Barbara Newman, Sole Hope Coordinator and Women’s Ministry
Ezekiel is in exile in Babylon. He was taken there as a captive as part of the second deportation of Israelites. He is foretelling the third exile and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple of the LORD.
As I read and re-read these 5 chapters, I noticed two phrases are repeated. The first is: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says.” Ezekiel is speaking the LORD’s words to Israel/Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been wickedly rebellious by committing idolatry on every high place and under every tree for hundreds of years. This utterly detestable pagan worship was even taking place in the LORD’s temple. Israel has broken the LORD’s covenant. Therefore, the day of the LORD’s wrath is imminent. The same curses that were declared way back in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 are coming to fruition. (compare Ezekiel 5:5 with Deuteronomy 28:53). The punishment will include plague, famine, death by the sword, and exile. Perhaps the most alarming punishment is that the glory of the LORD will depart the temple and the city.
But there is hope. The second phrase is “then they will know that I am the LORD.” God’s punishment is a discipline. God’s desire is that He be recognized as Sovereign Lord. In the subsequent chapters of Ezekiel and throughout the scriptures, God’s plan for restoration is revealed. He planned to make a new unconditional and unbreakable covenant with his people. He planned to forgive sin and cleanse. He planned to give his people a new heart and a new spirit. He planned to send Jesus.
In the New Testament, Ephesians 5:5-6 defines an idolater as an immoral, impure and greedy person. It also states that God’s wrath comes to those who are disobedient. Apparently, idolatry still is a problem today. My application is to first recognize sin, second repent, and third resolve to clothe myself in Chirst. Colossians 3:1-17 describes the perfect antidote for idolatry. Set our hearts on heavenly things, put to death idolatry, clothe ourselves with Christ, doing all in the name of Jesus and thanking God.
Let’s pray. “Thank you Heavenly Father for your plan of redemption through Jesus Christ. Thank you for Jesus, our Savior. Thank you for the power of His grace to live a godly life.”