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Thursday, 9 August 2018

Ezekiel 8 : 1-18

“And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there…..” -Ezekiel 8:4

The prophet Ezekiel was prophesying in the darkest times of Judah’s history. God gave him visions through which God clearly conveyed the condition of His people and the Temple, as well as His plans for His people and the Temple! The people of Judah were plunged deep in idolatry and idols were even in the Temple! The leaders were secretly worshipping their idols and their lives were dedicated to the worship of the sun god.

As God Almighty delivered them from Egypt, from the very hands of Pharaoh after 430 years of slavery, the first thing God did was to establish an identity for them. Their identity centered around their God! 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 have exchanged their God with idols, which God warned them not to get into. 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. The appearance of God revealed to Ezekiel was as fire. Ezekiel 8:2 “Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man; from His loins and downward there was the appearance of fire, and from His loins and upward the appearance of brightness…..”  And God showed Ezekiel visions of the Temple –“… and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court …” (Eze.8:3)

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 vain 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.

This is also a picture if each of us who live now before this Almighty God. Many people think that what they do in secret and what they do in the dark will not be seen by God! The chamber described by Ezekiel is symbolic of our heart. What are those detestable images carved in our hearts that we secretly worship? 

He sees you, He knows your thoughts, He will judge all your works on that day!! Will you come to His glorious light and confess those abominations to the God of Glory to whose eyes nothing is hidden?

He is a God who will sanctify you!!

Think About it: “For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.” (Jeremiah 16:17)

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