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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: July 24th
“Behold the wicked abominations that they do.”
During the reign of Zedekiah, the prophet Ezekiel was upon the banks of the Chebar with the exiles who had been carried away in the days of Jehoiachin. Let us read one of his prophetic visions.
Ezekiel 8:2 , Ezekiel 8:3
Probably the image of Astarte, the queen of heaven, or the Syrian Venus; idolaters have usually had some favourite female idol, and the Romanists have followed closely in their track.
To set up the image of a licentious divinity in the temple itself was enough to move the Lord to withdraw his glorious presence from the temple for ever. Are there not also sins in us which might lead the Holy Spirit to depart from us?
They practised the degrading worship of the Egyptians, by whom loathsome animals and insects were reverenced.
Celebrating a most lascivious festival, too wicked to be described. It is terrible when vice is made a part of religion. The popish confessional leads to much the same results.
The leaders of the twenty-five courses of the priests had gone over to sun worship! This was worst of all.
Ezekiel 8:17 , Ezekiel 8:18
Such provoking sins demanded punishment. We cannot make idols for ourselves without storing up trouble for a future time. Flee idolatry.
“In wrath remember mercy.”
The divine messenger, who had shown to Ezekiel the sin of Jerusalem, afterwards showed him the punishment of that erring city.
God has messengers of vengeance, and these are fully armed to effect his terrible purpose. What would become of us if he were to send them forth at this moment?
Two destroyers were enough for Sodom, but Jerusalem must have six, one at each gate.
He was among the six, but not of them: he was distinguished by his priestly robe, and from him some hope of mercy might come. Who is this but our Prophet and Priest, the Lord Jesus?
To protect it, and avenge the defilements it had suffered.
Ezekiel 9:3 , Ezekiel 9:4
Our great High Priest keeps the book of life, and seals his own, so that no evil shall touch them. He is best fitted for this work, for he knows them that are his. Mercy’s pen does its work, and takes precedence of the sword of vengeance. Penitence is the peculiar mark of grace: those who sigh and cry on account of sin shall live.
Ezekiel 9:5 , Ezekiel 9:6
Dreadful words, “ begin at my sanctuary.” If the house of God is the starting- point of judgment, where will the ungodly and the wicked appear? Yet see how safe are those whom grace has set apart! Their deliverer goes before the destroyer, and saves his own.
Ezekiel 9:7 , Ezekiel 9:8
What gratitude filled the prophet’s heart when he saw that he was left; but he was not selfish, he began at once to intercede for the people. Do we attend to this?
Ezekiel 9:9 , Ezekiel 9:10
Sin may have become so aggravated that intercession is powerless, for wrath is determined.
See how faithful Christ is. Is he bidden to secure deliverance to the righteous remnant? He has so done, and exclaims, “Of all that thou hast given me, I have lost none.”
Though destruction stalk around us,
And th’ avenger marches by,
God’s own power and love surround us,
We are safe, for Christ is nigh.
Holy Ghost, with light divine,
Shine upon this heart of mine;
Chase the shades of sin away,
Turn my darkness into day.
Light up every dark recess
Of my heart’s ungodliness;
Cast down every idol throne,
Reign supreme, and reign alone.
the Second Week of Advent
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