Revelation about people and events can be exciting and encouraging, but at times can also shock and trouble us.  I wonder if Ezekiel had anyone with whom he was able to share these incredible visions and revelations in chapters 8 and 9 before announcing them to the people.  We do know that Ezekiel had a wife but in chapter 24, when Ezekiel was about 34, God told him he would lose her – “the delight of your eyes…” v.16.  However, well before this sad event, God came to Ezekiel a second time.  It is interesting to compare chapter 1 v. 27 with chapter 8 v.2.   The Prophet is transported to Jerusalem and is put down at the entrance to the North Gate of the inner court.  It is obvious that the Israelites had totally turned their backs on God.  There was even an image of the Canaanite goddess Asherah/Astarte (the image of jealousy v.3) set up in God’s Temple!

The nations’ leaders were secretly practising animal worship v. 7-13, and verses 14-16 tell us that the women are mourning the Sumerian god Tammuz who they thought died with the old year and rose again with the Spring, and the men were worshipping the sun instead of God!  “I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them.” v.18 God says, for his patience is at an end.  Chapter 9 records that Ezekiel saw the man clothed in linen again, whose task it was to put a mark on the foreheads of those who sincerely grieved over the “detestable ways” practised by the people in Jerusalem.  The prophet hears the command to kill those without the mark on their foreheads, clearly the people have misunderstood that God not only sees but judges as well. However, those who have truly grieved for the loss of true faith will be spared.

It is evident that our society has wandered far away from God.  Lifestyles have been distractions, church buildings are empty or used for shopping and concert venues.  Interest in the occult, atheism and humanism have all twisted and dulled people’s sense of the numinous.  How vital it is to be on our guard ensuring our worship and commitment is only to Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12 verses 2-3, may this be our constant prayer. 

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