Year 3 Day 94
Read - Ezekiel 9:11
Message - Alan Burke
In this judgement of God against His rebellious people there is hope, that is something that we must not loose sight off! For in the judgement there are some who are spared. Ezekiel had cried out because of the outpouring of God’s wrath, but he had failed to understand that if God did not deal with sin then He would be to condone it, to say that sin did not matter, but sin matters a great deal. The people believed the Lord had forsaken the land, that He did not see that He was some kind of local deity who was confined to a place (9:12) but God is omnipresent, what ever we think, what ever people think, they are not living with God ignorant of what they do, all will be held to account. Yet as this section closes we are reminded of that hope. For the man dressed as a priest, who was to place the mark on those who grieved and lamented over the idolatry and sin of the people reports back to God declaring “I have done as you commanded.”
Why does this offer hope? It does so because it indicates that there will be a remnant preserved. Ezekiel’s concern for the survival of the Jewish people would have been alleviated when he heard this. God was preserving a remnant. God preserved a remnant as he was working out his great plan of salvation, one that would see the coming of the saviour Jesus Christ, the Long awaited Messiah. Remember that for those of us who have received Christ, as we have repented and believed we are the Lords, we have been marked as His, we can be assured of God’s favour. It does not mean that we will be free from pain and strive, it wasn’t the case for those who were marked in Ezekiel’ day. Their world was literally falling down around them, the bodies were piling up here in the temple, it was no longer was the house of the Lord where the living worshiped it was a funeral parlour, but those who loved the Lord could be secure, the temporal realities were hard, but they had the mark of eternal life, and likewise have eternal life. What ever we face, those who are the Lord’s are secure eternally.
For the church in Ezekiel’s day judgment was coming because the rot set in years beforehand. 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, the church in Sardis was warned although and they act as a warning to us, we must see fidelity God and his word as important, it is the only thing that we have to offer the people in this sinful, decaying, dying world, it is a message of hope.
Let us be people of the book, people who are known for repentance and belief, know for faithfulness to our God and his word, remembering 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. In Ezekiel’s day the time of judgment has come, and judgment will come again, our task is to preach the word, in season and out of season, to all people for there will be a day of judgment that comes on all, a sure and certain day.
Q89 How is the Word made effectual to salvation?
The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building