“Because you have disheartened the righteous person with lies, even though I have not caused him grief, and because you have encouraged the wicked person not to turn from his evil way to save his life,”
Ezekiel 13:22 HCSB
God is speaking out against false prophets. Is it not possible that He could be talking to anyone who turns a blind eye to someone else’s sin? He speaks to us through His word, after all…
““Son of man, notice that the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees concerns many years from now; he prophesies about distant times.’ Therefore say to them: This is what the Lord God says: None of My words will be delayed any longer. The message I speak will be fulfilled.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.”
Ezekiel 12:27-28 HCSB
Is this not true today also? I know the end times are coming. I know God’s judgement is near, but am I living in a way that it is near, am I living as best as possible for the kingdom, as though it were near, or am I thinking it is far off? Are we as Christians doing this??
“And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, so they may follow My statutes, keep My ordinances, and practice them. Then they will be My people, and I will be their God.”
Ezekiel 11:19-20 HCSB
I believe whole heartedly that the Lord has given us free choice, so that we might CHOOSE to follow Him. Scripture says that He could call up stones to worship Him, but He wants us to choose to worship Him. And perhaps the greatest form of worship that He seeks is obedience.
That said, I read this verse and realize that He can turn our hearts towards Him (or away from Him). He is God, He can do whatever He wants, but I read this and think that if we seek after Him, if we want to seek after Him, and pray for our hearts to be changed, He is gracious to do that – but we have to want to follow after Him. We have to want what He desires – if that is true, He will turn our hearts to Him.
“The Lord spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Go inside the wheelwork beneath the cherubim. Fill your hands with hot coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” So he went in as I watched.
Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stood above the cherubim.”
Ezekiel 10:2, 18 HCSB
I am not sure what to make of this chapter of Ezekiel. The prophet Ezekiel has seen a vision where a man sent from God gathers coals from the temple, and scatters them over Jerusalem and the glory of the Lord leaves the temple.
I see this as a foretelling of what is to come – the Lord is no longer going to dwell in a place of stone, made by human hands, but rather He is going to dwell in the hearts of those He chooses, which is represented by the coals that are scattered from the temple.
“Then the glory of the God of Israel rose from above the cherub where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. He called to the man clothed in linen with the writing equipment at his side. “Pass throughout the city of Jerusalem,” the Lord said to him, “and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the detestable practices committed in it.” He spoke as I listened to the others, “Pass through the city after him and start killing; do not show pity or spare them! Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, as well as the older women and little children, but do not come near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple.”
Ezekiel 9:3-6 HCSB
I see this as God’s way of telling me that being righteous in God’s sight is not only refraining from evil and wickedness, but also being grieved over those who don’t. This is being zealous for Him and His ways.
“Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his idol? For they are saying, ‘The Lord does not see us. The Lord has abandoned the land.’ ””
Ezekiel 8:12 HCSB
These elders of Israel are not that different from so many of us today. It seems that we forget that He can see us all the time. It isn’t that they don’t believe He exists, they just think He isn’t watching. A lot of people admit that there is God, and I’ve often wondered if because they are Christians, or at least claim to be, and know that Jesus forgives our sins. Knowing this do they take this for granted and continue to sin, to use it as an excuse to continue to live as though He couldn’t see them/us??
“Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness. None of them will remain: none of their multitude, none of their wealth, and none of the eminent among them.”
Ezekiel 7:11 HCSB
The Lord is saying what I already know, but certainly need to be reminded of: the things of this world are nothing. They are not gods, and cannot substitute in any way for a relationship with Him. If I put my faith and trust into my money, or “things,” I shouldn’t be surprised if I find myself clinging to these things and getting no comfort. This isn’t the case if I build my treasure in heaven.
“I will stretch out My hand against them, and wherever they live I will make the land a desolate waste, from the wilderness to Diblah. Then they will know that I am Yahweh.””
Ezekiel 6:14 HCSB
In God’s wrath, He is still working with one purpose: to make His name known. Obviously, the Israelites have turned away from Him and do not believe in Him, or at least do not believe that He is the only God, otherwise they would not worship idols. In fact, if they believed that He was God they would have followed His commandments, and would not have turned to idols in the first place. Through His wrath, He is making it known that He is God, and if He is God there can be no other gods.
““Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: Because you have been more insubordinate than the nations around you — you have not walked in My statutes or kept My ordinances; you have not even kept the ordinances of the nations around you —”
Ezekiel 5:7 HCSB
God holds the Israelites to a higher standard because they are His people, and they have specifically been given His ordinances directly from Him through His prophets. This is Old Testament. New Testament goes for all believers – not just Jews. From what I am reading here, God will hold me, as a proclaimed follower of His Son, to a higher standard than someone who never knew Him, at least on this earth. If I am claiming to be a Christ follower, how bad will it be in the end if He says “really? You followed after Me? That guy over there never knew me and yet he looked more like a follower than you do…”
“You will eat it as you would a barley cake and bake it over dried human excrement in their sight.” The Lord said, “This is how the Israelites will eat their bread — ceremonially unclean — among the nations where I will banish them.” But I said, “Oh, Lord God, I have never been defiled. From my youth until now I have not eaten anything that died naturally or was mauled by wild beasts. And impure meat has never entered my mouth.” He replied to me, “Look, I will let you use cow dung instead of human excrement, and you can make your bread over that.””
Ezekiel 4:12-15 HCSB
I read this and one thing jumps out at me. The Lord gives a command, but Ezekiel pleads with Him, and the Lord relents. Of course Ezekiel pleads that this would go against God’s commands, and perhaps that was part of the test to him, but I think that this shows the Lord is not inflexible, but at the same time it isn’t a ticket to sin.