“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.  But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.  So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.  I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live.  Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.  But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned.
“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them.  But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.  Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands,  because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.  Nevertheless, my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make a full end of them in the wilderness.
 “And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols.  I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules,  and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’  But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths.
“Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness.  But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.  Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries,  because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols.  Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life,  and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.
 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me.  For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings.  (I said to them, ‘What is the high place to which you go?’ So its name is called Bamah to this day.)
 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things?  When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you.
 “What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, ‘Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.’
(Ezekiel 20:1-32 ESV)
The Lord said to them:
I will not be inquired of by you.
I've been faith to Israel. I chose her from among all nations.
She turned away from me.
I have been faithful to you from the day I chose. I have sworn myself you over and over. through Canaan, through Egypt, through the wilderness and more.
And yet, and yet, all you want is to be like the nations around you.
God gave them
- a land flowing with milk and honey
- Let them out of Egypt
- gave them his statutes
- gave them rules to live by
- His Sabbaths as a sign between God and them
- He gave the things by which they might be sanctified and live forever
- Did not pour out his wrath on them
- Spared them time and again
- to not listen
- to hold to detestable things
- to worshipped the idols of Egypt
- rejected God's rules and statutes.
- The Sabbaths they profaned
- Continually rejected the Lord
- The children did not heed my warning, but walked in their own way
And so eventually God gave them what they wanted, rules and statutes that would not give them life, that would defile them, and bring about devastation. He gave them what they wanted rather than what they needed because they kept rejecting him and his ways.
And says the Lord, since you repeatedly do detestable things I WILL NOT BE inquired of by you.
This thing that you want most "to be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone". This will never happen. You will never be like the other countries.
I find it to be true you know. Even today Israel isn't like other nations. It holds a different place in the eyes of most. A nation of contention, of war and misery, even to this day.
I read these words though and I think...how different are we from Israel? I look at the church and I see how she wants to be so like the world around her, Women pastors, LGBQT issues, church splits, divisions, politics, people rejecting the parts of the bible they don't like, people elevating parts of the bible beyond the rest, church goes who appear to be faithful but in secret lust after their own desires. How different is the church from Israel?
And I fear for her.
I fear for God coming down in his wrath upon the church.
I do see the faithful. The ones who hold close to God and seek after his ways, but I do fear for the church as a whole. Wandering away, fighting, not seeking after God himself.
What will God in his wrath do?