Idolatry and the Result of National Sin
|1 ¶ Then came certain of the
elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
2 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;
5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
| 1 -
elders They came in and sat down but we hear nothing from them.
Look at ez1221ff to understand the setting.
Also verse 4 explains. (ff means following verses although following verses
are assumed in all cases).
2 - Word The fifth of five messages about false prophecy.
3 - Heart idols The elders may have appeared very pious, but inside they had idols and played with temptation. Today they may have watched the television romances or have fed their minds with pornography.
| 6 Therefore say unto
the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves
from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
| 7 -
... and idols in his heart This is a little frightening. It
could well apply to us who claim to be part of spiritual Israel. Where
are our highest loyalties? If any of them influence our actions more than
our commitment to Christ, we are in trouble. A loyalty may be to a habit
which is difficult to break, a person we choose to please just for peace,
even a TV show that has a grip on us.
7 - Cometh to a prophet Or if we go to the Bible (written by prophets) while holding back on following one of its precepts, we are pictured here!
| 8 And I will set my
face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will
cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the
9 And if the prophet be deceived ["enticed," in other versions] when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived [enticed] that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;
11 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.
| 8 -
my face against de2845f.
9 - Enticed This seems strange. The Lord allows us to believe what we want to believe, and what He allows He may be said to cause since He is ultimately in control. See on 2th0210.
| 12 ¶ The word of the
LORD came again to me, saying,
.13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:
.14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.
15 If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:
.16 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.
17 Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it:
18 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves.
19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast:
.20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
21 For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?
- When the land sinneth National apostasy means national
disaster. Theme of the rest of the chapter. When Jesus came the religious
system that controlled the people blamed Him and His followers while their
own sins brought the destruction of their temple and city. We may expect
the same situation in the days of crisis ahead. Can we have a Christian
nation while persecuting those who hold different views and while disobeying
part of God's law?
14 - These three men Did the people think that righteous people would save their land from disaster? The Lord explained that even if these three were alive and in the land, they would not save it.
Noah built the ark based on God's word. He faced rejection from the scientists. Practically no one believed him. Finally he was tested for seven days after the door was shut. He could cling only to the word of God. Then the flood came.
Daniel didn't compromise in face of death by lions. He refused to compromise the stewardship of his body da0108. And temptations of politics and wealth never moved him.
Job, although losing health, honor, wealth, and family, remained faithful. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him." (Job 13:15)
The principle We stand individually before God. No excuses for eternal loss and no help. Compare the problem of the foolish virgins mt2507ff.
| 22 Yet, behold, therein
shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters:
behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and
their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have
brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it.
23 And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.
|Remnant Although the country was in apostasy, God's purpose would not be compromised. A remnant would come forth. Their behavior would help the people understand God's punishment.|