Summary: GOD WANTS MEN TO STAND FOR HIM IN THE GAP BETWEEN MORAL DEGRADATION AND MORAL INTEGRITY!
I HOPE YOU DANCE
EZEKIEL 22:1-8, 23-30
FATHER’S DAY JUNE 17, 2001
INTRODUCTION: FATHER’S DAY INTERNET STUFF
LYRICS TO THE SONG, “I HOPE YOU DANCE” BY LEE ANN WOMACK (? spelling, but correct name and title).
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Today’s text speaks to us of the reality of today’s culture. Our text speaks to the reality of the times in which there is no difference shown between what is right and what is wrong. Our text speaks to the reality that there is no one to take a stand for the living God. Our text reminds us that God is looking for a man, one who will stand for what is right and live what is pleasing to God, but our text tells us that God cannot find such a man. When it comes to the dance of life and of service and honor for the living God, and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, there is no dancing!
THESIS SENTENCE: GOD WANTS MEN TO STAND FOR HIM IN THE GAP BETWEEN MORAL DEGRADATION AND MORAL INTEGRITY!
SO THE QUESTION FOR TODAY, MEN, IS WHY ARE WE NOT DANCING?
I. DANCING COMES WHEN WE ESCAPE THE TRAP OF THIS PRESENT WORLD. (VV. 1-8)
A. World focus…
1. Shedding blood? Personal gain regardless of the cost. Look around the world and what do you see? We live in a violent world and a violent nation. (Kids Kill Kids!) 2. Everything before God instead of God before everything! IDOLITRY! 3. Infamy over fame. I want to be known regardless of how I look (e.g. Jerry Springer). 4. Misuse of Power, because, that’s why you wanted it! (Personal gain!) 5. Treat Mother and Father with Contempt! When was this written? It was the 6th century.
6. Oppress the Alien! It doesn’t matter where they’re from, if they are not like us, oppress them!
7. Mistreat the Fatherless and the Widow. It’s not my problem!
B. God focus… HUGE CONTRAST HERE!!
1. Build, do not tear down!
2. God is looking for builders; “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall (vs. 30).
ASIDE: The cities of those days were built with walls around them – these high walls formed a defense against the enemy. If part of the wall was broken down the enemy could easily attack the city through that gap.
3. God want men who practice Ephesians 4: 29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
4. God saw Jerusalem as a city with her walls broken down, not physically, but spiritually and morally.
5. HOW might God view our nation, our community, our Church, and our Families? ARE THE WALLS BROKEN DOWN??
6. In about 150 years after the date of our text, Nehemiah would come back to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. BUT, God was looking for Spiritual Leaders, who would do the work of rebuilding the destroyed walls!
ASIDE: CHAPTER 13: 4-5, “Your prophets, O Israel, are like jackals among ruins. You have not gone up to the breaks in the wall to repair it for the house of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord.”
The key thought to all of this is SPIRITUAL not Physical. It speaks of the Day of Christ Return! ARE YOU BUILDING UP THE WALL SO THAT THOSE AROUND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO STAND IN THE DAY OF GOD’S JUDGMENT?
KEY ALSO TO THIS THOUGHT, IT IS POSITIVE, NOT NEGETIVE, NOT A DON’T, BUT A DO! BUILD THE WALL!
ILLUSTRATION: Martin Luther, in the early 1500’s stood alone against the pope, the councils and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. He pointed out what was wrong with these things, but then he set to work rebuilding the church on the foundation of God’s word!
7. Today our need is for Men, like Martin Luther, who will rebuild the walls of long forgotten morality, who will build walls of hope for the hurting, and who will build strong families. God is looking for a Man. Will you be that kind of Man? WILL YOU REBUILD THE WALL?
AND WHEN YOU GET THE CHOICE TO SIT IT OUT OR DANCE, I HOPE YOU DANCE!
II. DANCING COMES WHEN WE STAND IN THE GAP (VV. 23-30)
A. WHEN THE WALL IS DOWN
1. It is a day of wrath. The enemy has a way in! Satan takes advantage of weak links, of chinks in the armor, of holes in the walls!
2. Conspiracy abounds. The “Nobility” plot for gain. In today’s language we would call this “Inside trading.” (VERSES 25 & 27)