I just started reading through Ezekiel, first because I’m in between Bible study projects, and second because I started reading through the whole Bible last January and I’d rather like to finish it sometime.
The other day I was in Ezekiel 6. Like so much of this book it’s denouncing Israel’s idolatry. But it also describes the punishment.
Yahweh is the one speaking here, His own words coming through Ezekiel’s mouth.
…Behold, I Myself am going to bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places. I will also lay the dead bodies of the sons of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. (Ezekiel 6:4-5)
We like to think of our sins as little things. It’s just a distraction, another train of thought when I’m trying to pray. I’m just annoyed that things aren’t going my way. I’m just mad at them for how they treated me, that’s all.
But if we’re trying to find satisfaction in something other than God–if we think we can be fulfilled when we get everything we want, or when we’re liked and esteemed–we’re worshiping an idol. And it ends in death.
It’s a terrifying picture: God’s righteous judgment manifested. Dead bodies and bones scattered around the altar of the idol they worshiped. Enemy swords bringing blood and horror. It’s more terrifying to realize that kind of justice should be ours. God’s punishment for sin must fall.
Praise God, it fell on His Son instead.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (Romans 5:9)