Friday Evening, December 20, 1991
Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, “Bring the guards of the city here, each with a weapon in his hand.” And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand. With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side. They came in and stood beside the bronze altar. Now the Glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the LORD called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple. Then he said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!” So they went out and began killing throughout the city.
While they were killing and I was left alone, I fell facedown, crying out, “Ah, Sovereign LORD! Are you going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel in this outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?” He answered me, “The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.’ So I will not look on them with pity or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done.” Then the man in linen with the writing kit at his side brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded.” (Ezekiel 9:1-11)
“Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
Have you ever noticed that this is not about people that are doing detestable things? This is about people that don’t grieve and lament over detestable things. The people who refused to do detestable things were also destroyed by God. It was the people who grieved and lamented over the detestable things that were saved. If they didn’t grieve and lament over the detestable things, they were not saved because they didn’t love what God loves. If they don’t love what God loves and they don’t hate what God hates, then they’re in the same category as the people that do the detestable things. There’s no distinction made here between those that do the detestable and those that blend in with the detestable even if they don’t do the detestable things themselves. They were all killed—men, women, children, elders, men at the sanctuary… Everyone who can blend in with it and doesn’t stand against it, all of those will be wiped out according to the Word of God.
Lot was a man it says that in his day and his time was tormented in his righteous spirit by the lawless acts around him. If we’re not tormented by it, we’re in the same category according to God as those that do it. If we don’t have any spine, any backbone, enough to say, “Enough! Don’t sing about Jesus and don’t wear His name unless you’re going to live for Him!” If we won’t stand up for it, if we won’t grieve and lament over those things that are detestable in His sight, then we’re in the same category as those that are doing the detestable things in God’s sight. That’s what it says. That is what God said about it. If we don’t have any backbone, if we can just kind of smear our molasses over the top of it and say, “I’m ok, you’re ok…” “Well, he says he’s a christian…” “Well, they’re a nice person, they seem sincere…” “Well, let’s not be holier than thou…” If that’s the way we are going to handle our lives, then we are in the same category as rapists and murderers and arsonists and liars and thieves and all those other things.
If we won’t stand valiantly against the detestable deeds around us, the contradictions and hypocrisies, if we won’t stand valiantly and visibly against those things, then we might as well be doing them because we’re going to fall in the same category in God’s sight. Isn’t that what God said? (Yes) And is that the only place where God said that? (No, not hardly.) It’s pretty clear in the scriptures and we need to be willing to stand up for what God said and not blend in with it thinking that “Well, I’ll just do it right even if everyone else does it wrong, and that will make it ok.” That’s not what God said! Jesus was willing to die for it and those that are followers of Jesus are willing to die for it.
Don’t call yourself a follower of Jesus if you’re not willing to follow Jesus. I’m not talking about being arrogant and blowing over the top of people, but I’m saying there are things that are real and true that are not to be compromised. In our hearts and in our spirits we know when we’ve prostituted truth for our own well-being or for our own reputation or carnal sympathies or because of hidden sin in our own heart. We’ve compromised and we don’t have any courage left to deal with anything else. We know when we’ve sold truth. The Bible says, “Buy the truth and sell it not.” Jesus IS the Word. Jesus IS the Truth. Don’t think you can white-wash over, or overlook Truth (in the name of “love,” of course!), and still have JESUS. No way! He is inseparable from His Word, and from Truth! That’s why He could say, “If you REALLY love Me, you will obey Me.” When we love Him, we “LOVE the Truth” and we “Love the Light” and “like newborn babies, we CRAVE the pure Spiritual milk of the Word.” If HE lives inside of us, we could never be content with lukewarmness within, or in others that wear His Name! (1John3)
This does require God’s wisdom. If it doesn’t have God’s wisdom all over it, it will thrash people rather than set them free. The purpose of the Word of God is to set men free from their sin. You need to understand that. It’s not a matter of beating them with it, it’s a matter of saying, “You may not realize this, but you are in bondage. You need to know the truth so the truth can set you free and if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed. You’re in bondage. If you really knew your own heart, you would know you’re in bondage and as you pursue things on this level—the hypocrisy, the contradictions—you become a slave. And so, you can get mad at me if you want, but I only want you to be free because I care about you.” That’s different than beating them with it. The courage is still there, calling a spade a spade is still there, but you’re doing it for their best interest, not to get even or for revenge or to puff yourself up. You’re doing it because you want them to be free. Even though they may not look like it in all their arrogance and all their casualness, they are slaves. God said they were, it’s a fact. No matter how comfortable or secure they look, they are slaves and they are in bondage and they will suffer immensely in this life and the life to come. And so, it’s for their sake in order to buy them back from the deceptions of the enemy that you dare to risk your reputation or your job or whatever. People can sense a difference between whether you’re doing it for them or whether you’re doing it to satisfy some self-righteousness. They know the difference. They can smell it. Help them! And when the Son sets them free they will be truly free in practice and reality!!!
Now, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”