-As some of the elders were sitting before Ezekiel in Babylon, the word of the LORD again came to him and he prophesied. He told them that they had “set up idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of iniquity (Ezekiel 14:1-3a, 4, 7).” These idolaters should never consult anyone who is of deceit, and God will give these a real prophetic word by His own mouth personally “in order to lay hold of hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me (the LORD) through all their idols (Ezekiel 14:3b-5).” The LORD tells them to repent (change their mind) and turn away (physical action) from their detestable foreign forms of worship because it separates them from their Redeemer and cuts them off with God’s face set against them (Ezekiel 14:6-8). The LORD further expresses His desire that all this is done so that all will “know” that He is the LORD (Ezekiel 14:8b). If the prophet is enticed by the people to speak a false word, it is ultimately from the LORD by His allowance, but He will hold all of them accountable for their actions and destroy them from among His people (Ezekiel 14:9). They will receive just consequences for their evil actions, the inquirer of false messages as well as the false prophet. God’s purpose is again stated that He doesn’t want Israel to stray from Him and defile themselves with all their grievous transgressions. God wants His people to be holy unto Him as genuine worshipers of His glory (Ezekiel 14:10-11).
-Now Ezekiel is given a macro sense of the country’s sins by the LORD as he is shown how God is against the unfaithfulness of His chosen people. God’s Hand is against the house of Israel to destroy its bread supply, send famine, and cut off man and beast from its land. Not even the righteousness of the likes of Noah, Daniel, and Job would have been able to save the nation from its distress. While the righteous individual can be spared, the ones around them, even sons and daughters, would pay the price for the nation’s iniquity. Wild beasts, the sword, famines, and plagues are promised to depopulate the land leaving but a remnant who will come to the exiles in Babylon for them to see their conduct and actions. When this happens, the exiles will be sorry (nacham- repentant, grieved, comforted, to have compassion) for the calamity that the LORD had to justly bring on Jerusalem. The exiles will then at that time see and know that what the LORD has done was not in vain (Ezekiel 14:12-23).
-*Application* We must ask ourselves where our true allegiance is. Is loyalty, faithfulness, and devotion centered on the LORD, or have we allowed in idols to replace the God of the universe? He is a jealous Sovereign and will share His glory with no one or no thing. Worship only the King of kings (Exodus 20:1-7).
Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 14:7