The Service of the City
Ezekiel 48:19
And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.

Jerusalem was the metropolis of the Jewish state and of the Jewish Church. Accordingly, it was regarded as the charge of the whole nation. All Israelites had an interest in its peace and prosperity, and all recognized the honorable obligation of providing for its welfare. In his ideal reconstitution of the nation Ezekiel provided that the city lands should be cultivated, and the city service should be fulfilled by Israelites selected from all tribes, who also should serve as a militia for its defense. The principle is a Divine principle which applies to the Church of Christ, the true and spiritual Jerusalem.

I. A UNIVERSAL SERVICE. As all the tribes of Israel joined in serving their country's metropolis, so in the Church of the Divine Redeemer no one is exempt from contribution to the common good. No one is so feeble or so obscure that his aid may be dispensed with. Every age and every land in which Christianity is professed furnishes a contingent to swell the army of the Lord.

II. A VOLUNTARY SERVICE. No other is acceptable to the Lord, who desires the heart, and who will accept no mechanical, unwilling labor. Cordiality is essential, even though power be slight and opportunity be limited. The professional and official element must always be regarded with anxiety and watchfulness, for the motive must be pure or else the work is marred.

III. A VARIED SERVICE. Each has his own special gift, and none should be undervalued, far less despised. Young and old, learned and lay, those in public and those in private life, all have their work to do, their part to fulfill. None can be spared. The Church is built upon its Divine Foundation through the labors of many minds, many voices, many hands. The one Master finds work for all.

"He has his young men at the war, His little ones at home."

IV. A DIGNIFIED AND HONORABLE SERVICE. To do anything at the bidding of such a Master, and for the progress of such a cause, may welt be esteemed a privilege. Our Lord himself, by his incarnation, ministry, and sacrifice, has done more than could have been done in any other way to teach us the true dignity of service. If it be an honor to serve a great nation, a powerful king, how much higher is the honor of serving the Lord Jesus and those for whom he died!

V. A SERVICE WHICH IS LIBERALLY RECOMPENSED. Our Lord himself saw of the travail of his soul, and was satisfied. And when the promise is given to his faithful servants and followers, that they shall enter into the joy of their Lord, this is equivalent to an assurance that, sharing his toil, they shall also share his recompense. The safety and the growth, the prosperity and the glory, of the city is an abundant reward to the citizen who works with diligence and self-denial for its good. And the Christian has no greater joy than to witness the increase and the fame of the heavenly Jerusalem, and no brighter hope than to share his Master's throne. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.

WEB: Those who labor in the city, out of all the tribes of Israel, shall cultivate it.

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