God's Cry Babies
In the previous chapter Ezekiel is given a vision of "the abomination" of the
house of Israel. ... worship of idols in the Temple of God.
Ezekiel is then instructed to proclaim against the people of Judah God's intention to destroy the city, the temple, the nation ... BECAUSE OF THEIR SIN!!!! !!
In verse one God summonses six angels who had been the guardian angels of the city, and told them to bring their weapons... to become the instruments of God's divine wrath. They came from the North ... indicating that God would send punishment from the North = Babylon. God also called a seventh angel with a writing kit... a leader to record the events.
In verse 3, The glory of the Lord ... the presence of God, leaves "went up from" = left the "cherubim" the mercy seat, the place where God dwelt and moved to the doorway ... this indicated that God was withdrawing from his mercy seat... no more mercy would be shown.
In verse four God gives the seventh angel a mission ... it is that mission that we
want to focus on.
He is told to go back and forth throughout the City of Jerusalem... indicating
Judah ... and search for a certain type of person... a very special person, ...
people who grieve and lament, sigh and cry, over all of the detestable things done in the midst of her = God's people.
I. The Character Described.
"Men that cry and lament for all of the abominations done in the midst of her. "
These are those who...
1. Inwardly feel and lament for all of the detestable things.
Most people do not lament the evil that is done against God.
They lament the loss of "the good old days."
They lament the pain and suffering brought on people
They hate what has happened to the economy ... the government... the drugs...
the crime ... divorce... and "all the detestable things that are done in the midst"
BUT it is BECAUSE OF THE EFFECTS ON THEM... ON THE
CHILDREN... ON CHURCH ATTENDANCE... OR ON OUR NATION.
THEY DO NOT CRY OR LAMENT THE EFFECT ON GOD!
We have our own selfish or worldly reasons for lamenting the abominations ... the same one that the unrighteous do.
Lamenting sin does not make you righteous ... even the unrighteous do that
The righteous lament the sin because of its effect on God.
There were people at Gary's funeral that did not know Gary that well. They would not have wept over his death. They were here for Rhonda, or Demple, or Tony, or Jeff, or Tina. And the tears flowed down their faces not because of the funerals effect on them but because of the effect on one they loved.
They cried and lamented the terrible time FOR RHONDA. .
Their hearts were hurting for Tony .
That is what God is talking about when he talks about the ones who grieve over the abominations.
When was the last time you cried over something that was breaking God's heart?
When was the last time you cried over the sin that prevails around you... having nothing to do with its effect on you????
The marines are looking for a few good men...
God is looking for a few broken hearts... for cry babies.
The truly righteous person has his/her soul burdened by depravity and
abomination against God.
Their heart is broken because of:
1. A Remembrance of their own former condition.
The truly Godly person remembers their own former lusts, selfishness,
vulgarities, and weaknesses.
They know how trapped and powerless they were to stop or to change.
They remember how they were and how they are now and that makes them heart broken for those still in that lifestyle
They remember where they were in relation to God and where they are now and they know that it was the sin that made them distant.
They lament the sin because it breaks God's heart.
They lament sin ....
B. From a Sincere Concern for the Glory of God.
Because the righteous person is now living a God-centered life, their concern is to see God glorified, not self.
They want to see God praised and lifted up.
They want that in their own life.
They know that God is glorified in 3 main ways:
They lament sin ...
C. From A Deep Compassion and Love for Souls.
When one truly understands our original state, our state of fallenness, the pain it brings God, the tremendous price He paid to redeem us back, and our new position with God ....
When he realizes all of the wasted years of service and abundance ...
When he realizes the reality of hell ... and of salvation ...
He has a great burden for the souls of those whom he loves.
That love grows to extend to those he does not know.
What is the evidence of this inward feeling?
They "sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the midst of his people. "
I go back to my earlier question, When was the last time that you cried because of all of the abominations you see?
The sigh was that inward feeling.
The cry is outward and audible.
This cry may include:
1. The Cry of a Godly Example.
Did you know that every time that you do right, you cry out to the sinner that
strikes him to the heart?
The light makes the dark look even darker.
They may not know they are in the dark until the light comes
It may be your cry that awakens them.
But the cry must be heard ... or in this case, seen.
This cry may include:
2. The cry of earnest entreaty and admonition.
You may have to actually cry out to them ..... go to them and earnestly entreat
them to change.
You may need to go to your brother who is in sin and admonish him for the sin.
Christians are to testify to the world-- to warn, rebuke, admonish, entreat, exhort,
anything to get them to repent.
This cry may include:
3. The Cry of Fervent Prayer for Their Salvation.
Notice the biblical examples of ... Moses pleading for Israel, Abraham pleading
for Sodom, Paul praying for the churches and the lost, Jesus praying for the
disciples, Jesus pleading for his murderers.
Let me assure you, ANYONE, any Christian who can see a brother, sister, friend, family LOST OR IN SIN and not pray for them .... That person cannot have a broken heart.
That broken-hearted-ness over sin drives you to pray.
You are driven by your desire to see person saved FOR PERSON ... FOR GOD.
I think it must surely break the heart of God to see His people, saved people who
take the lost-ness of others so callously.
Next, let us notice:
II. The Mark Appointed
"and set a mark upon the forehead of those who cry and lament over all of the
abominations .. "
The angel with the writing kit was to mark as special those who were broken hearted over sin.
This mark was:
1. A Mark of Distinction.
God has never wanted us to look like the others.
The Israelites were to wear special clothing that marked them ... they ate certain
foods that marked them ... they worshipped differently, they acted differently.
Even in the N.T. God said that we were to be, "a peculiar people."
God still expects us to be different, marked by clothing, by language, by everything.
But this was a spiritual mark, that was just for God and his angels to be able to
This mark was:
2. A Divine Mark
Human distinctions, awards, accolades, and words mean very little.
It is what God says of us that counts.
God told the angle to put his mark, God's mark of approval on the righteous.
When it is all over and we stand before Jesus as Judge ... the only mark that
will count is God's.
This mark was:
3. A Prominent Mark.
"in the forehead"
The world cannot see the mark ... they can only see the character.
This mark is visible to God, the angels, and the devil.
The mark can even cause trouble with Satan.
This mark is:
This mark is necessary to receive our rewards, our eternal life in heaven.
Nothing else can take it's place ...
"No shoes, no shirt .. NO SERVICE"
There are rules.
Being "good" will not do it.
Without this sign we are strangers to the grace of God.
III. The Deliverance Secured.
"but do not touclt anyone who has the mark"
The deliverance is:
1. From Destruction.
This is the Divine pattern, the way God works.
God leaves the righteous in with the unrighteous ... the wheat in with the tares.
He does that in order to help the tares.
And he sends his warnings.
But there comes a time when God says, "Enough!"
Then God sends the harvesters.
But before he does, he sends the mark of protection.
In Egypt it was the blood on the door that the death angel looked for.
In Judah it was the divine mark on the forehead that the six angels looked for
And in the end, it will be the blood of Jesus that the harvesters will look for.
God marks his own like a land-owner marks trees that he wants the lumber men
Note that the deliverance:
2. Is Personal
The mark is not good for family or dearest friend.
In Egypt one mark was good for many
In Judah it is only good for one
In future it is only good for one
Note that the deliverance is:
Not one Israelite in marked house died ... not one animal in the ark died ... AND
NOT ONE RIGHTEOUS PERSON SHALL GO DOWN TO THE PIT.
It cannot happen .
God has spoken Jesus has died ... the Spirit has been given as a guarantee