In Ezekiel chapters 4 through 24 God lays out the sin of His people. The conclusion, they are guilty. Throughout these chapters God explains the judgment that will come upon them. He will destroy, the temple, the land, the people, everything. In 5:15, God says I will make Israel “a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror to the nations all around you, when I execute judgment on you in anger and fury, and with furious rebukes.”
These chapters are filled with blood and judgments. There are times when reading these chapters, I find myself saying, “okay God, I get the point, they are guilty.” But the more I read, the more overwhelmed I am with the sin and guilt of Israel. I find myself agreeing with God, they must be judged. While God’s judgment is fierce, it is just and good. The more we understand sin and it’s offense against God, the more we will hate it and the more we will embrace the judgment of God against it.
When reading these judgment-filled sin-laden chapters it’s easy to become arrogant and think how stupid Israel is for continuing in its sin. I found myself saying, “come on Israel, don’t you see how foolish you are.” It was when I said that, that God was gracious to reveal to me my sin and how foolish I am. For I am no different than Israel. I pursue selfish fleeting pleasures instead of the God-centered all-satisying joy-filled purposes of God. I regularly think about the building of my kingdom instead of the Kingdom of God.
Just like Israel I stand guilty before God. Just like Israel I need a Savior. Just like Israel I need the grace of God. Just like Israel, I need Jesus.
I have heard many people say they don’t enjoy reading the O.T. prophets because they are so full of judgment and sin. But what I have found is that the more I understand the sin of man and the judgment of God, the more I understand what Jesus did at the cross. Jesus took the wrath of God that I should have received and in return gave me peace with God. We must read the prophets, for in these prophetic books we see our sin, we see the wrath and judgment of God, and we see our desperate need for Jesus.