Ezekiel 9 … Consider Him Who Sees Our Heart

Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with blood and the city is full of perversion; for they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!’…” (9:9).

We’ve probably all heard of that phenomena related to those who have gone through near-death experiences when “their life flashes before their eyes,” as though watching a movie reel whirling through key events of their life history.

Coupled with what we have learned through our study in the Old Testament, today had that sense of watching the history of Jerusalem flash before our eyes.

We have seen their past, chosen to be God’s people set apart for His glory.

“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth,” (Deuteronomy 14:2).

And today, we see that their great iniquity has progressed into their current lifestyle packed with perversion.

Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with blood and the city is full of perversion; for they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!’…” (9:9).

And we are shown their future, ushered in by their great iniquity and perversion, a future they had actually brought upon themselves as they had turned after their own ways and rejected Him Who Sees Our Heart.

…for they say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!’ 10 But as for Me, My eye will have no pity nor will I spare, but I will bring their conduct upon their heads,” (9:9-10).

Tragically their end is coming; and as Ezekiel is transported to Jerusalem, he sees it happen in what feels like real time in his vision from God. And it is just too much for him to bear.

As they were striking the people and I alone was left, I fell on my face and cried out saying, “Alas, Lord God! Are You destroying the whole remnant of Israel by pouring out Your wrath on Jerusalem?” (9:8).

Ezekiel had been the mouthpiece for God, declaring His righteous wrath that was sure to come; but when he sees the judgment of God for himself, he falls on his face in despair.

Judgment. We both want it, and withdraw from it. How many times have we asked God for justice in this life? But then as we ponder His perfect justice and the reality of hell, we somehow hope it’s not really as bad as all that. But wouldn’t that equate to our thinking that He really isn’t as Holy as all that? When we have a skewed vision of His Holiness then we have a skewed understanding of His justice. But truth be told, it really is beyond our human ability to fathom how utterly Holy He Is, and how utterly horrific His judgment will be.

And it was in God’s Heart to spare the children of Israel as He had told them repeatedly, had sent His warnings and offered numerous opportunities to turn their Heart to Him and be saved. But rather than hiding in the shadow of His protection, they deluded themselves into believing they would find shelter under the darkness of their idolatry and could somehow hide themselves from Him Who Sees Our Heart.

Then He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land,’” (Ezekiel 8:12).

Consider Him Who Sees Our Heart

He Sees those who sigh and moan, not for the condition of their city, but for what had caused their demise and despair: the abominations against Holy God. He Sees those who are offended by sin, distressed by disobedience, and brokenhearted over the infidelity of their people. He Sees those who demonstrate, through their intense sorrow over such intense abominations, that they understand His Holiness. He Sees those who acknowledge that He alone is worthy of adoration and worship. He Sees those who have placed their faith in Him.

And from His temple, the God of Israel called for His angel to go throughout the city and mark those who sigh and moan, not in an outward display of religiosity, but from within their soul, for He Sees Our Hearts.

Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst,” (9:3-4).

He Sees Our Heart, not our appearance.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7).

He Sees Our Heart; and He knows all our secrets.

If we had forgotten the name of our God
Or extended our hands to a strange god,
21 Would not God find this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart
, (Psalm 44:20-21).

He Sees Our Heart, and He is not at all impressed with mere lip service.

“You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men,’”
(Matthew 15:7-9).

He Sees Our Heart, and He is in search of a Heart that is moved to sigh and groan at the mere thought of sinning against Him. And all those who are so moved to love and trust Him, are marked forgiven and brought into the Kingdom of Him Who Sees Our Heart.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, (Colossians 1:13-14).

How do we respond to Him Who Sees Our Heart?

We begin by agreeing with His Word: our Heart is deceptive and desperately sick.

“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
10 “I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds,
(Jeremiah 17:9-10).

The disease of our Heart is incurable in our own efforts. But oh His grace and mercy! As we continue through the writings of Ezekiel, we will read of His promise to again gather His people to Himself that He would give them a new Heart and put His Spirit within them.

“For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances,” (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

His promise to give us a new Heart has been fulfilled for all those who have placed their faith in Christ.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17).

But alas, the habits of the old man die hard, and the sin of pride still works in our Heart to convince us to hold onto our rights. Oh, let us ask Him Who Sees Our Heart to weigh our motives and lead us into His Truth.

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts,
(Proverbs 21:2).

And the place He will do that is in His Word. Oh, Lord, please use Your Word to show us what You See, for You alone See Our Heart.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do, (Hebrews 4:12).

Lord, we know we cannot hide from You. Please forgive us when we try. Please cut through our thoughts and intentions that are hidden in the darkness of our own works and opinions, that we would sigh and groan as we acknowledge and confess our sin against You, Holy God, that You would create in us a clean Heart.

For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me,
(Psalm 51:3-4, 10).

Lord, we so need You to bring us to the light of Your Truth, to cleanse and renew us by Your Holy Spirit. Lord, we ask You to work in us that we would be ruled by our love for You and not a love of self or secret sins. Please Lord, empower us to submit to Your lead that sin would not rule in our lives, so that  everything You See in Our Heart would be acceptable in Your sight.

Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer,
(Psalm 19:13-14).

Lord, we confess we desperately need Your Holy Spirit to keep us from going after the world, that we would strive to pursue and please You as we walk in faith and obedience. And Lord, should You tarry, and the day comes when our life flashes before Your eyes, more than anything we would desire that when You See Our Heart, we would be marked as one who pleases You.

 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:6).

Let’s Grow Together!

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