Ezekiel 8:14–18

Read the passage.

The Lord shows Ezekiel two more abominations that are occuring in His temple. The first is a group of women weeping for Tammuz at the north gate of the temple court. This one needs a bit more context than we are given. Tammuz was a pagan deity associated with the fields and the underworld. His myths are similar to the story of Persephone and Hades, except he plays both roles: Tammuz makes the vegetation grow until he dies in the summer heat and goes to the land of the dead. His adherents ritually mourn his passing until he returns to the land of the living to bring the greenery back with the wet season. Time and again the Lord has shown He brings the rain and makes it stop, and He has the power over life and death as well. How quickly the people forget the truth.

The final abomination was surely the worst for Ezekiel, because it involved not the laity, but priests consecrated to the Lord like himself. At least, that’s what they should be, in the inner court of the temple. Instead of offering sacrifices to the Lord, or facing the temple in prayer, they have turned their backs upon the Holy Place and are bowing down to worship the rising sun. Think of it! It’d be like finding out the pastor of your church was actually a Buddhist.

With all this happening in and around His own house, the very place He makes His dwelling on earth, is it any wonder that God is angry with His people? But it wasn’t only this, but also that the land was filled with violence and bloodshed. Injustice abounded, as the Lord had prohibited, and so He will punish the wicked and He will not spare them.

Grant us a righteous indignation against our sin, that we may repent of it.

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