Grieving and Groaning – Ezekiel 8:17-18

Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence and provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”

Ezekiel 9:4
The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.”

Ezekiel 9:6
Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house.

At the very least, we must never become desensitized to the evil around us that is infecting God’s people and Christ’s church. We cannot give in to the cultural pressure and begin to call what is clearly evil, good. There must remain deep in our hearts a deep sense of grief and disgust over the abominations of God’s leaders and people who have turned away, joined in with the culture and invited pure idolatry into His church, His Temple. There must be pain in our souls for the sin of our brothers and sisters who have effectively ‘thrown in the towel’ with the enemy and have then brought this towel into God’s house. We cannot grow calloused and uncaring about sin among God’s people. It’s a hard word.

Father God sees and knows. He marks those who care and those who grieve over this audacious sin. He marks them for protection and preservation when He acts with wrath for sin. He sees our hearts and He knows who truly cares both about the sin that surrounds us and those who are being destroyed by it. It is His mark that delivers us from the coming destruction (Ephesians 1:13) and it is given to those who grieve over sin.

In context, I truly believe this is the message to Father God’s people. Nothing more. I erased a bunch of my own opinions before finalizing this post simply because my words sounded good and sweet and caring but they weren’t in context. It was just my opinion. (Even as I look back at my post now, it still seems I’ve softened it out of the ‘fear of offending’. Like somehow I need to provide cover or make excuses for God’s perfect justice???) In this passage, which is consistent with all of Scripture, God marked for preservation those who were groaning and grieving, who were sick in their souls, over the idolatrous sin that had taken over His people. It was the sin itself they were sick about. We cannot allow the sheer volume of this behavior and the pseudo-intellectual defense of this idolatry that arises from today’s church leaders and theologians to cloud our minds, shape our souls and desensitize our spiritual sensibilities. We must remain vigilant in our grief and our groaning. Those who do receive the protective mark of God.

Isaiah 3:8-11

For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen,
Because their speech and their actions are against the Lord,
To rebel against His glorious presence.
The expression of their faces bears witness against them,
And they display their sin like Sodom;

They do not even conceal it.
Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.

Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their actions.

Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him,
For what he deserves will be done to him.

Keep the Faith!

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