November 16th

 

Crushing God’s Heart

1 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 2"Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, 3and say, "O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains, to the hills, to the ravines, and to the valleys: "Indeed I, even I, will bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places. 4Then your altars shall be desolate, your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. 5And I will lay the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones all around your altars. 6In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, your idols may be broken and made to cease, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. 7The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
8"Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries. 9Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from
Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations. 10And they shall know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them."    Ezekiel 6:1-10 NKJV 

This passage describes the judgment that God was planning to bring on Israel for its idolatry.  God had established a covenant with his people that very clearly outlined the blessings of obeying God and the curses for disobeying him (Deuteronomy 28).   After entering the Land of Canaan, the Israelites began to seek the false gods of the region and adopt the indigenous customs.   Except for a few righteous kings, Israel for the most part was sliding deeper and deeper into sin.  This would eventually result in the Israelites’ exile to Babylon.   

We can see how strongly God felt about their sin.  He was passionate about his people and was “crushed” in heart by their idolatry.   He had done so much for them, yet they turned away from him repeatedly.   

Idolatry is a sin that continues to turn people away from God today.  Though we live under a new covenant, God still abhors idolatry just as he did in the Old Testament times.  Thankfully, we don’t trust on keeping the law for our salvation, because our faith in Jesus justifies us before God.  We do, however, have the obligation to avoid practicing sin and to live by God’s commands.   

Thousands of people are paying daily homage to sexual idols via pornography through internet sites, chat rooms, adult bookstores, magazines, television, movies and other sources.  They are in some cases spending thousands of dollars per month to feed their minds with sexual fantasies.  This modern-day idolatry is turning the hearts of many Christians away from the Lord.  It is taking God’s wonderful gift of sex and perverting it into an entertainment spectacle.  When God’s people feed on such material, they are crushing his heart and grieving his Spirit.   

If we have been involved in sexual idolatry or some other form of idolatry, we can return to God by repenting from our sin.   The blood of Jesus brings forgiveness and cleansing from our sin.  The Holy Spirit gives us power to live free of our sin habits and become the changed person that God has declared us to be.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer: 

 “Father God, I confess I have sinned by ____________ (specify).  I realize now that I have crushed your heart with my sin and I am sorry for doing so.  Please forgive me for my sin on account of the blood of Christ.   Please send your Holy Spirit to me to empower me to live as a new creation through Jesus Christ.  Please reveal any idols in my home that need to be removed (see Clean House).  I submit myself to you as an instrument for righteousness and not for sin.  Thank you for your forgiveness and love for me!  I praise you now and forever. Amen.”