Sanctity of Time and Place
Ezekiel 45:18-20
Thus said the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, you shall take a young bullock without blemish…

Human life on earth is conditioned by lime and place. It is a necessity of our existence here that we should occupy some definite place. It is a necessity that we should live during some duration of time. We are cradled amid outward circumstance. Until the soil has matured its powers, it is molded and modified by external surroundings. What these are, the character of the man, in great measure, will be.

I. THE SANCTUARY IS THE FOUNTAIN-HEAD OF PUBLIC RELIGION. A man's personal piety must be nourished in secret - by meditation, faith, and prayer. But a man is not an isolated creature. He is related on many sides to others. He is part of a family, part of a community. Therefore his religion must have a public aspect, and must influence all his relationships. His religion is helped by mutual action and reaction. It is fostered by common beliefs, common sympathies, common worship. The meeting-place between man and man is also the meeting-place between men and God. Scarce any man will rise above the level of religious life prevailing in the sanctuary. Here men's souls are fed and nourished and vitalized. What the sanctuary is the home will be, the nation will be, the world will be. If the fountain be clear and abundant in its flow, the streams will be fall and clear also. The future of our world hangs upon our sanctuary-worship.

II. THE FOUNTAIN-HEAD OF PUBLIC RELIGION MUST BE KEPT PURE. So subtle and insidious is the working of sin, that it insinuates a way into the house of God. Base and selfish motives disfigure the beauty of our worship. Worldliness clogs the wheels of the soul, and prevents it from running in the way of holy duty. The priests and ministers of God are liable to temptation's defiling touch. The channel of communication between heaven and men may become choked with avarice and earthly ambition. The face of God may be hidden by the mists and clouds of human unbelief. The ears of men may become deaf to the soft whispers of God's voice. Sin in the sanctuary may be so subtle as to remain undetected. Our knowledge of God and of his will is so partial and imperfect that even good men sin through ignorance and error and inadvertence. Hence arises the need for the repurification of the sanctuary. No means are to be neglected by which men's minds can be more deeply impressed with the need of purity. No expenditure is waste by which the souls of men can be cleansed and ennobled. Our very tears of repentance must be washed. The fountain of truth and piety must he kept sweet.

III. THE PURIFICATION OF THE SANCTUARY DEMANDS THE FIRST MOMENTS OF OUR TIME. The holiest work must be the work first done. The dawn of the new year is the most fitting time for this sacred service. Just as every part of the nation is hallowed for God by the hallowing of a particular spot, so the whole year is hallowed by the consecration to God of its first moments. God's claim to every part of our nature and of our possessions must be practically yielded; and we admit the obligation by bringing the first fruit of our fields, the best of our flocks, the central spot of our territory, the first moments of the year. It is by giving that we gain. None have been losers by giving freely unto God. That which we thus give we really possess. - D.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary:

WEB: Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the first [month], in the first [day] of the month, you shall take a young bull without blemish; and you shall cleanse the sanctuary.

Sacred Festivals
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