“… I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols …” (Ezekiel 6:9)
When God spoke this to Ezekiel, all kinds of idols had been set up in the temple in Jerusalem. At the north gate of the inner court, an idol of jealousy was at the entrance.
God showed Ezekiel many of the idols that were being worshipped in Jerusalem. The elders of the house of Israel were worshipping carved images. At the entrance of the gate of the Lord’s house which was towards the north, women were sitting weeping for Tammuz. Even in the inner court, abominations were being committed. God was hurt; God’s people were being hurt and misled.
God said that a mark was to be put on the foreheads of all the men in the city who sighed and groaned over all the abominations that were being committed. These were men after God’s heart. They had hearts that longed for God to be worshipped in purity – with no other idols receiving the glory that was to be God’s alone. These men were marked and set aside to be saved by God. The others were to be destroyed.
God commanded that the evil rulers be judged. The very character of God is a good Shepherd. He is everything that is good and is love. He could not allow His little lambs (His children) to continue to be deceived, hurt, and ruined by evil leaders who did not follow after God’s ways. God was going to clean His house and had the responsibility to clean His house.
“Thus you will know that I am the Lord; for you have not walked in My statutes nor have you executed My ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you.” (Ezekiel 11:12)
The evil rulers had allowed the culture around them to change their way of life and to influence what was right and wrong. God’s Word no longer dictated what was right and wrong. The leaders began chasing after idols and ways of life that were not God’s. Priorities, riches, pride, power, prestige and a host of other idols were set up in their hearts in the very place where God’s laws were to be written and where God was to be worshipped and served.
False prophets arose who spoke on God’s behalf saying things God never said.
“It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, ‘Peace!’ where there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash;” (Ezekiel 13:10)
God was angry! He was hurt! He loved His people and only wanted what was absolutely the best for them. Who were these leaders and prophets that would lie to His children? God said He would send His wrath on those who cried peace when God did not say it.
God also condemned idolatrous elders. Elders had set up their own idols in their hearts.
Ezekiel was told by God to say to the house of Israel,
” . . . Thus says the Lord God, “Repent and turn away from all your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations.” (Ezekiel 14:6)
The stubborn and obstinate children of God were punished by a God who loved them. He loves His people so much He could not allow leaders who had set up idols to continue to lead His people. He could not allow false prophets to speak peace to His people when that was not what God was saying. God’s true prophets only spoke the words He said.
Evil and stubborn leaders who turned aside from God’s way to listen to the ways of the nations around them and to follow after the nation’s idols hurt God because they hurt His people. They deceived God’s people. A God of love had and has to defend and protect His people.
Life has not changed since the days of Ezekiel. Leaders arise that are evil and stubborn and who turn away from the truth of the Bible. They deceive people. They turn their eyes from God’s ways and seek a way that is easier and full of peace and riches. They seek prosperity and wealth and power all the while doing it in the name of God when God never said what they are saying.
God is still the God of the Bible. He does not change. Sin is still sin. God still loves. God still forgives if we repent and turn from our evil ways. He is still a God who has not abolished the Law or the Prophets but fulfilled them. He is still a God who says that we are to have no other gods before Him or idols in our lives. He is still a God who says pick up your cross and follow Me. He is still the God who says we must forsake all and follow Him.
In Ezekiel 11, God promised restoration . . .
“When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people and I shall be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:18-20)
God hurts when He looks on North America and earth. He hurts when He sees His lambs being deceived and trampled on. He is hurt when leaders teach we all have to be rich. That is not what God said. God said the poor will always be with us. He is hurt when people have weights put on them that are not from God. God does say He wil bless the righteous. He will provide everything a righteous person needs to do what they care called to do.
God is also hurt when we personally worship idols. Is God your first love? Is there anything else that takes priority over God? If God is not first, you have idols in your life.
If God asks you to do something, what would make you not do it? That is an idol.
What are your priorities? Is your first priority to love the Lord your God with all your heart and then to love your neighbour as yourself? If this is not your first priority each day to spend time with God and to know Him and to love Him, what takes His place? That is an idol.
May we all sigh and groan over the abominations that are committed around us in the name of God by His stubborn and obstinate children. May we all stand up for truth. May we all stand up and knock down the idols first of all in our own lives and then in the corporate church community around us.
Stand for truth! Be one of those worthy to be marked by God on your forehead as one who loves God and His commands.
At all costs, stand for the truth of God’s Word and not what men say God says. Read your Bible!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”. (Matthew 5:6)
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)