(For Unit 3, Lessons 1 and 2, there is no video. The following notes were shared in class for discussion.)
Ezekiel 8 and 9 show us what the Israelites were doing in Jerusalem and even at the Temple of the Lord. Idolatry was rampant. It was a horrible offense against the Lord who had shown Himself and His power to His people.
One of the more encouraging verses of these chapters is Ezekiel 9:4, quoted in the image above. During all the idolatry, there were some who were grieved by it and not participating. This is a reminder to us today, to keep our focus on the Lord and turn away from any type, any form of idolatry.
Consider the questions below:
- Why did the Israelites let themselves get caught up in all of this idolatry?
- What were they thinking??
- How did they get caught up in it?
- Could it happen to us too?
Here are four ways that idolatry can infiltrate worship .
1. When PAGAN PRACTICES ARE A PART OF THE CULTURE.
2. WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE DISOBEY HIS COMMANDS
3. WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE CRAVE VISIBLE EXPRESSIONS OF WHAT THEY WORSHIP
4. WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE FIND HIM IRRELEVANT
Consider the following questions and discuss them if you are studying Ezekiel with a group.
To whom or to what are you attributing honor, worship, and power?
Where are you placing your trust?
What satisfies you?
Is there anything about which you would say: “I can’t live without it?
Watch yourselves and don’ t let the cultures of the world around creep into your worship.
In the New Testament, we learn that idolatry included not only the worship of creatures or creations of man and false gods. Idolatry, which gives devotion and priority to anything or anyone besides God, also includes giving any human desire a precedence over God’s will.
We must realize that SELF can be an idol! When we want what we want. Our way. Our time frame. When what God says and wants from us is relegated to the lowest priority.
Christians who believe in God and have trusted Jesus for salvation can be guilty of saying there is a God, but He’s not doing anything for me. (That’s the attitude that God is irrelevant.)
What does the Lord do for us? The following names of the Lord reveal His character and involvement in our lives.
WHO IS LIKE OUR GOD? NO ONE SHARES HIS NAME OR NATURE!
Each of these names of the Lord shows us that He is all that we need. We certainly don’t need to turn to idols! And God’s desires for us are so far greater than any of our own self-centered desires!
Our God is:
1. YHWH – YIREH – Jehovah Jireh – The Lord who Provides – Gen. 22:13-14
2. YHWH – ROPHE – Jehovah Rapha – The Lord who Heals – Ex. 15:25-27
3. YHWH – NISSI – Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is my Banner – Ex. 17:15, 16
4. YHWH – MEKADDISHKEM – Jehovah Mekaddishkem – The Lord who Sanctifies – Ex. 31:12-13
5. YHWH – SHALOM – Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is Peace – Judges 6:24
6. YHWH – SABAOTH – Jehovah Sabaoth – The Lord of Hosts – 1 Sam. 7:17:45
7. YHWH – TSIDKENU – Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord is our Righteousness – Jer. 23:5,6
8. YHWH – ROHI – Jehovah Rohi – The Lord is my Shepherd – Ps. 23:1
9. YHWH – SHAMMAH – Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is There – Ez. 48:35