FURTHER LESSONS FROM EZEKIEL
We continue our studies on Sundays as we listen to the prophets of old, sent by God to warn and plead with his people, to encourage them to repent lest they be taken into captivity. We have seen Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, pleaded with his people time and again to repent, but they wound up in Babylonian captivity because they were like the world, and not “set apart, or holy” unto the Lord.
Christians are called to be a holy people, because we have been set apart from sin and live by different standards from the rest of the world. Peter wrote by inspiration in 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” We are set apart. Indeed, as Christians, we should be holy because we remember the sacrifice necessary to make us holy – it was not with the blood of bulls and goats, but the blood of Jesus that washed away our sins (Hebrews 9:13-10:18).
Ezekiel was a prophet that preached about 593 BC. He condemned idolatry and the worship of idols in Ezekiel 6, and stated clearly and forcefully that God would “. .. destroy your high places (where they offered sacrifices to the multiplicity of gods they had), your altars will become desolate, your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain before your idols (thus showing that these so-called gods could not save them). (see Ezekiel 6:1-7). Yet God would leave some of them alive.
We can only imagine the dead bodies lying around the altars of their “gods” in such a way that “you shall know that I am the Lord.”
Why such a punishment? His people had rejected him for something they could see and feel. It was about the physical, not the spiritual – not the heart.
God goes on to say in Ezekiel 6:9-10 “. . . then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.
AND THEY SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD, I HAVE NOT SAID IN VAIN THAT I WOULD BRING THIS CALAMITY UPON THEM.” (Ezekiel 9:10).
All of this were a lesson that was taught in a way they could understand. Sometimes God gets our attention by events of the world that HE CONTROLS to force us to stop and consider our lives and our eternity. It forces us to consider who it is we are listening to. We are bombarded constantly by bad news; and Satan continues to stir up the world in an effort to get people to forget God and try to solve our own problems. How well has this worked out for us?
He goes on through Ezekiel 7 emphasizing his punishment of his people, and in Ezekiel 8 he gives examples of His own people worshipping idols in the temple itself. On and on he lists the sins committed against Him. And the people wonder why God is not there.
And what do we wonder in our world today, when it seems that the whole world has gone crazy?
Beloved, God is in control – always has been, always will be! May we bow in humble service to Him, give him what he deserves (our hearts and lives) and honor him daily.
Don’t become an idolater of what we mere humans can do (remembering that it is God who gave us the mind and will to do many of things we can do) – remember who gave us that ability. He deserves all praise, honor, and glory.
THINK ON THESE THINGS! Tommy