Ezekiel 8 to 11 Have you ever wondered if God sees all that is really going on in this world? Does He care? Come along with the prophet Ezekiel who is far from Jerusalem yet still held “Bible Studies” in his new home in Babylon. It was there that he experienced another graphic vision in which a glorious figure lifted him and took him to Jerusalem’s Temple.
His eyes were opened and he saw the religious leaders worshiping idols! God had explicitly said; You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything I have created. But, when men want to worship God ‘their’ way and not His way, God will give them over to a depraved mind to do that which is not proper. These religious leaders knew “about” God, but they did “know” God. Professing to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the immortal glory of God’s for an image resembling His creation. In doing so, these religious leaders were driving God far from His sanctuary, and worse they were leading others to follow them. They thought and even said: “The Lord does not see me.”
What a difference from Hagar’s words. She called God “El-Roi,” the God who sees me!
Yet, as Ezekiel listened in and saw all of this depravity, he also saw God’s grace. As in Revelation, the righteous were sealed with a mark on their forehead, lest the executioner mistakes them as God releases His judgment.
In the first chapter of Romans, Paul wrote: they knew God …yet they did not honor Him as God. Centuries before, the religious leaders were doing it in Ezekiel’s day. Their whole purpose; drive God far from His sanctuary. Today: What I do behind closed doors is my business because “The Lord does not see me.”
What a difference from the words of Hagar who called God “El-Roi,” the God who sees me.
Ezekiel’s Temple tour revealed four idols: (1) the idol of jealousy—“I wish, I wish, I wish.” (2) the idol of self-indulgence—pleasure is the goal; (3) the idol of self-sufficiency—I will just try harder, do better; and (4) the idol of entertainment worship. It all boils down to this: When men want to do Christianity their way, God will give them over to a depraved mind to do that which is not proper. He removes His hand of protection and unleashes the enemies of the world. God showed Ezekiel what Paul noted: Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.
Yet in all of this depravity, God’s grace is present. The righteous were to be marked on their forehead lest the executioner mistake them.
God seals all the righteous and gives the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
There are many TV shows that trace a fledgling law firm which seeks to help those who are less fortunate navigate the judicial system. Some come out with what seems perfect justice but sometimes the evidence seems rather sketchy and even a stretch. Only God knows the truth and only an individual who will stand before God knows his heart.
Psalm 16-18 Innocent: When you see this word what comes to mind? The Hebrew defines that word as what is right, rightness, justness. Hmm, seems kind of a muddy definition and especially so when we look at David’s life and see his sin of adultery, his faithlessness in disciplining his son for rape. We cry foul! God cries innocent! Does that seem rather contradictory? It is then that we must stop pointing fingers and look at what David and we know if we are believers.
Truth: God looks not at outward appearances but at the heart. We judge by what we see, God judges by what we do not see.
Outwardly we see a failing individual but inwardly God sees a man fully consecrated to Him. Outwardly we see a man who seems to be faltering but God sees a man who chooses to reject worthless idols because of faith. Outwardly we see a man who pours out his heart to the living God but God sees a man who chooses to trust Him. We see a man who reveals his heart but God sees a man who allows Him to examine him during the night hours while the world swirled around him.
No matter how the world sees you, (or you see yourself), know this, the Everlasting God sees you and your heart. Our question then is when He looks into our heart what does He see?