Archive for November 19th, 2013

Ezekiel 8

Ezekiel 8 has the prophet getting yet another message from God, but this time in a very different way.  Ezekiel was used to hearing from God, but this time “the hand of the Lord God fell upon me”.  God takes things to a different level as He reaches out and touches the prophet.  And then things really change as “I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man”.  God has gone from visions and spoken words to touch and the appearance of a man.  It wasn’t a normal man – this one had a lower body of fire and an upper body like gleaming metal.  It had to be quite a sight to see.

But it goes well beyond an appearance here.  “He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God”.   God literally reached out and touched Ezekiel.  He grabbed him by the hair and lifted him up to see God’s vision.  God took him around the city of Jerusalem and to the synagogue and showed him what was to come.  It sort of reminds me of the Scrooge story, but this is God’s way to prophecy what is to come.

And the picture is not pretty.  The view of the north gate had great abominations that were being committed and would “drive me far from my sanctuary”.  The sin of the people was more than God could handle.  We really don’t understand how much our sin grieves God’s heart.  He loves us and provides for us and blesses us, and we respond with disobedience and selfishness and idolatry, and God shows Ezekiel “all the idols” that are in the house of Israel.  It is sin to put anything ahead of God.  Idolatry is when we push God from His rightful place as King.  We all do it.  We all have things we allow to get in the way between God and that place.

What do we use as an excuse?  “For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land”.  God doesn’t see my sin.  God isn’t paying attention.  He’s too busy to notice I am disobedient.  These are all lies of the enemy.  God doesn’t miss our sin. He isn’t too busy to know what we are doing.  God is always alert and aware.  And unfortunately, His nature requires that He address our sin.  He can’t ignore it.  “Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them”.  The good news is that even though our sin requires God’s response, His love has provided us the way through the shed blood of Christ to send that punishment to the Cross.  He has made a way!

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