American Idolatry

(Today’s post by Joshua Jones)

Ezekiel 8

American-IdolatryAbomination. What comes to mind when you think of that word? For me, unsweetened tea. I hate unsweetened tea. But believe it or not, there is something worse than unsweetened tea. This past weekend, my family got together for dinner in Columbia, SC. As we were sitting around chatting, my wife, Brittney, grabbed the fresh glass of sweet tea that the waiter had just brought her, took a swig, then immediately began choking. I looked at her like she was crazy, maybe swallowed a gulp wrong, but then she exclaimed, “Someone put salt in my tea!!”. Not taking her word for it, I picked up the glass, and took a swig myself. Yep. Salty tea. Much worse than unsweetened tea. Someone had grabbed the salt instead of the sugar when they made that pitcher. And to me, it was an abomination. It should have never been, and the only response I had was hatred and disgust.

 

In Ezekiel 8, the prophet is confronted with God’s idea of an abomination. And it is much worse than salty tea, I guarantee you. 

“In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, with the elder of Judah sitting before me, the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there. Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of man…He put out the form of a hand and took me by a lock of my head, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem…”

Imagine being Ezekiel, chilling out at home with the respected elders of Judah. Next thing you know, a heavenly being is grabbing you by the hair and taking you away. This is much worse than when your mother dragged you out of that store by your ear. Someone is ticked. That someone is God. 

“And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see still greater abominations.” 

God begins showing Ezekiel the temple in Jerusalem. Here, he shows the prophet the apostasy of Israel. These people have once again turned away from God, replacing him with idols. In this chapter, we see Ezekiel being shown the actions that God hates. Once again, his people are worshiping things other than Him. After everything that he had done for his people, they are worshiping images of other gods, animals that creep among the ground (vs. 7), and offering incense to pagan gods, all within God’s own house! The final straw though is shown to Ezekiel, where in the inner court of the temple, there were twenty-five men, who were worshiping the sun with their back to the temple of the Lord. They were literally turning their backs on the Lord to worship an idol. 

God’s response to this abomination- he had had enough. “Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.” 

God does not tolerate idolatry. No other god should be put before him. This action is considered an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. He hates idolatry. And that is putting it lightly. 

As Adam Cooper wrote yesterday, we all have things that we put before God. This causes us to lose our focus on God’s holiness. We diminish His importance. Especially Americans, we rely on other things such as our bank accounts, those job benefits, our comfort levels, instead of relying on God each step of the way. As we have seen in this chapter, and throughout much of the writings in the past months, God does not tolerate idolatry. It is an abomination to Him. 

I pray that the Spirit would work on us to reveal those idols in our lives. Anything that we place higher than God is an idol. He deserves the highest praise, and the ultimate worship.

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  • R Lee Lester Jr

    …and judging by the things God has allowed to happen in this country, I would say we are very near the judgment for our idolatry. What did God do right before He brought the hammer on Israel and Judah, He gave them a really bad leader. Beyond that, Rabbi Jonathan Kahn’s book The Harbinger illustrates how God has demonstrated to America how she will end up much the same as Israel and Judah if the people who are called by His name don’t get it together. It’s sad that the saving of America doesn’t depend on everyone…just those of us who call ourselves Christians. My wife and I have felt the desire to start a revival here in Tocoa. We started having meetings with the people who can help us get it together. This is not just a weekend of preaching and songs, but a transformational change of a town! This “revival” will become our lives’ work and will result in the starting of numerous churches dedicated to spreading the love of Jesus. Get in your Bibles everyday….not out of compulsion but out of respect and love for The Creator. If you read His Word with an open mind and heart and pray to Him without ceasing, you will find that you can hear Him speaking and He will give you a purpose. Finding your God-given purpose is critical right now. We don’t have a lot of time left.

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