Have you ever thought what it would be like to be an exile in a foreign country?  I imagine that the loss of my home, town and country would affect me profoundly.  The sadness would be overwhelming and the acquisition of alien customs, apart from the challenge of a new alphabet and language, would be like a very steep mountain to climb!  Into this kind of situation Ezekiel brings God’s messages to an exiled nation.

Chapter 7 is not dissimilar to Chapter 6 although the pronouncements are new – “The end has come”, “Your doom has come”, “The time has come” etc. verses 2-13.  These phrases are all similar in meaning and presumably the people of Israel were in denial about the reality of their situation and more importantly, their relationship with God.  We should remember that in the Israelite mind the destruction of Jerusalem was an impossibility, an event the people thought would never ever happen!  However, after 150 years of apostasy God’s judgment fell on his people.  All through their history the Israelites had been used to the names of God like “Jehovah-Jireh” meaning God is my Provider and “Jehovah-Nissi” meaning God is my Protector.  It must have been a shock to them to learn God was at that moment in their history “Jehovah-Makkeh”, the Lord who smites!  Verses 10-13 of this chapter illustrate the futility of wealth and position, or anything in fact that one can be proud of.  Nothing can save the people, not even restitution in the year of Jubilee!  They are warned that attempting to defend themselves will fail and are advised to dress in sackcloth and throw out their money into the streets, which is now worthless to them – verses 14-22.  The shocking conclusion of this chapter tells us that even the Prophets, Priests and Elders will have nothing worthwhile to say to the people.  The apostasy of the nation has just gone too far and God would now be their judge.

It is very easy to become an “idolater” for it only takes one thing, one person or a habit to commandeer our attention, and then we risk denying God the centrality in our lives that he demands.  The apostle John wrote, “We know also that the son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true.  And we are in him who is true – even in his son Jesus Christ.  He is the true God and eternal life.  Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”  1 John 5:20-21.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Heavenly Father, Thank you for Jesus Christ and my knowledge of him. Help me always to keep Jesus in the centre of my life. 

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