Summary: Ever had a bad dream that seemed real? Ezekiel had this vision that God’s glory was going to leave the Temple and leave Jerusalem and as the glory left and terrible judgments were going to come down upon the city and all of Judah.
June 8th, 2008 — River of Life Ministries — Pastor Michael West
Series: His Majesty, His Name Part 9 — Jehovah Shammah part one
Sermon: God Is There, But Do You Know It?
Scripture: Judges 16:20
Ever had a bad dream that seemed real?
Ezekiel had this vision that God’s glory was going to leave the Temple and leave Jerusalem and as the glory left and terrible judgments were going to come down upon the city and all of Judah.
It all started with the chariot that had wheels within wheels that was drawn by a legion of Cherubim. Their wings provided the power that moved the chariot. Within the chariot supported by these winged creatures from heaven was another figure that sat upon a throne.
This chariot hovered above the temple and Ezekiel then knew what was about to take place. The figure in chariot, whom we come to know as the Lord Jesus, was there to remove the shekinah glory of God from the Temple. He visited His people only to take away His present glory from them.
Was this a shocker? A Surprise? Not really. Ezekiel knew full well the reason why. Ezekiel knew what the people had down outside the Temple, around the Temple, in the Temple courts and even in the Temple itself. The bottom line, the people had turned away from the holy place and turned east to worship the sun. They had allowed all kinds of creep, crawly creatures to invade the temple and they even went as far as to sacrifice snakes and other slimy creatures. They began to do what others around them were doing and stepped away from the sacrifice of lambs.
God told them: “I will no longer tolerate these abominations in My house and I will not allow My glory to coexist with such sin.”
It is not falling into the water, but lying in the water, that drowns. It is not falling into sin, but lying in sin, that destroys the soul.
All Ezekiel could to was watch in terror as the chariot of God packed up and removed the Shekinah Glory.
As God moved out, He wasn’t quite about it at all. He let all of Israel know that He was leaving.
And did the people of God notice?
Not one of them paid any attention. Even the priests just went on doing what they were doing. How could this happen? How could they have not known God had packed up and was moving on?
Simple. They were so caught up in themselves, their lives, their stuff, the things they thought were more important to do than to do what God called them to do, they missed it. They were so blinded by their self-centered, selfish, sinful pursuits and the little kingdoms they were building, they didn’t even realize God was leaving them.
This wasn’t a spur of the moment thing either. God had warned them over and over through the prophets, through Ezekiel, over the years, but Judah’s people ignored the warnings and had fallen away.
How many times have we been warned and believe that since nothing has really happened to us, God’s anger and wrath are old fable. How often do we get comfortable in our lifestyles and lax in our pursuit of God, telling the preacher our lame excuses of why we can’t. All the while believing in the God of deliverance and freedom yet, denying the power thereof, and therefore remaining the same as when we first came to the Lord.
God is there, do you know it? If He left you today, would you know it? Judah’s blinded condition is a prime example of how it can happen. Sin will deceive you, not the obvious out there sin, but your own sin will convince you that your still okay with God. Minor hang-ups, nothing to worry about, you’re still okay and going to heaven. Oh, course, I’m not talking about you. That wouldn’t happen, couldn’t happen, could it?
Samson, a mighty man of God, didn’t even know. He was blinded by his sin he openly indulged in and not once thinking of the consequences, or if he did, never thought that god would ever leave him.
Much of a Christian’s spiritual strength lies in secret prayer, as Samson’s did in his hair. Nothing disarms Satan and weakens sin like this.
Don’t for a moment think that one sin or another is worse than the other and only that will get you in hot water with God. Sin is sin.
How many churches today are apathetic, complacent, accepting and make excuses for sinfulness and worldliness?
How many are continuing in business as usual, same routine, same ritual and aren’t aware that Almighty God has removed or is about to remove His presence from them?