In chapter 8 Ezekiel saw a vision of atrocious idolatry from blatant to secret to the vilest. Blasphemy and abominations will happen more and more until the Tribulation. In chapter 9 he saw God’s reaction. The Lord called for the executioners to come, each with his weapon. Six men came each with a weapon for slaughter in his hand. Along with those angels came a man clothed in linen with a writing case at his waist. Verses 3-4 read,
“Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. 4 And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”
Although furious and ready to release His wrath on Jerusalem, the Lord remembered those who remembered Him, who knew that the idolatry taking place was vile. Those people prayed with sighs and groans because it was just too horrible for words. So in the midst of His ferocity, the Lord showed mercy and the man clothed in linen, like a priest who had the writing case at his waist like an attorney or mediator went with the cherubim to mark the people who had not gone astray from the Lord.
The mercy of the Lord is manifested in Jesus Christ. And those who call on Him are sealed with the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 read,
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
Many of the people committing the abominations blamed God for their sin and said He had forsaken them. (Ezekiel 8:12). But those who refused to give in to idolatry trusted God and knew He would never break His promises. They were saved from the judgments that came upon the rest.
Our God would not be our loving holy God if He were to let sin go. Everyone has to pay the price for the sins they have committed. Either they pay with their own blood, or let Jesus pay with His. Ezekiel was seeing first-hand the horror of that payment coming due. Verses 7-8 read,
“Then he said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out.” So they went out and struck in the city. 8 And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”
Ezekiel cared about the people who were being destroyed. He cared about Israel. He cared about Jerusalem. Jerusalem represented the few who had been spared from Babylonian captivity, they were the remnant meant to carry on until the captives returned. But when bad things happened they turned from the Lord and worshipped false gods and practiced false religions. The relationship they had with God was one-sided. God loved them. He kept His vows. But they were unfaithful to Him every chance they got. Verses 9-10 read,
“Then he said to me, “The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great. The land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice. For they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see.’ 10 As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.”
Sin has a price. It must be paid. It would be utterly detestable to imagine a god who let evil go unchecked, who didn’t punish wickedness. God loves us enough to make a way to a relationship with Him, to make a way of forgiving and paying the price for our sins. He sent Jesus to pay the price for us. When we accept the gift of grace by making Jesus our Lord, giving Him our lives then He gives us His Holy Spirit. He seals us and keeps us for His promises. No longer do we have to worry about condemnation. We are judged as blameless even though we don’t deserve it, because Jesus covered us with His righteousness or goodness.
God will not overlook those who remain faithful to Him when the time of adjudication comes. Verse 11 reads,
“And behold, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his waist, brought back word, saying, “I have done as you commanded me.”
The man, Jesus our mediator marked all the faithful, He sealed them with the Holy Spirit and they would not be killed with the majority who had not been faithful to the LORD.
It is so important to remain diligent about your relationship with God. What baggage have you brought into the relationship? Give it to Him. Be persistent in keeping your relationship pure. Remain faithful. Remember who God is.