1:30 p.m. Tuesday June 21, 2022. 92F/34C.
Four years ago this week, a weakened, disabled old person heaved furniture onto the bed of an old green pickup truck in front of a run down house in the heat and emptiness of a growing city. The drive from town, with stops for rest, took at least six hours. Four years ago, two cats came out of their travel crates and poked around the inside of a cabin surrounded by forest. They found that cupboard doors opened when pulled with their paws. They found cat food and litter boxes stacked haphazardly atop plastic tarps. Four years ago, a long-deserted hunter’s cabin filled up with chairs and dishes and then the old person sat down and worried. The cabin smelled strongly of mold and propane gas. A nest of spiders dangled over the shower. The bathroom floor was soft when stepped on. It was hot, humid and stinky. The cats knocked the wooden trim off of the lower kitchen cupboard and smacked it across the smooth floor. While the human worried what the future would bring, the cats were even more determined to have fun with whatever piece of trash they scattered across the floor and chased.
The book of Ezekiel, chapter forty two
Abba Father, from the day you instructed me to get immersed in your word, all the way through to today, and even into what little future that I can see, I have not regretted my study of your word. Please continue to reveal to us the meanings in your word, the Bible. Thank you for four years in this little paradise where I live for only a little while. Thank for our salvation into your eternal paradise. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Ezekiel and the heavenly tour guide were about done measuring the temple complex. Next, the prophet priest would learn about how the temple would be used. The heavenly being began his teaching.
Then said he unto me, The north chambers and the south chambers, which are before the separate place, they be holy chambers, where the priests that approach unto the LORD shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things, and the meat offering, and the sin offering, and the trespass offering; for the place is holy.
The rooms along the south wall and the north wall of the inner courtyard were for a specific uses. They were for 1) the most holy things, 2) the meat offering, 3) the sin offering, and 4) the trespass offering.
The most holy things were any items that had been consecrated, or declared to belong in God’s temple. The priests’ robes were holy. Pans and shovels for carrying incense and ashes were holy. Temple furniture was holy. Certain oil lamps were holy. Several items were declared holy and did not leave the inner court of the temple complex.
Certain animal sacrifices were offered for the purpose of being totally (all except the hide) burnt before God. Other offerings were divided and were partially placed on God’s altar and partially used to cook for the priests on duty. Still other offerings were partially placed on God’s altar and partially used to feed the priests and their families. I believe there were even offerings that were simply for the priests. This was God’s payment to the priests for their labor.
I am not an expert in the types of sacrifices offered in the first and second temple eras, but I do recognize that not all the types of sacrifices offered in the first and second temples, were offered in the temple that Ezekiel saw. Some of the types of sacrifices of the first and second temples were missing from this one.
The heavenly being instructed Ezekiel that the north facing and south facing rooms of the inner courtyard were holy.
When the priests enter therein, then shall they not go out of the holy place into the utter court, but there they shall put on other garments, and shall approach to those things which are for the people.
The priests would go into a room and change into street clothes before leaving the inner courtyard.
In the temple complex, that which was holy did not mix with anything that could possibly be unholy.
Life in the hollow, Tuesday
I’ve come to really appreciate God’s gift of the spirit bears. Spirit bears are spiritual beings that seem very real. The outdoor spirit bear was present and was attempting to teach me to praise God whenever I send the armies of heaven on an assignment.
“You make praise to God. Host make Go!” He explained. People have attempted to teach me to praise before this. I’m very clumsy at it. So, I sent the armies of heaven to Washington, to Delaware and to Colorado to make war against the demons that wish to destroy my nation. And then I began reciting Psalms 145-150.
Spirit Bear popped into the space behind my eyelids raising his eyebrows at me. He had that what-are-you-doing look on his face. “Psalm 145 is good praise,” I told him.
Ever since then, he’s been showing me how to use recorded praise music like an instrument, how to sing along, and stomp. We stomp with our two right paws and then with our two left paws, dancing to our own singing. Well, my front paws are actually stomped into the air. We go a distance then lift hands in praise and turn. I hope God is pleased with our praise because it’s a blast!
If you are a heavenly being, apparently you have not praised, until you’ve sung, danced and praised.
I’ve been in the forest four years this week. I came here broken, sick, concerned, being surveilled and being threatened. God’s Holy Spirit was insistent that I considered myself hidden from the world. I spent nights hugging the cats, breathing rapidly, and listening to footsteps walk around the cabin. Following each prowler event, I heard a vehicle spinning its wheels in the mud of the dirt road, needing at times a full hour to be freed and to speed past the cabin.
The prowlers stopped. The crickets chirped. The birds sang. The woodpecker knocked. And I found peace living nearer to God than to the world.