Ezekiel 9 continues the vision of what God is going to do in cleaning up His people Israel and Judah. He calls for the “executioners” to come. With them is a “man with a writing case” who is instructed to go though the city and “put a mark on the forehead of everyone who is in anguish” over the things that are being done in the city. So it is time to separate the wheat from the chaff as scripture describes it in another place. A line in the sand is being drawn and people put on one side or the other. It is important to see that the line is not just about being one who did not participate in the sin of the day, although that is certainly implied here. But the characteristic that is called out is that people are marked because they are in “anguish” over the sin that is all around them. They recognize it as wrong and are not just ignoring it – not just accepting it as the way it is – not content to let it slide by. Are you “in anguish” over the sin around you? Or do you respond as I do many times and just stick my head in the sand and let it flow? God is not pleased when we do that because His holiness will never allow Him to do that. The other key instruction given was: “don’t lay a hand on anyone with the mark”. The executioners follow through the city and kill every person, old or young, male or female, that does not carry the mark. It was a massacre. Ezekiel “falls on his face in prayer” and tries to intercede knowing that pretty much all will be killed. But God has to follow His character. He cannot just tolerate sin or evil. His nature of holiness will not allow that. So the “land is swollen with murder”. Let me adapt the lesson here a bit to the present and ask you a question. When you stand at judgment day, there is one mark that will determine your eternity. That is the mark of Jesus in your life. Do you have a personal relationship with Him? Is He Lord of your life? The only other way to gain entry to heaven will be living a life free of sin. None of us are going to make it that way. So the eternity decision rests on one thing. Have you been marked by Jesus? Are you His? No other decision, no other activity, nothing else matters compared to dealing with this one solitary thing. Don’t let another day pass without knowing you are marked. The executioners are coming. Make sure you are ready!
Archive for March 28th, 2008