“Thus says the Lord God: ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her. She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.’ Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you’— therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. And I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again, because of all your abominations. Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments among you, and all of you who remain I will scatter to all the winds.
11 ‘Therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; My eye will not spare, nor will I have any pity. 12 One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
Men, in these selected verses, we get some further understanding on the particular sins that Israel has committed, bringing this calamity upon themselves. Israel has failed at being a testimony of God (v5), has rebelled against God’s statutes (v6-7), and defiled the temple with idols (v11). Once listed out, we can see a clear path to angering the Lord God, and bringing chastisement upon ourselves.
Israel had lived blessed with provisions and protections from the Lord God. Their job was to exalt God among the nations so that outsiders would see the loving kindness of God and be drawn to Him. They didn’t. Instead, they incrementally rebelled against the very God who had provided and protected them. Once they had turned from God, they then became seduced by other means of worship until they had finally erected idols in the very sanctuary of God.
In our time, we are called to be witnesses, to testify of the gospel message of Jesus. Are we committed to this basic expectation? Most agree, we live now in the “end times”. Of the end times, it’s said that many would turn away from sound doctrine toward what our itching ears wish to hear.
Are we rebelling against God? How much of the world have we brought into our Sunday morning experience? I’ve personally sat through services in years past where game day scores were discussed in further detail from the pulpit than the truths of our Lord God. Are we inviting chastisement? Will we too wonder how the Lord God became so angry with us?
Move forward, men, evaluating where we are individually in this devolving slope and repent. Turn back to the Lord while He may yet be found. Evaluate also the condition of your local fellowship. Be the one brave enough to sound an alarm. What are we truly worshipping in our lives today? God, or something else? We spare our own nation by turning back to the Lord individually and locally. What would your city look like in Ezekiel’s model?