Archive for December 21st, 2016

Ezekiel 8

Ezekiel 8 has our prophet connecting closely with God.  A year and two months have now passed since God called Ezekiel to be a prophet. By this time people recognized him as a prophet, and leaders among the exiles came to discuss their affairs with him. While the leaders were sitting talking with him, Ezekiel was suddenly caught up by the Spirit of God and taken, as it were, to Jerusalem.  “I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell on me there”.  Ezekiel was in tune with God and His Spirit.  And God comes to Him in a direct and unforgettable way.

I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man….like the appearance of glowing metal….stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God”.  Ezekiel knew immediately that these visions were from God, because the first thing he saw was a vision of the glory of God similar to that which he had seen earlier.  God reveals how the people were sinning and focused on an idol that stirred God to jealousy.  “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations”?

God next brings Ezekiel to a place with a hidden room.  There he saw a gathering of Jerusalem’s leaders, who were secretly worshipping pictures of animals painted on the walls. Foolishly, they thought God could not see them.  “He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall….now dig through the wall….Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here”.  This was a large group of elders that were doing idol worship – in secrecy in their own minds – but in the full view of God who was not pleased.  “Standing in front of them were seventy elders of the house of Israel….do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved imagesThe Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land”.

How short sighted and wrong they are.  God sees all things.  We don’t hide our poor choices that lead to sin from Him.  We might try to do it in the dark or the secrecy of our home or hidden place – but God still sees all.  And sin will be dealt with by a Holy God who can’t tolerate it in any way.  Next Ezekiel is shown “about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun….they are putting the twig to their nose”.  Doing that was part of the ritual and a particularly offensive insult to God.  So over 100 leaders that Ezekiel sees in a vision from God that are just making every bad choice and really irritating God.  Sin does that.  God can’t tolerate it.  And He really dislikes leaders choosing to sin, and even worse, thinking they can hide it and get away with it.

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