Year 3 Day 59
Read - Ezekiel 4:16-17
Message - Alan Burke
What we have been told so far is that Ezekiel is to draw Jerusalem on a clay tablet, besiege the clay tablet with ramps, camps, battering rams. He was to place an iron pan between himself and the clay tablet representing Jerusalem and this iron pan is to represent the barrier between God and His people. He was to eat a meagre ration that was neither one thing or the other that, he was to cook in excrement and his water it rationed also.
So that Ezekiel could be in no doubt why he was to make this model, why he was survive for 430 days on such rations, he is now told by the Lord. Jerusalem would be under siege, God would cut their supply of food and water, ie they would face the consequences of the siege against them. The reality is that they would waste away as a result of starvation, all of this results because of their sin. What was coming, the Babylonians the siege, the starvation, was because of the sin of the people.
How did it get to this? Sadly it was because for years they tolerated sin in their midst, they didn’t do anything about those who claimed to be part of the people of God and made a mockery of it. They were a rebellious people who had failed to do anything about the sin of the people in their midst, it was the impact of sin in the lives of his people had caused the coming judgment. The holy God was about to judge his unholy people because of their sin. The closing words of this chapter make that clear, they will waste away because of their sin. All that would fall on the people was because of the peoples sin.
God did not turn a blind eye to His peoples sin then nor does he now. We are warned in 1 Corinthians how a little leaven can impact the whole, how it can transform. This is what sin does! It only takes a little that is tolerated among a people before it affects and infects the whole. (1 Cor 5). For those sins that are public they should be dealt with publicly, for those sins that are private they should be dealt with privately, but sin should be dealt with and not just ignored.
God will not turn a blind eye to our sin and he will hold churches accountable for their failure to address it. In Revelation 2:5 to the Church in Ephesus the Lord warns that if they do not repent, he will come and remove their lampstand. Things may look healthy in churches but unless the preaching of the word is central and sin is addressed then the Lord will indeed remove our lamp stand. How sad a place it would be if we like the people of God in Ezekiel’s and Jeremiah’s day thought we were alright but failed to see that God was bringing his judgement, His discipline on us. The good news is for the Christian is we are those who have received Christ and escaped the eternal judgement and wrath of God that is due to us because of our sin. That good news though is not an excuse to keep on sinning, we are to repent, believe in the gospel, and a mark of that repentance and belief is the continuing to repentance of sin.
Q58 What is required in the fourth commandment?
The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his Word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself. (Deut. 5:12–14)