I finished my nearly 10 month study on the Gospels this week and started the Prophet of Ezekiel.
"...and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze..." - 1:4b-7
"Eat the food as you would a barley cake; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel." - 4:12
On a side note, when you make notes in your Bible, make sure they are legible. Apparently I had an insight into verse 5:1 and I have no idea what I wrote back in college. Oh well.
God has a word for the people of Israel and Judah through Ezekiel...and they aren't good words. Their sin is pretty obvious: Idolatry. According to God, "she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees." (5:6). That's pretty bad when the nation of God has become more sinful than those that aren't godly.
Now, I have to disagree with a lot of our evangelical friends who equate America to Israel. I just don't think that God was speaking to America when he was saying some of these things. I think God's main message was to his spiritual nation...not a nation of borders and national sovereignty.
In other words, God's word has MORE to say to believers than the United States of America. But that's a different topic.
The point is idolatry. Don't do it. Plain a simple. If it were only that simple. What is idolatry? Is it bowing down to a Buddha statue? Is it making a calf out of gold and proclaiming it as a miracle worker? Well, yes. Is it trying to solve all of our problems on our own? Yes. Is it setting relationships higher than our relationship with God? Yes.
God's Word is pretty specific as to what the consequences were to the Israelites for their idolatry.
Basically, God was going to wipe them out, there was no way around it. What does this have to do with us? We live in a culture of depraved idolatry, and we accept most of it on an everyday basis without even giving it a second thought. It's scary.
"...cry out 'Alas!' because of all the wicked and detestable practices of the house of Israel, for they will fall by the sword, famine and plague. He that is far away will die of plague, and he that is near will fall by the sword, and he that survives and is spared will die of famine. So will I spend my wrath upon them. And they will know that I am the Lord, when their people lie slain among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and on all the mountaintops..." 6:11-13a
The almighty dollar.
Serial TV shows.
Books, DVDs, and other media
I see a couple of mine on their, and I'm sure there are a lot more that I'm missing or don't want to think about. Church, let's give God that place in our hearts that he deserves.