Ezekiel 13 – 15
In Ezekiel 14, we’re told that some of the elders of Israel came to Ezekiel. God told Ezekiel in 14:3-6, “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.’
“Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!’”
I see two attributes of God at work here: justice and mercy. For those claiming to follow God, but not really following Him, there will be justice (i.e. punishment). They will be made an example so others will see and turn to God. This is a scary concept, and should cause us to repent and turn completely back to God so this doesn’t happen to us.
We see God’s mercy as he says to those not following him, “Repent!” and “Renounce all your detestable practices!”. This too should cause us to repent and turn completely to God.
It doesn’t matter whether we respond better to a carrot or to a stick, since we’re given both. The simple fact remains that we need to repent, renounce all our detestable practices, and turn completely to God.
And once that happens, we’re told in 14:11, “Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
May this be said of us too. But it is conditional upon repenting and turning completely to God. The choice is yours.
Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Ezekiel 13-15
Tomorrow’s Bible reading will be Ezekiel 16-17 as we continue on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan