Year 3 Day 106
Read - Ezekiel 11:4-13
Message - Alan Burke
There could be a question asked in many congregations across this land, or about many former congregations, “How did it happen?”, “How did it get to this?”. There is often much ink spilled to detail the reasons but I’d suggest that this passage has the answer.
God’s people here in Ezekiel’s day were trusting in themselves, the Lord knew their very thoughts, He knew what was going through their mind, what motivated them and it wasn’t anything to do with His glory. Here the Lord told Ezekiel that he is to tell His people that he knows what is going on in their mind and it is because He is God, He knows all things, He knows our thoughts whether good or bad, and He remembers even if we can’t remember our thoughts. (see Ps 139:1-6; Dan 2:30; Acts 1:24). Nothing was hidden from God, nothing is hidden from God today, He knows our hearts and He knew their heart.
God’s people had rejected the prophets’ warning and exchanged God’s laws and decrees for idolatry, they had murdered the inhabitants with their devious schemes. So the Lord speaks in judgment against them, the city was not going to be a safe place, they would be thrown out of the pot referring back to their confidence as the meat in the pot (v3). The Lord would hand them over to the foreigners the Babylonians bringing judgment. To them the city would not be a safe place a pot, they would face the judgement and the reason why is so that they would know that the Lord is indeed the Lord.
How did it happen, how did it get to this? That’s how we started today, it is a question that when asked the blame is put at the failure of the Church to move with the times, or that it has failed to proactively plan, or to look for ground breaking initiatives, or they failed to creatively respond to God-given opportunities, or one that seems to be used a lot and it is that demographics have changed. But for the church, both the church in Israel and the church today there is an answer that comes, a simple answer, when a church closes its doors, when the Glory of the Lord departs, it is given to us here and it is an answer that no one seems to face up to and it is there in v12, as the Lord speaks through His prophet He says “for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.”.
God’s glory will not remain, God’s glory will depart when His people do not follow his decrees, or keep His law, when they conform to the standards of the world around, it happens this day, and it happened as He withdrew His glory from His people in Ezekiel’s day. Today sadly we are told that what we need is to move with the times, proactively plan, look for ground breaking initiatives, creatively respond to God given opportunities, maybe move because demographics have moved but we are not being told that we must follow the Lord’s decrees, keep His laws, repent from how we have conformed to the standards of the nation around us.
Q99 What rule hath God given for our direction in prayer?
The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; (1 John 5:14) but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called The Lord’ s prayer. (Matt. 6:9–13, Luke 11:2–4)