Friday, November 23, 2012

The Dirty Little Secret


The Dirty Little Secret


Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’” – Ezekiel 8:12

Imagine if one day someone walked up to you and said, “I saw what you did last night at your house!  I was there.  God brought me there in spirit and showed it to me.”. What if they then began to tell you every step you took, everything you did, what you watched on TV, and what you had said in the privacy of your own home.  How would you feel?  Would you be amazed and wonder if they’d planted a bug in your house and were playing some sort of joke?  Would you rethink in your mind what went on at your house the night before to determine what things they saw?  Would you be ashamed, enraged, or fearful? 
Ezekiel was given that exact opportunity, as is retold in Ezekiel 8.  God, through the Spirit of Prophecy, came to Ezekiel while he was sitting with the elders of Judah.  God came to him in Spirit as a man clothed in fire.  He lifted him by a lock of his hair “up between earth and heaven”.  He took Ezekiel back to Jerusalem and showed him the “seat of the image of jealousy”. He took Ezekiel to the temple, inside the north gate, and showed him an image that made him jealous.  It was the idol of Baal that King Ahaz had removed from the center of the courtyard, and set at the north gate. 

God said to Ezekiel in verse 6, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations.” Then He showed Ezekiel a hole in a wall and told him to dig it out.  When he did he came to a hidden door.  This was the door the priests used to go into a room of idols, and worship the idols in there that lined the walls of the room.  In the very temple God had instructed Solomon to build for Him, they had created a temple of idols.  There Ezekiel saw seventy men worshipping the idols. One he knew by name, Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan.  These were the family leaders of Jerusalem, the spiritual heads of households.

God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’” Not only were they worshipping idols, but they blamed their sin on God, saying He had forsaken them.
Then God took Ezekiel to the door of the north gate of the temple.  Looking outside the courtyard through the doorway, he saw a group of women who were weeping for Tammuz (Adonis), a Greek God.  The worship of Tammuz included several immoral acts.  Then in verse 15 He speaks to Ezekiel and says “Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn again, you will see greater abominations than these.”

He took Ezekiel inside the temple, between the porch and the altar, where he saw twenty four of the priests of the temple with “their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east”.
How does God react to being ignored by His people?  In verse 18, He says “Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.” The image of jealousy that Ezekiel saw was God’s very Spirit at seeing His people chase after other loves and worship everything but Him.  He is jealous for us.  His love for us is a possessive, monogamous love.  What we do in secret, He still sees.

We walk through our day to day lives clothing our attitudes and actions in a guise to filter what people see of who we really are.  We change our language in public, we hide our frustrations and anger, we become polite and friendly to those we don’t like, and all the time we think we’ve hidden who we really are.  We keep our private sins private, or so we think.  That’s exactly what the Israelites were doing in their hidden practices of idolatry, and they had thought “the Lord does not see us”.  Yet all the time, God’s anger was burning hotter and hotter, until out of His pure jealousy for them He snatched Ezekiel up by the hair to show him what they were doing in secret, and told Him of His great anger toward them. 
God does not endure hypocrisy.  In Romans 2:3 it says “Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?” In Luke 12:2-3 Jesus says, Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.  God may not bring a prophet to your hiding place and reveal your secrets now, but one day He will.  God sees your dirty little secrets.

 

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