Summary: Since they were not going to follow after His laws, God “gave” them over to the unholy laws of the unchurched, or the world.
20:1-9—Where it says the elders “inquired of the Lord,” they were having a problem with what Ezekiel was prophesying. Understand, that the date given is 5 years to the day Jerusalem would be destroyed (Jeremiah). This took place some two years after the prophecies of Ezekiel 1-3 (Ezekiel 1:2) and one year after the prophecies of Ezekiel 8 (Ezekiel 8:1).
The leaders of Israel were conservative and orthodox, but their hearts were far from God. Because of this, God would not hear them. God reminded them that what He had done in the past and how He had set them free from everything that had kept them in bondage. BUT HE ALSO TOLD THEM TO GET RID OF VILE IMAGES AND DO NOT DEFILE YOURSELF WITH IDOLS (of this world). During these verses, God speaks through Ezekiel that He knew they had idols that they continually put before Him and did not get rid of them. But HE DID NOT PUNISH THEM because He was not going to allow the unbelievers to mock them and Him. HE SHOWED THEM MERCY, BUT ALSO HELD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR SINS.
20:10-26—God restrained His wrath on the Israelites despite them defiling His Sabbath. God brought up the rebellion of those in the original generation in the wilderness that came out of Egypt. He also let them know that He was aware that the next generation was following the same sins as their parents. He showed them mercy, but they were going to be held accountable for their sins. Basically, HE ALLOWED THEM TO GET SO CLOSE TO THE FLAMES OF HELL, THAT THE HORROR WAS SO GREAT THAT THEY WOULD KNOW THAT HE IS THE LORD.
20:33-38—God promises them that He will not let them stray so far away that they are gone forever. He does say that He will purge them of those who lead the rebellion against Him and try to cause chaos within the land.
WE SHOULD BE TERRIFIED OF OUR SINS AND BROKENNESS WHEN WE SEE HOW FAR AWAY FROM GOD THAT WE HAVE GOTTEN.
20:44—God lets them know, that they will know He is God when He responds out of who He is and not by how He feels about the evil they have committed.
Many people attend church on a regular basis with a misunderstanding that their simple, everyday life is pleasing to God. In reality, OUR EVERYDAY LIFE IS AN OFFENSE TO GOD. IT IS SOLELY BY THE POWER OF CHRIST AND HIS SACRIFICE THAT WE CAN FIND ACCEPTANCE INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
1. Coming to God cannot be a matter of convenience. It must be a priority and a spiritual necessity. We cannot say that we are true followers of Christ when we only occasionally seek Him. An inquiry now and then is not pleasing to God. Let’s be honest, the only reason most people do a quick inquiry or simple heartless prayer to God is to ease their own conscience. We must have a habit of opening our own hearts to Him and allowing Him to guide us and we become obedient to Him.
Hebrews 10:25--“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12— two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.10 if one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.11 Likewise; two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
According to a Gallup poll that was conducted, in 1992, 70 percent of Americans claimed to be regular attendees of a house of worship. By 2017 that number dropped to 55 percent.
2. Many times, we carry our sins with us, not to leave them at the cross, but we carry them because we don’t want to put them down. God knew the Israelites had no desire to lay their sacrifices and sins aside and forsake them while chasing after God. Likewise, He also knows that many of us have little desire to forsake our disobedience and sins for a lifestyle that is pleasing to Him.
3. We reject a ‘sabbath’ rest in God. We were given the Sabbath as a way for us to remember God and not be preoccupied by anything else. The Sabbath is supposed to be a sign of the magnificence of God’s creation and what He has done for us. Sadly, we reject it and replace it with idols. We take no time to acknowledge Him.