Friday, November 13 2015
Ezekiel 20: The Idolatry Of Rebellion
"They rebelled against Me, and would not hearken unto Me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols"
Humanity has had a very long history with the idolatry of rebellion (see the Fact Finder question below). It began in the Garden in Eden, when the very first humans abandoned the Way of the LORD in favor making themselves into Satan-inspired "gods" who decide what is right or wrong in the LORD's world (see Which Way Is Right And Left?) - thereby also making themselves into the first human fools. From that, the entire region of Eden decayed into "Babylon," a word in Hebrew that means confusion (see How Did Eden Become Babylon? and The Cure For Confusion).
Abraham was called out of that Babylon (see A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan), geographically and spiritually, as a living prophecy of repentance and restoring one's self to the LORD (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners). Abraham didn't merely claim the LORD's Name, as millions of Christian-professing people do today, while continuing to do whatever the idolatry of rebellion misled him to do (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?). Abraham was truly righteous.
The people of Israel grew from a family of about 70 people into a multitude during their 400 years in Egypt (see The First Census Of Israel). Like Abraham, their Exodus was not just physical; they were to have left the idols behind, just as Abraham had left the idols of Babylon, known today as Iraq, behind (see Children Of Ham - The Origin Of Egypt And Iraq and The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq).
The Israelites nevertheless rebelled against the LORD God, the Savior (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour).
"20:1 And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the LORD, and sat before me.
20:2 Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying,
20:3 Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye come to enquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.
20:4 Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers:
20:5 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God;
20:6 In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:
20:7 Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
20:8 But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
20:9 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
20:10 Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
20:11 And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.
20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
20:13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
20:14 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.
20:15 Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
20:16 Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.
20:17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
20:18 But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:
20:19 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;
20:20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
20:21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
20:22 Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.
20:23 I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;
20:24 Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.
20:25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
20:26 And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.
20:27 Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.
20:28 For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings.
20:29 Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day." (Ezekiel 20:1-29 KJV)
The lessons and experiences of Abraham and the Israelites of Egypt were ignored (the word "ignorant" means to ignore, not merely to not know - ignorance is facilitated by arrogance) by the Israelites after the LORD delivered them to their own national territory. The united Kingdom of Israel under King Solomon, then the Kingdom of Israel, and then the Kingdom of Judah, all rebelled against the LORD so to have their idols (see the complete study series for Israel beginning with Israel In History and Prophecy: Roots and Branches).
"20:30 Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?
20:31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.
20:32 And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.
20:33 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
20:34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
20:35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
20:36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.
20:37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
20:38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
20:39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.
20:40 For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
20:41 I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.
20:42 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.
20:43 And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
20:44 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 20:30-44 KJV)
The prophets were sent to warn the people, but for the most part, they were arrogantly ignored (again, the word ignorant means to ignore, not merely to not know). They even mocked the Word of God by dismissing it with "Doth he not speak parables?"
"20:45 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
20:46 Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field;
20:47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
20:48 And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.
20:49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?" (Ezekiel 20:45-49 KJV)
Fact Finder: When and how did idolatry begin?
See The History Of Idolatry
This Day In History, November 13
1002: English king Ethelred II launched a massacre of Danish settlers, known today as the St. Brice's Day massacre.
1093: Malcolm III of Scotland, son of King Duncan, died during his fifth attempt to invade England.
1160: King Louis VII of France married Adele of Champagne.
1460: Portuguese explorer Henry the Navigator died at age 66.
1474: During the Swiss-Burgundian Wars, Swiss forces defeated the army of Charles the Bold at Hericourt.
1642: The Battle of Turnham Green during First English Civil War. Royalist forces withdraw from the Parliamentarian army.
1715: The Battle of Sheriffmuir in Scotland.
1833: One of the greatest Leonid meteor storms dazzled people in eastern North America from midnight to dawn.
1843: Mount Rainier in Washington State erupted.
1851: A telegraph link was established between London and Paris.
1907: The first helicopter to achieve free flight carrying a man, designed by Paul Cornu, rose 6 feet above the ground at Lisieux, France.
1942: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars; see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion), the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal was hit by a German torpedo off Gibraltar and sank the following day.
1945: Charles de Gaulle became the President of the French provisional government at the end of the Second World War.
1970: Hafez al-Assad seized power in Syria in a bloodless military coup.
1970: The Bhola cyclone struck the highly-populated Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), killing an estimated 500,000 people in one night. The Bhola cyclone is regarded as the 20th century's worst natural disaster.
1985: In Colombia, the Neva del Ruiz volcano erupted; an estimated 25,000 people died.
1994: Swedes voted by 52.2 percent in a referendum to join the European Union.
1998: U.S. President Bill Clinton agreed to pay Paula Jones $850,000.00 to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit against him. A New York businessman had earlier paid the woman another $1,000,000.00
1998: Michel Trudeau, 23, son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, drowned during a ski trip in British Columbia after being swept into a lake by an avalanche. The body was never recovered.
2001: During the "War on Terrorism," U.S. President George W. Bush signed an executive order allowing secret military tribunals, "enhanced interrogation techniques" (e.g. water boarding) and life imprisonment without charge or trial of "all them foreigners that's out to get us." Many historians and political/military analysts believe that the policy actually created vastly more "terrorists" and enemies than would have otherwise existed if the long-established laws of war had been maintained. The policy also set a new unintended standard for how U.S. prisoners of war may be treated.