AN UNFIT SANCTUARY?
Tuesday, 5 February 2019
Ezekiel 8 : 1-18
‘God then said, “Do you see the terrible sins…..? Their sins are making my holy temple unfit as a place to worship me. …..’ -Ezekiel 8:6 [CEV]
The prophet Ezekiel prophesied during one of the darkest times of Judah’s history. God spoke to the prophet through visions conveying the condition of His people and the Temple, as well as His plans for His people and the Temple! The people of Israel were plunged deep in idolatry and idols were even in the Temple! The leaders were secretly worshipping their idols within the temple! The holy temple of God became a place unfit for the worship of the Lord Almighty!
After God Almighty delivered them from Egypt after 430 years of slavery, the first thing God did was to establish an identity for them as His own treasured possession. As He established a system for them to conduct their social, religious and civil life, the entire concept revolved around the God who delivered them. As Moses said in Exodus 33:15-16 “Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” In other words, Moses was stating that God is their identity!
Centuries later the same people exchanged their God with idols, which God warned them not to get into. He had said in Exodus 20:3-5: “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of….. You shall not worship them or serve them...” However, when God looked at the affairs of His people at Ezekiel’s time, His glorious eyes found them doing all sorts of detestable things in secret.
God showed Ezekiel the many abominations they were doing in secret and He said the impact of those actions would be that He would leave the Temple – Ezekiel 8:6 “And He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from My sanctuary?.....” As we read through the chapter, we can see the things they were doing in secret (Vs.7-11), in the dark (vs.12) and in public (vs.14-17). And their wrong understanding was that: ‘…For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.”’ (Eze.8:12) They never knew what they were doing in secret was not hidden from the God of creation, who searches the hearts of people and to who nothing is hidden. (Refer Hebrews 4:13)
This is the picture of each of us who live now before this Almighty God. Many think that what they do in secret, in the dark, will not be seen by God! The chamber described by Ezekiel is symbolic of our heart. Are there detestable sins we practice in our lives we think no one sees? What are those detestable images carved in the inner chambers of our heart that we secretly worship? Remember “…for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts.” (1Chron.28:9)
He sees you, He knows your thoughts, He will judge all your works on an appointed day unless we repent and turn from them. Will you come to His glorious light and confess those sins to the God of Glory to whose eyes nothing is hidden? “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9) He is a God who will sanctify you!!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
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