Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Hole In The Wall

Ezek. 8:1-18 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me. Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

Ezekiel had a tremendously unenviable ministry. I would not have wanted to hear from God that I must make myself a public example and sign of God's dealings with His people. "Ezekiel, lay on your left side for 390 days. Now lay on your right side 40 days." Ezekiel was commissioned to say and do a number of strange and interesting things in the course of his ministry. One of the most interesting is found in Ezekiel 8:7 where he was told go to the inner court that housed the priest and Levites and dig into a hole in the wall where he could see the priest's chambers and apartments. As he followed God's instructions he saw every imaginable abomination, every kind of wickedness and idolatrous imagery forbidden by the word there in the darkness of these chambers. As he looked through that hole he saw those that should have been the ones maintaining the purity of God's word and work were secretly and hypocritically the ringleaders of abomination and were pulling others by their examples away from God. They, on the outside continued the facade of their holy profession but behind the wall they had in reality given up on God, His power and provision. In a sense they denied the very nature of God in His omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. They said, "The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth." As if things could not be worse God tells Ezekiel to turn again and he would see even greater abominations. What could this be? How could there be something worse? As he turned he saw 25 men with their backs toward the temple. The 70 he had seen earlier represented the people, the 25 he saw now represented the whole priesthood. It was not worse in respect to the horrendous idolatry, but in respect to WHO was committing this idolatry. Here were these priest who were appointed by God to minister at His altar and to intercede with Him for His people with their backs turned toward Him worshipping in an idolatrous fashion. What an act of wickedness! God asked Ezekiel if he could now see that when those who are called for the propagation and defense of pure religion become the very leaders of the people in superstition and wickedness, it is not long before the entire community becomes corrupted in every part, and ripe for God's judgments.

Beloved, I believe there is a tremendous lesson for us here. Many today outwardly hold to a profession as a Bible believer yet when you take a look in the hole in the wall you find that they are bowing to and serving every worldly, carnal and even abominable pursuit known to humankind. They must feel that God does not see them or has forsaken them. They must believe that His Word is not enough and His power is not suffiecient. Therefore they have turned their backs on Him, thumbed their nose at His Word and turned to try any and every other thing under the sun.

Friend, what is in the hole in your wall? Let us do what we were appointed by God to do. He sees us, and He has not forsaken us!

By Evangelist Ron Maggard

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