May 24, 2017
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
The fourth part of Ezekiel’s first Jerusalem vision has to do with Worshiping The Sun. All four parts of this vision have to do with idolatry. This part is found in Ezekiel 8:16:
So He brought me into the inner court of the LORD’s house, and there,
at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar,
were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the temple of the
LORD and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun
toward the east.
One thing that strikes me is that the first three times the LORD showed the prophet an instance of blatant idolatry, He would tell Ezekiel, “Turn again, you will see greater abominations than these.” (verses 6, 13, and 15). Why was each instance of idolatry greater than the one before? I think it may have to do with God’s greater disappointment, anger, and indignation at His people’s obvious affront to Him! After all, He had been blessing, guiding, and guarding Israel for centuries! And this is the thanks He gets? Remember, the LORD had plainly told them…
• …in Exodus 20:2 through 5 (the first of the Ten Commandments) – “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them, nor serve them….”
• …in Deuteronomy 6:14 and 15 – “You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people who are all around you (For the LORD your God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth.”
• …in Isaiah 42:8 – “I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images.”
…and many other such warnings!
It also seems from descriptions in this vision that, in each instance, the idolatry in which these Jews were engaged was ever closer to the temple proper! Keep in mind that in approaching the Temple, you went through four courts – the court of the Gentiles (non-Jews), the court of the women, the court of the men, and the priests’ court. Upon entering the Temple building itself, you were in the Holy Place, and then (divided off by the veil) there was the Holy of Holies where the glory of God was manifested above the Mercy Seat, between the cherubim! You would be ever closer to the presence of the LORD! That would make the idolatry mentioned in this chapter ever more abominable to God!
But considering our featured Scripture of Ezekiel 8 – Here is what Paul tells us about such worship in Romans 1:25: Those who practiced idolatry “…exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator….” The creature? It means that which is created! And, according to Genesis 1:14 through 18, God created the sun!
Remember Satan’s lie of Genesis 3:5 (International Standard Version)? “…your eyes will be opened and you’ll become like God, knowing good and evil.” Now, what is God’s highest created thing? It is man – men and women! For only of mankind does the Bible say, “…God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” So, logically, the highest form of idolatry is worshiping man in some form or way – for man, you might say, is next to God! If that is true, then any other created thing is less than man! So if you make some created thing your god, that puts you higher (greater) than God! To sum it up, any form of idolatry either makes man equal to or greater than the LORD God Himself! Is it any wonder that Worshiping The Sun is an abomination to God?
An added feature to this abominable idolatry is that these twenty-five men had their backs toward the temple of the LORD! But that is what idolatry is! Whatever you may put in the place that God should occupy in your life – the first place! (see Mark 12:30) – you are turning your back to Him!
What is the result of all this idolatry exposed in Ezekiel 8:5 through 16? Here is what God said in Ezekiel 8:17 and 18:
…they…have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed, they put the
branch to the nose [kind of like ‘thumbing our nose’ at someone or some-
thing]. Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will
I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not
So do not be caught Worshiping The Sun – or anything else besides the true God! How much better it is to be Worshiping The Son – the Lord Jesus Christ!