Who Is Going to Pray? If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2Chronicles 7:14)
And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. (Ezekiel 9:4)
SOLOMON PRAYED TO GOD in 2Chronicles for mercy toward Israel in case the people should sin against God. The Temple was brand-new, and the people were excited about serving God with this new prestigious temple that identified Israel’s connection to the one true God. Solomon didn’t want to lose everything in case the people should stray away from God. So, God responded in 2Chronicles 7:14 with a very generous promise of “fixing it” should Israel stray away from God. The wording is broad enough to cover all of God’s people in centuries to come: “MY PEOPLE.”
FAST FORWARD TO THE DEATH OF SOLOMON and Israel splits into two kingdoms over excessive taxation. Ten tribes to the north under Jeroboam and two tribes in the south, including Jerusalem and the Temple, under Solomon’s son: Rehoboam. (2Chronicles 9:31)
FAST FORWARD AGAIN TO THE TIME WHEN THE NORTHERN 10 TRIBES have so rebelled against God that He brings the Assyrian army down from the north and carries off the 10 northern tribes into Assyria and disperses them among the Assyrians. They are gone!
FAST FORWARD AGAIN, 150 YEARS, when the 2 southern tribes, Judah, have despised their Temple worship of Jehovah, the true God, and the Spirit of God is leaving the place. (Ezekiel 11:22-25) Jerusalem and the Temple are about to be destroyed by the Babylonian army, and the city drenched in blood. It’s over! The leaders, especially, are marked for death. Ezekiel is on the scene, watching in a vision what is going to take place.
BUT, ALL ALONG THERE HAS BEEN A GROUP OF PEOPLE who were grieved over the gross sin of their leaders and the general direction the nation had plunged into enormous sin against God in their idolatrous practices. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (2Peter 2:9)
THE IDOLATROUS LEADERS IN JUDAH WERE "DEAD MEN!" For them it was over. But before they were executed, the scribe with the ink horn was told to go throughout the city and put a mark on the foreheads of those who “sigh and cry for the abominations that were done in the city.” Their lives would be spared. If there was no mark on the forehead, that person was to be executed for gross sin against God. Ezekiel was seeing this through a vision he was having. Jeremiah saw it come to pass. The Bible Knowledge Commentary from Dallas Seminary comments on this:
“GOD THEN TOLD THE GUARDS TO FOLLOW THE SCRIBE THROUGH THE CITY and kill, without showing pity. Those not receiving the mark were to be destroyed. There was to be no distinction by age or sex; the judgment would come on the old and young, on men… women, and children.
“THEN GOD ORERED THE GUARDS, Begin at the sanctuary. Significantly the judgment first began in the house of God (cf. 1Peter_4:17). Since the evil had spread from the temple throughout the land (Ezekiel 8:1-18), the judgment would follow the same course. So the guards began with the elders, the priests whose backs were turned to God (Ezekiel 8:16). Their slaughter would defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain, but the temple had already been defiled with their idolatrous practices. The historical fulfillment of this is seen in 2Chronicles 36:17-19. (BKC)
IN ELIJAH'S DAY WHEN HE WAS LAMENTING TO GOD that he was the only one in Israel living for God, the Lord told him: Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. (1Kings 19:18) They weren’t making any noise about it; they weren’t out on the street corners giving out tracts. But they were there and God knew every one of them.
THE BIBLE RECORDS TIMES WHEN THE INTERCESSION OF ONE OR MORE has spared some people from severe judgment. Abraham pleaded with God on behalf of Lot when Lot and his family had strayed off down into Sodom and God was about to destroy the place.
Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake. (Genesis 18:29) Abraham was a Jew and that “Jewing down God” to ten righteous people worked ok with the Lord. But when judgment came to Sodom in a few days, the angels could not find ten righteous people and the place was burned up. Only Lot and two of his daughters escaped the fire. His wife, who lingered back longingly at what she was losing, was turned into a pillar of salt.
SO, WHERE ARE WE TODAY? Do you think we need to give ourselves to prayer over the condition our country is in today? What is God going to do with a nation that has slaughtered 60 million innocent babies and has enshrined into law a license to defy the law of God in our sexual behavior? God is watching even as He watched in the days of Elijah. Who is on the Lord’s side? Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 28, 2019 – TUESDAY
A.M. 1 Chronicles 23-25 P.M. John 11:1-17
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:22)
Song for Today:
There’s A Great Day Coming (2:26) (Fred Swan Group)