Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 44-45
Ezekiel 44 continues to point us to Jesus in the various descriptions of the temple and its furnishings. Already foretold by the prophet in Ezekiel 34:23-24, “the prince” makes his appearance in Ezekiel 44:1-3. As this prince is described as the one shepherd and the seed of David, he can be none other than Jesus Christ the Lord. One quick note of translation clarification, and I mention this because I was a bit confused as I read — the NKJV capitalizes personal pronouns and certain nouns used in reference to Deity. However, in Ezekiel 34 and 44, none of the allusions (e.g. shepherd, prince) made in reference to Jesus are capitalized. Nevertheless, most commentators are in agreement as to the identity of the shepherd and prince in these texts. Also of interest is the admonition to note the ordinances of the Lord’s house and its laws concerning who may enter in. We should also be mindful of this lesson, for only those who are authorized may be granted entrance into God’s house, the church (cf 1 Tim 3:15). Matthew 22:11-14 reminds us that only those who are properly attired may enter into the king’s house and feast at his table.
New Testament reading: Romans 7-9
As Romans 9 is often misused in an attempt to teach the false doctrine of particular predestination. By particular predestination, we mean that God specifically chose each individual person to be saved or lost before He ever created the world. Calvinists run to verses 6-29 in a vain attempt to show that God predetermined every single person who would be saved or lost, when in fact, the text teaches nothing of the sort. I believe in predestination because the Bible teaches it. But I believe in the proper view of predestination. That is, that men who would be saved today were predestined according to a particular plan, and not according to a particular man. God’s intention to save man through Jesus Christ was in His mind before the world began (1 Pet 1:18-21). Romans 9 is a message to the Jews and to Christians of Jewish heritage that God always intended to save the Gentiles. Paul says as much when he explains the context in his summary statement of Romans 9:30-33. Romans 9 is about saving all men through Jesus, not just a select few.