Driving God Out
Do you see the detestable sins the people of Israel are committing to drive Me from My temple? (v.6).
Is it possible to drive God away? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Ezekiel gives us one sure way— idolatry. In a fascinating account, the prophet recorded what made God leave the room. In Ezekiel 8:1, we read that the leaders of Judah were gathered at Ezekiel’s home. They were probably seeking a word of encouragement and comfort from the Lord (14:1, 20:1). God, in reply, gave Ezekiel four scenes in a vision:
• A large idol located at the north gate of the inner courtyard of the temple that made the Lord very jealous (8:3-6).
• Seventy spiritual leaders bowing to idols in secrecy (vv.9-12).
• Women weeping for the god Tammuz at the north gate of the temple (v.14).
• Twenty-five priests turning their backs on God and worshiping the sun (v.16).
Essentially, the practices he saw represented the rampant idolatry of all the people, the civic leaders, the women, and the priests. The exclusive worship of Yahweh had broken down completely in the holy city.
How about today? How has idolatry entered the church? Pastor Kevin DeYoung writes that idolatry preaches “a spirituality that gets me lots, costs me little, is easy to see, easy to do, has few ethical or doctrinal boundaries, guarantees me success, feels good, and doesn’t offend those around me.”
Mack Stiles, author of 17 Things My Kids Taught Me about God, offers a useful tip on how to identify idols in our lives: “Ask yourself this question: In what ways are you dissatisfied with the way God is running things? If you can identify your dissatisfaction with how God is running the show, you can identify the place where you are tempted for idols to become your God. Kill the idols in your life by making Christ your life.”
—Poh Fang Chia
Read Psalms 62:1 to reaffirm your trust in God alone.
In what ways are you dissatisfied with how God is running things? What do you need to turn over to Him? Why?