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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Behind Closed Doors (Ezekiel 8:7-9)

There are no secrets hidden from God. What goes on behind closed doors is open to the eyes of God. He sees. He knows. "And there is no creature is hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give and account" (Hebrews 4:13). And He exposes and judges.

God gave his prophet, Ezekiel, a peek into what He saw going on inside the temple in Jerusalem. And it wasn’t pretty, "Then he brought me to the entrance to the court. I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall. He said to me, "Son of man, now dig into the wall." So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there. And he said to me, "Go in and see the wicked and detestable things they are doing here" (Ezekiel 8:7-9).

Ezekiel's "vision trip" began at the north gate where the Spirit showed him the idol of jealousy. Then the Spirit took Ezekiel to the entrance of the court where Ezekiel was told to dig into the wall and locate a doorway. Through that doorway Ezekiel saw the seventy elders lighting incense to their various gods “in the darkness” (or so they thought). Next the Spirit took Ezekiel to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD. There he saw women weeping before a fertility god. Finally, the Spirit brought him into the inner court of the house of the Lord and showed him twenty-five men worshipping the sun.

The LORD promised Solomon, after he had built and dedicated the temple, that if he and his sons "all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and served other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight. Israel will be a proverb and a by word among all peoples" (1 Kings 8:6-7). Several hundred years have passed and here is Israel doing the very thing they declared they wouldn't do—worshipping idols in the temple of the LORD.

This scene teaches us that, though we hide our "stuff" from the prying eyes of others behind the closed doors of secrecy, there are no secrets hidden from God. He sees and He knows. He exposes and He judges, sooner or later. 

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Ezekiel 5:1-7:27
  • How does Ezekiel illustrate God's coming judgment?
  • Why is the Lord grieved with Israel?
  • What will happen to those who escape the sword? What does this tell you about God?
  • What will the people know about God as a result of devastating judgment?
  • How much help will the prophet, priests and elders be able to give the people during the outpouring of God's wrath?
Ezekiel 8:1-9:11
  • What does Ezekiel see in his second vision?
  • Who are worshiping before the idolatrous images?
  • What are the elder's view of God and what have they communicated about God to the people?
  • What is taking place in the inner court of the house of the Lord?
  • Read 1 Kings 8:6-11. Note the difference between what took place in the temple then and what is occurring during Ezekiel's day.
  • How does the Lord deal with such treachery?
  • What distinguishes God-fearers from those around them?
Turning truth into prayer:
Ask the Lord to open your eyes of understanding so that you can see what He sees. Pray for our nation, that we would wake up to the evil in our midst and repent.