Idolatry Will Be Punished
Every day, when I’m out and about, I see things. And I see people in love with things. Our culture, I’m afraid, promotes materialism. And we have become accustomed to having things. Yes, we need things in order to live – things like shelter, food, clothing and transportation. But, have some things we have caused us to slip into modern-day idolatry?
The prophet Ezekiel was sent to the people of Israel and Judah to warn them of coming judgment because of their sin. This book of the Bible talks about judgment vs. blessing, as well as individual moral responsibility. One chapter deals with idolatry. And here, God doesn’t hold back when it comes to scolding His people.
Ezekiel 14:1 Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. 2 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 3 “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?
4 “Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, 5 that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.”’
6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations. 7 For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the Lord will answer him by Myself. 8 I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.
9 “And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I the Lord have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired, 11 that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God,“ says the Lord God.’”
When I read something like these verses in the Bible, I have to re-visit my priorities. What do I place in the way of serving God? What causes me to stumble? In the story of Ezekiel, God had given His people every opportunity to repent, but they would not. So, God poured out His judgment both to punish and restore His people. Today, God continues to cry out to His people to turn from their sin and return to a holy life connected to Him.
God’s desire is the same today as it was back in the Old Testament – He wants people to know Him. We are to walk in God’s ways and teach them to others. They are the path to life, to joy and to wholeness.
Look around at the things in your life. Are they in God’s way?
Devotional message compiled by Jim Huber, with some commentary from the New Spirit-Filled Life NKJV Bible, page 1116.