Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, the scattered remnants of Israel living among the ruined cities keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he gained possession of the entire land. We are many; surely the land has been given to us as a possession.’ So tell these people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You eat meat with blood in it, you worship idols, and you murder the innocent. Do you really think the land should be yours? Murderers! Idolaters! Adulterers! Should the land belong to you?’ Ezekiel 33:23-26(NLT)
This message was delivered by Ezekiel almost immediately after he was informed that Jerusalem had fallen; the city of David lay in ruins and the people were looking for some comfort that JHVH had not abandoned them.
But Ezekiel’s words didn’t sound like much comfort!
We have just celebrated Independence Day in America; flag waving and heart-stirring patriotism was in no short supply. The joyful and poetic reverberations of God Bless America rang throughout the day; the strength, power and robustness of U.S. freedom were proclaimed by politicians throughout the land.
And yet, I have a foreboding sense that the emperor is skinny-dipping again.
I am neither a prophet, nor the son of a prophet. However, when I read Ezekiel’s words, murder, idolatry, adultery, I cannot help but shudder on behalf of this country.
To Israel, God’s beloved and special covenant people, the Lord asked: Do you really think the land should be yours? Murderers! Idolaters! Adulterers!
If this isn’t a wakeup call to the land of free and home of the brave, I don’t know if we, as a nation, would ever regard anything God has said.
We are deaf to His voice, it seems.
We maintain, even take for granted, that this land is our birthright, our hard-fought homeland. And the murder toll rises like a tsunami; the idolatrous worship of money, fame and possessions roll like a tidal wave; our lifestyle adulterous fascination with sexual perversity overwhelms our culture like a sewer-unleashed.
Do we really think this land should be ours?
I believe deeply that, without a sweeping tidal wave of repentance, a national fresh wind of revival, this land cannot remain.
Call me the prophet of doom if you must, but I still believe in the judgment of Holy God, and that we are headed for it as certainly as my next breath belongs to Him.
It may be that the strains of God Bless America will be bringing the kind of blessing we didn’t expect – a trip to the woodshed with the Father.
Lord, in your mercy…
Like me, you cannot force anyone to repent and turn back to God.
But you can pray for yourself and your neighbor.
You can be Christ’s witness for righteousness!