“No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court.”
Ezekiel is given instructions concerning those who will serve the Lord in His Holy Temple. Three of the rules seemed to jump off the page as I read through them this morning.
First, the priests were required to wear linen as they served the Lord. The more common material for garments in Ezekiel’s day was wool, which was much heavier and would cause a person to perspire when working hard. The ministry is something that should never become burdensome. Jesus explained, His yoke was easy and His burden light (Matthew 11:30). When serving the Lord seems like a heavy task, we may be doing something wrong.
Second, they were not to drink wine in the service of God. Paul later wrote, we should not be drunk with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). To effectively serve Christ, we need to be empowered by the Spirit and given gifts beyond what we naturally possess. Alcohol makes a person think they are more brave, intelligent, outgoing or creative; while the Spirit of God will actually gift us and equip us to do what God for calling.
Finally, those serving the Lord were to treat marriage differently. Even as far back as Ezekiel’s day, marriages were being tossed aside as disposable. Divorce was common, even among believers. Those who wanted to serve the Lord were being called to a higher standard. Paul explained, if a person cannot keep his own home in order, how can he expect to keep order in the house of the Lord (1 Timothy 3:5). We must first take time to invest in our families, if we want to have an impact for the kingdom.