Pagan Practices in the Temple

I believe that most everyone remembers Jim Jones of the Peoples’ Temple Church, or at least have read about him or saw the movie about him. It is said that the reason he had so many followers when he began his ministry was because he had concern for people; a genuine conce … More

Immorality

 

As the Lord took hold of Ezekiel and showed him unusual and symbolic visions, it was his responsibility to relay God’s word to the people to whom he ministered-and this was surely no easy task!

Some scholars believe the “image of jealousy” related to the Adonis-Festival which was a sex-oriented religion. The “women weeping for Tammuz” was also related to the fertility rites. Tammuz was probably the Syriac name for Adonis. According to the myth, the god died each year and was resurrected. His death was commemorated with weeping and his return was hailed with joy. The women, in their various activities, would yield themselves to prostitution.

Immorality and injustice go hand in hand. People who are depraved and licentious in their personal living standards do not really desire justice for all people. They may pretend to do so in order to “present a good front,” but their claims are only pretense. When people reject the God of righteousness, unbridled indulgences of all kinds usually follow closely.

The truth for today is that we become like that which we constantly admire and worship. If our God has no character, there is no constraint to personal morality. God’s command to his people was that they should be holy because He was holy. We must be careful not to spend so much time thinking about the benefits of creation that we lose sight of the Creator.

Application

 

The only way I will ever be able to keep my mind and thoughts pure and my actions right is to keep them washed in the Word of God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ezekiel 8:7-18 (English Standard Version)

And he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, there was a hole in the wall. Then he said to me, "Son of man, dig in the wall." So I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance. And he said to me, "Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here." So I went in and saw. And there, engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up. Then he said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, 'The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.'" He said also to me, "You will see still greater abominations that they commit." Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD, and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O son of man? You will see still greater abominations than these." And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east. Then he said to me, "Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence and provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them."

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