Did you know cashpoints are mentioned in the Bible? Ezekiel 8:7 says that God led Ezekiel to a ‘hole in the wall’ (boom, boom).
But seriously, in a huge vision, Ezekiel was allowed to look through a wall and take a sneaky look at what was happening inside the temple.
The temple was filled with ‘evil beasts’ and 70 elders who were saying, ‘God doesn’t see us, he’s LEFT us’. In a terrifying picture, Ezekiel could see all kinds of filthy creatures crawling across the floor and God shows him that everyone is ‘worshiping at the shrine of their own idol’. In other words, they’d picked whatever they wanted to worship and had each built their own altar to it. The incense was rising up and combined with the darkness, the stench, the idolatry and the filthy beasts crawling around, it must have felt like a scene from Hell. If it was me, I’d have run a mile.
As the vision continues, Ezekiel can see women mourning the God of Tammuz and then he gets to see another 25 men who’d given up completely. They were still inside the temple but were actually worshipping the sun instead.
To me, this is BIG! Is it a bit like some parts of the church now? We’re surrounded by a narrative in the media that says, ‘Look at the mess of the world, the Church is dead, give up people, God has LEFT the building’.
That sense of hopelessness invades hearts, till in the end, it’s easier to just turn away and worship something else. Oh people stay within the church (just like the 70 elders) but their backs are turned and they’re worshipping the sun instead.
Ezekiel is a tough read, but despite all the ferocity, it still sends one clear message – be faithful. When everyone around you is giving up or worshipping something else, stand STRONG.
When people say, ‘God is done with you, done with this world’, let something rise up inside that says, ‘No…God is NOT done with me or this world’.
Despite what it might look like, God has NOT left the building. Don’t give up.