August 28 (Daily reading: Ezekiel 5-8) We have seen over and over in God’s revelations to the prophets how He feels about idolatry. Ezekiel prophesied to the “mountains of Israel,” “Your altars will become desolate … I will make your slain fall in front of your idols” (6:4). We read six times in chapters six and seven how God’s judgment was based on cause and effect. For example, “(When) the slain fall among you, (then) you will know that I am the LORD” (6:7). They apparently used the golden ornaments of the temple “to make their detestable idols (and) vile images” (7:20, NIV). “According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the LORD” (7:27). Because of their sin (cause), they would know through God’s judgment that He was the Lord (effect)!
The extent of their idolatry was dramatized in a vision that God gave Ezekiel. He described it: “The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem” (8:3). The vision revealed the enormity of Judah’s unfaithfulness to God. God took him inside the temple court: “Every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around” (8:10). He saw that seventy elders were worshiping the idols. Then, God took him into the inner court, to the entrance of the temple, where he saw twenty-five men who were worshiping the sun, “with their backs to the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun” (8:16).
God is equally offended by idolatry today in whatever form it may appear. It may be subtle; it may make us look religious, but if it replaces God as primary in our life, it is idolatry and unacceptable to Him.
– Al Gary