6-9 I heard someone speaking to me from inside the Temple while the man stood beside me. He said, “Son of man, this is the place for my throne, the place I’ll plant my feet. This is the place where I’ll live with the Israelites forever. Neither the people of Israel nor their kings will ever again drag my holy name through the mud with their whoring and the no-god idols their kings set up at all the wayside shrines. When they set up their worship shrines right alongside mine with only a thin wall between them, they dragged my holy name through the mud with their obscene and vile worship. Is it any wonder that I destroyed them in anger? So let them get rid of their whoring ways and the stinking no-god idols introduced by their kings and I’ll move in and live with them forever.
Something small stood out to me from this chapter. The lines from The Message translation:
“When they set up their worship shrines right alongside mine with only a thin wall between them, they dragged my holy name through the mud with their obscene and vile worship. Is it any wonder that I destroyed them in anger?”
The Israelites had set up idol worship right next to their worship of God, so close there was only a thin wall that separated them. Perhaps this is meant only literally but I caught a sense today that maybe there’s another picture.
How often have I, while following God’s commands, reading His word, going to worship, praying to Him, set up an idol right next to or right IN this my relationship with God?
Do I have any idols set up right now? Maybe its a sinful distraction, a lack of contentment or maybe its a fear of trusting God and wishing to rely on my own strength “just this once”. Ezekiel is a difficult book but as Pastor Todd and Riverwood leadership have preached over the past month the words in this book still holds truth for us today.
So while reading the remaining chapters of Ezekiel as the temple is described I challenge you to dig a little deeper. What is the context of this passage? Are there any other translations that could help make sense of the chapter? What have bible commentators said about this chapter?
Above all lets not set up our idols right next to our worship of God. We don’t need them anyway. I know myself how easy it is to lean on a earthly comfort or a shot of adrenaline. But instant gratification takes its toll on our minds, souls and relationships with God and we all deserve so much more than having those things dragged through the mud.