Ezekiel 6

Ezekiel 6 has the prophet having to deliver some difficult words to God’s people.  They are guilty of idolatry and God’s not going to tolerate it.  They had copied Canaanite religious practices. Canaanite gods, collectively known as Baalim (plural of Baal) were gods of nature, and Israelites used the Canaanite shrines throughout the countryside as places to offer worship.  God was not pleased.  “I Myself am going to bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places. So your altars will become desolate and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will make your slain fall in front of your idols”.  Judgment will be upon them.

It’s going to be a pretty complete punishment.  “Your works may be blotted out. The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the Lord”.  God’s going to deal with his rebellious people in three distinct ways.  “He who is far off will die by the plague, and he who is near will fall by the sword, and he who remains and is besieged will die by the famine”.  But the end result is that the idol worshipping Israelites are going to be judged by Almighty God for their bad choices to worship idols and walk away from God.  He just can’t tolerate that.

There is a sliver of good news. “I will leave a remnant, for you will have those who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered among the countries. Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols”.  A few will be taken as captives to foreign countries.  They will realize why they have been punished and will once again turn to God.  This will be the foundation of rebuilding God’s people after judgment is complete.

God reveals why this has to happen as Ezekiel gets the last words for this chapter.  “So throughout all their habitations I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land more desolate….thus they will know that I am the Lord”.  God wants all people, and in particular His people, to know that He is God.  It’s one of the most important things we have on our plate today as Christ Followers – the make God known among the nations.  We do that by how we live and what we say.  It’s important to God, and therefore must be important to us as well.  God is God and we need to let the world know!

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