Tag: confronting wayward priests
Scripture reading for August 24th: Ezekiel 20-23
Confronting sin in people is the job of the prophet and preacher. We who minister the word of the Lord must faithfully declare what God has said and speak plainly to those whose souls are in danger of God’s eternal wrath. Sin brings the wrath of God. That wrath is an ongoing thing that is happening continually and it is also an eternal thing that will happen to all who die in their sins on the day of judgment. (Romans 1:18-19) (Romans 2:5) God loves each person enough to confront him before He judges him. In fact, He has stated that He will not send His wrath without revealing his plan to the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
In today’s reading, Ezekiel is told to confront the people of Jerusalem with all of their detestable practices. (Ezekiel 22:1) God declared that the sin of bloodshed was bringing doom on the city. The people’s sin of sacrificing their children in the fire to the false idols was bringing God’s wrath! Ezekiel pointed out mistreatment of fathers and mothers by children and mistreatment of the alien and orphan as reasons for the coming destruction. The people had despised the holy things and desecrated the Sabbath as a day of worship and rest. (Ezekiel 22:7-8) Adultery, incest, and lewd sexual conduct were hastening the day of wrath and people needed to be confronted! Excessive interest was being charged and people were extorting money from the weak and powerless with mafia-like tactics. Sure sounds like the prophet was speaking to our day in America!
God also confronted the priests who were doing violence as well. This violence was to God’s law. They were twisting God’s law to call evil, good and then to call good, evil. They did not help people to discern between what was holy and what God considered profane. They whitewashed their evil deeds by giving the people false visions and lying divinations. They claimed the the Lord had spoken when He had said nothing of the sort! (Ezekiel 22:26-28) When the ministers of God are messed up and under sin and deception, the people are led further astray by their false teaching and example. God looked for one man to stand in the gap on behalf of the land so He would not have to destroy it, but found none! (Ezekiel 22:30-31)
Why does God confront people who are in sin? Does He enjoy seeing them squirm? Does He want to embarrass them in a church service? God wants all to know that He is the Lord and that what He has decreed will come to pass. He is to be honored and obeyed by those who are His people. When God confronts sin, He gives his people opportunity to repent and be delivered. His love brings the confrontation to those who will humbly receive it. Take time today and allow the Lord to speak to your heart. Listen and repent so that the wrath may be turned away! If you are right with the Lord, stand in the gap for someone who is lost and in need of His grace! The rewards are eternal!