Today was a very hard read. Over and over Ezekiel is called to pronounce the judgment of God on idolatrous and rebellious Israel.
But I feel like we’ve been at this point for a long time now. How much longer?
But the length of time it takes shows the patience of God. God sends many warnings and many prophets. He is slow to anger. But now is the time for judgment as it says in Ezekiel 12. There will be no more delay. Over and over these words are repeated:
This is what the Sovereign Lord says.
Ezekiel is in Babylon with the exiles, but God brings him in a vision to see everything the people are doing in Jerusalem. They think God can’t see their idolatrous worship but he does. And he shows Ezekiel exactly what they’re doing. He calls it detestable.
What idols do I have? Do I carve them from wood or stone? Are they things of my own making to which I bow down?
The heart is a tricky and deceptive organ. And often we believe we are so much more sophisticated than these ancient people.
Bow down to a block of wood?! Never.
But what about bowing down to something else I’ve made? What about a reputation that I’ve spent years crafting and protecting? It’s precious to me. I don’t think God notices but he does. He really knows.
In chapters 15 and 16 there are two pictures. One of Israel as a worthless vine and one as an adulterous wife. How wonderful to know the whole story and see that later God will call his Son the vine, the true vine, and will call him the faithful bridegroom who comes for his bride.
Our faithlessness and idolatry can be healed. We can be remade and become fruitful and faithful. Right now, Israel’s rebellion isn’t surprising to God. He knows. He is working through discipline and judgment to bring about a great salvation.
This is what a Sovereign Lord is able and willing to do.