Read: Ezekiel 7:1-9:11, Hebrews 5:1-14, Psalm 105:1-15, Proverbs 26:28
He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.” Then I heard the Lord say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! (Ezekiel 9:4-5)
Relate: If you were to ask me to make a list of sins, I would probably start out with the usual suspects: lying, cheating, stealing, killing, lust, etc. I might even throw in some of the ones that aren’t as easy to spot: bitterness, gluttony, pride. If I were thinking in terms of Israel back in the time of Ezekiel I would add in idolatry and prior to this verse, it is idolatry that God reveals to Ezekiel. God took the prophet to three different places where he saw 70 men, some women, then 25 men who were worshipping false gods in one way or another. Thats about a hundred people, and the implication is that there were many more, but when judgement comes it is not just the idolaters who die. Everybody whose heart does not break for the idolatry that is taking place dies. Most of the people who are judged, are judged because of their apathy.
React: How often do I hear someone take God’s name in vain and I do not cringe inside? How many times have I heard the nightly news and gave little more than a passing thought to the injustices occurring all over the world. When did my heart break over the millions trapped in idolatry that we shows like Entertainment Tonight and magazines like People and Us? How often have I seen shows like Jerry, Maury, Judge Judy (or whatever the current flavor is) and seeing those wrecked lives is cause for entertainment rather than intercession? Just like Ezekiel’s day, there are many forms of sin taking place in many places in our culture. Does this cause my heart to break, or has it left me unmarked?
Respond: Dear God, I repent for the sins of my culture. I repent for the sins of my nation. Most of all I repent for the apathy of Your Church, and especially me. Make my heart soft again. Let it break for the things that break Your heart. Don’t ever let me get used to the sins of those around me, and even more don’t let me fall into their trap. Give me Your eyes to see the reality of the spiritual world around me. Give me Your ears to hear the inner cries of the lost, but most of all, give me Your heart, that breaks with compassion for those who are desperately trying to fill the void inside with empty pursuits.