Year 3 Day 69
Read - Deuteronomy 7, Ezekile 6:1-7
Message - Alan Burke
Knowing what happened in the past helps us to make sense of the present. Today we are going start in the book of Deuteronomy and think what happened between then and Ezekiel’s day as we start, we are going to let scripture interpret scripture. We all know how God had redeemed His people from slavery in Egypt, he had brought salvation to them, they were his chosen people. In Deuteronomy 7 Moses speaks the Word of God to the people, it sets out what God requires of his people, it is to be an exclusive relationship that is seen in their conquest of the Land and their worship of the Lord God himself (Deut 7:1-26). They had been told how there would be blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience as they entered the promised land (Lev 26) and in Deuteronomy 7 the Lord makes clear what they were to do when they entered it.
When the people took possession of the promised land, the land that He the Lord their God was giving them, they must devote the people of that place as well as their idols to destruction. God’s people must destroy it all, and they were told not to intermarry, how they must break down the altars of those people and dash them in pieces, chop down their idols and burn their carved images with fire (Deut 7:1-5). The reason is that they ‘are a people holy to the LORD’ (v6).
It may sound a little extreme to our ears, sure we live in a land that has a variety of idols worshipped but God’s people were to do this. His people were to listen to his word! The reason why they were to be devoted to complete destruction is two fold, it is because the sin of the people there had reached its climax and God was bringing judgement upon them, but it was for their own protection and if they failed to listen they would be vulnerable to the evil of the people. They didn’t listen and well what happened is they intermarried, they began to worship the false idols, they mixed the worship of God with idolatry and idolatrous practices, they didn’t do what the Lord God had commanded and they had been warned. As we come to Ezekiel 6 we learn more about the coming of the Lord’s judgement upon his people, as it moves from Jerusalem to the high places because of their idolatry, because they rebelled against the Lord. (See also Num. 33:52; Deut. 12:1–3; 33:29).
Their apostasy began years before and now God’s judgement was being announced, it would begin with Jerusalem (ch 4-5) then turn against the mountains or rather the high places where the peoples idolatry was focused (Ez 6:4-5). The rot set in years beforehand and now God’s judgement had come. God’s people were to live in an exclusive relationship with their God, they were His chosen people, and their worship was to be exclusively to Him and for Him. The church in Israel and the seven churches listed in the book of Revelation are a warning to us but sadly we haven’t listened. The ‘church’ today does not see fidelity to the Word of God as important, we are more concerned about stuff and entertainment than we are about worship.
If we ever doubt or wonder why the church is in such a state we shouldn’t, we have not followed God’s way. Sadly the word Ichabod is the name of many places across this land for the ‘Glory of the Lord has departed’ (1 Sam 4:21) and they are but graveyards with a service that is conducted by an undertaker. The the Church in Sardis the angel of the church wrote; “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” (Rev 3:1). The church was the church of the living dead, they were called to repent!
Let us repent, individually, collectively for our unfaithfulness to God and His Word, and remember that the Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him (WSC2). It is not what we want, nor what the church down the road is doing, nor what we have done in the past that should be the vision of your church, rather the church should be founded upon and agreeable to the word. If not it is time to flee from the church of the living dead and repent!
Q67 Which is the sixth commandment?
The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill. (Exod. 20:13)