This morning, in my study in Ezekiel 22-24, I saw that God had much to say about Israel, Judah and Sin. In Ezekiel 22, He condemned Israel’s Priests, Nobles, and THEN the people for following them. Why? And Why that order? Simply put, they relaxed God’s law on Sin. They permitted sin, and not only sin, but the worship of idols, which led to even more sin. The Priests and Princes who were supposed to be the gatekeepers, those who upheld the Law, and encouraged the people toward fellowship with God and one another were the ones violating and encouraging violation of God’s law! This wasn’t about interpretations, but they were gathering for themselves priests, princes and prophets who only encouraged them to continue on in their sin.
Now, it’s easy for us in modern times to say “what a shame, what I would have done if I was there…” The Pharisees and religious rulers of Jesus’ time did exactly the same. They claimed to be religious, and lauded themselves at how well they followed the letter of the law (though they argued among themselves how this was to be done), but they missed the whole point, and even added laws and traditions surrounding the law so that they could follow the law better. This did nothing but create a narcissistic and self-centered religious class, and alienate the sinner from the God who pleaded with His people to return to Him through the prophets! It excused the sins of some, and condemned the sins of others!
In our day and age, we’re no different from Judah of Ezekiel’s time or Israel of Jesus’ time. We amass for ourselves teachers who tickle our sensibilities, we condemn certain sins and excuse others, and we create for ourselves worship of Almighty God that we claim pleases Him, but really pleases ourselves. God has never relaxed on ANY sin. He has not changed His mind on the matter. It is so severe that Jesus, God in Human Flesh, had to die to cover and conquer it. Sin always leads to death. This is why we must be born again. We must seek out Jesus Christ to not only save us, but, by His promised Holy Spirit, be changed, transformed and conformed to His image. Sin is still not acceptable to God in any way, shape or form, and Jesus, by His might and power and blood, still transforms sinners into saints. Seek God in His word. Test leaders by it, and, especially, test your own heart by His Word through the Holy Spirit. Jesus is still in the business of resurrection, but we have to be willing to leave sin behind.
And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed or rained upon in the day of indignation. The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD has not spoken. The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord GOD.”