We Were Not Chopped!
Read Ezekiel Chapter 6
Eze 6:4 Your altars will be demolished and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will slay your people in front of your idols. 5 I will lay the dead bodies of the Israelites in front of their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6 Wherever you live, the towns will be laid waste and the high places demolished, so that your altars will be laid waste and devastated, your idols smashed and ruined, your incense altars broken down, and what you have made wiped out. 7 Your people will fall slain among you, and you will know that I am the LORD. 8 “ ‘But I will spare some, for some of you will escape the sword when you are scattered among the lands and nations. 9 Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me—how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices.
There is much to digest within this passage. As you know, I like to study the character and nature of God. They are revealed all throughout the pages of His word. Let’s look at some examples in these verses.
God does not spare everyone. The Israelites had strayed far away from their Lord, as they had done time and time again throughout the Old Testament. In this instance, the Lord told Ezekiel to prophesy against the rebellion of the Israelites. Because of their rebellion, the Lord decreed that many of them would die. Verses 5 and 6 give us a grim picture of their future. Dead bodies will lie amid their idols, high places, and altars. I love God’s grace as much as anyone else, but His grace will not be extended to ALL willfully rebellious people. Some will perish because of their sins, and because of their refusal to repent.
Naturally, I cannot help but see a comparison to today’s SSA struggles. Among us today are many SSA men and women who have heard the truth but have rebelled against it. If there is no repentance, they too will die in their sins; they will lie among the ruins of homosexuality, that idol which had no power to save them. In effect, they will have been slain by the idol of homosexuality, slain by the one thing they loved more than God. It had no power to give them what they truly needed, which was real love, found only in Jesus Christ and all that He and His disciples taught.
The Lord never predicts dire futures without also providing an escape. In verse 8 He gives the Israelites a glimmer of hope. “I will spare some.” As I think of that short but powerful statement, I find myself wondering why in the world was I spared? Why did the Savior woo me away from that same-sex idol? Why did He spare me? What was so different about me, that I am here today instead of dead from the deadly effects of AIDS? I do not know the answer. I do know that I don’t deserve to be included among the spared remnant; I am no different than those who remained in that world of fleshly pleasure. I do know that there was and is nothing special about me. I don’t remember any time when I magnificently reared up and declared that I was going to pull myself out of the gutter and serve the Lord. I can boast in nothing about myself.
Truly, we should once again thank our Savior for sparing us; for showing us the truth and giving us the ability to stay the course, even when we were so prone to go off course; even when we would have rather stayed off course. We have absolutely nothing to brag about except that we serve a loving, merciful God, who handpicked a few to believe in Him and stay true to His inerrant word. We have escaped the ‘sword’ of our enemy for no other reason but that we have received an undeserved blessing from our Creator which few others were given.
Verse 9 needs to be written with permanent ink on our hearts. Because we have been spared, quite undeservedly, we have an obligation to look back at the life from which we were saved and ‘loathe ourselves for the evil we have done and for all of our detestable practices.’ No, we do not lament to the point where we cannot get beyond our guilt and shame, but our lament brings us to the point where we are eternally grateful to our Heavenly Father for rescuing us from destruction. As verse 8 reads, we can now remember Him. We must remember that He hates sin, remember that we bring Him grief when we sin, and remember that He spared us from the fate which we deserved. Wow!
Prayer: Lord, these thoughts are stunning! How can I rebel any longer, knowing what You have shown us in this short passage? Forgive me, and accept my undying thanks for Your mercy, forgiveness, and love. Awesome!!