In Ezek 14:1-11, the elders of Israel came to Ezekiel and sat before the prophet. When they arrived, they had idols in their heart.
These Were Elders with Idols in their Heart
- They set up idols in their heart, v.3, 4, 7. According to Mk 7:20-23, this is where idolatry begins. Covetousness is idolatry, Col 3:5.
- They put the stumbling block before their face, v.3, 4, 7. In Ezek 7:19, the stumbling block before their face was their silver and gold. In Rev 2:14, the stumbling block was the idolatry and fornication in Moab. Stumbling blocks are visible like a golden calf, or an idol. A stumbling block is the thing in the way that causes people to fall. Even something good, like the ark of the covenant, can become a stumbling block when you trust it rather than the Lord, 1 Sam 4:3-5. In 2 Ki 18:4 Israel had made an idol out of Nehushtan, Moses’ serpent on a pole.
- They separate from the Lord, v.7. People like the Pharisees, Karl Marx, Mohammed, and others are all anti-God. They may have a god, but he is not the Creator, the God of the Bible.
- Then they come to the prophet, v.7, 1. It’s strange that they would come to the prophet to inquire of the Lord in their spiritual condition. So the Lord asked, “Should I be inquired of by them”? v.3. The answer is “No”. God wouldn’t answer Saul, for instance, 1 Sam 14:37; 28:6.
The Lord’s Response to these Elders
- The Lord answers him, v.7. Dr Ruckman said “If you come to the Bible looking for an alibi to sin or justify yourself, God Almighty will let you find the exact verses that will damn you”. Footnote in the Ruckman Reference Bible, p. 1084. Most religions and cults get their proof texts from the Bible.
- The Lord answers him according to his idols, v.4. See Jud 18:5-6, where the idolatrous priest answered the Danites according to their desire. Have you noticed people saying, “The Lord spoke to me and said…”? If they have an idol in their heart, the answer from the Lord will be their fall.
- The Lord sets his face against him, v.8. Look at the warnings in Lev 20:3-6.
- The Lord will make him a sign and a proverb, v.8. For a man who is a sign see Acts 5:34-36. And for a woman who is a proverb see Lk 17:32.
- The Lord will cut him off, v.8.
The Lord’s Warning to these Elders
- The Lord deceives that prophet, v.9. Just as he deceived Ahab’s prophets with a lying spirit in 1 Ki 22:19-25.
- He will stretch his hand upon him and destroy him, v.9. Just as he killed Hananiah in Jer 28:15-17.
- That I may take Israel in their own heart, v.5. Israel goes down with their idolatrous heart.
- Because they are all estranged from me through their idols, v.5. Both Israel and Judah go into captivity for their idolatry, 2 Ki 17:16-21; Ezek 6:9; 2 Ki 23:26-27.
- They shall bear their iniquity, v.10.
- The punishment of the prophet shall be as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him, v.10. The prophet and his followers both get punished, like the Danites were punished for their idolatry in Dan, Jud 18:14-15, 19-20, 30. See 1 Ki 12:28-29, 2 Ki 17:7-12.
- That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, v.11. The Lord destroys out the wicked idolaters to leave a remnant for himself.
- Neither be polluted anymore with their transgressions. See Zech 13:1-4
- That they may be my people, and I may be their God. This ultimate objective gets accomplished by the fulfillment of the new covenant with Israel.
The Lord’s Instructions to these Elders
- Repent, v.6. Repentance is always the key, Lk 13:3, 5; Acts 26:20. Sadly, repentance is gone from modern preaching, 2 Pet 3:9.
- Turn yourselves from your idols, v.6. This is exactly what the Thessalonians did, 1 Thes 1:9
- Turn away your faces from your abominations, v.6. Josiah cleaned house when he was king, 2 Ki 22:15-20; In 2 Ki 23:1-20. However, all these abominations came back under his successors to the throne.
Conclusion to Idols in their Heart
If you have idols in your heart, get them out and turn to the Lord and worship him only. The idols will be your downfall.