is able to see whether our work or labor manifest His glory or manifest our own glory. To check what kind of labor that was put forth, God will put us through this fiery trial to see if our labor still remains, which will receive recognition from God. If the fiery trial will make us give up, then all of our labor and the work that we have done will become vain. Therefore, whatever fiery trial that comes our way, we must not waver but keep our post to the very end (1 Cor 3:13). If the quality of the man’s work is like a precious stone, it will still remain despite the fire. But if it is something that can easily burn, then it will not remain. The word “work” in Greek is ἔργον (ergon) which refers to our labor or service, and God wants to reveal the true quality of our work through fire. Only when we pass through this phase we will be well-boiled in the way that it is acceptable to God.
Secondly, to be boiled represents the “maturity of faith.” When something is boiled it is cooked; thus when our faith is well-cooked, we are ripened. The word “ripe” in Hebrew is בָּשַׁל (bashal) meaning to boil or to grow ripe (Gen 40:10; Joel 3:13). Therefore, our faith must be ripened. First, our faith must grow to a mature level. Growth can happen in a short period of time, but maturity actually takes time. We can grow in faith but from that point on, we need to be transformed into a mature faith (Mark 4:28). We must become people who are filled with the Word of Jesus and then we become a ripened full mature grain.
Our faith must grow from the level of the faith of a child to the level of maturity, and our actions and deeds must reflect our maturity (1 Cor 13:11). On Mount Zion, the 144,000 are standing with the Lamb and they are the first fruits or "ripened fruits" according to the Korean translation (Rev 14:1). These 144,000 are the ripened first fruits just as the sacrifice in the boiling pot are cooked firm (Rev 14:4). Our standard is that we must be ripened to the mature level of Jesus Christ which is the epitome of matureness. Jesus is “perfect” God, but He came to set an example for us and went through this phase of maturity (Luke 2:52). Therefore, let us emulate Jesus and follow His maturity in our lives so that we are well-cooked and boiling hot so that our God will want to reach out and take us.