Something Must Be Done!
“And the Lord said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.’
Ezekiel 9:4 (NKJV UK)
As I write this there is another case of a young child murdered, apparently, by his parent. What a sad and strange world we have come to, with parents able and apparently willing to kill their own offspring. I don’t need to specify a particular case; there have been several this year alone.
We all laugh at the antics of ’elf and safety regulations that make a mockery of common sense and self-control. But then, when episodes like these happen we realise, regrettably, that common sense isn’t common, and self-control is so often tempered by what one can get away with.
As Christians we can view these and similar tragic events with a certain degree of detachment, and it becomes so easy just to condemn the guilty, bury the innocent dead and then go on our way to the next case. But that is not what our God expects us to do.
In times past the parish priest in the village was the one who monitored what went on in his patch. That changed centuries back, and villages have become towns. Sadly, what was put in place to monitor such things, has proven to be just as flawed. It was Jesus who warned us that evil men would wax worse and worse—and they have (women too, of course).
I’m sure I’ll be given no Brownie points for suggesting that Something Must Be Done! yet again. But what? And that’s the problem. Pretty much everything that has been tried down the centuries has failed, and man’s inhumanity to his fellow continues, not only unabated but seemingly with more frequency and ferocity.
I would like to give you an assignment tonight. Before you go to bed would you read Ezekiel 7 to 9? Read it in a modern translation so that you can follow clearly what is being said. We’re witnessing the end of a civilisation where law and order—and particularly religious law and order—seem to have reached rock bottom. Read what God says he’s going to do about it. It’s a vision; it’s all in symbols, with the man talking to Ezekiel saying that the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say ‘The Lord has forsaken the land; the Lord does not see’ (Ezekiel 9:9). But God does see. And he sighs and cries with us when we mourn for that state of our nation and our world. Not just our sorrowing, or our expressing sadness, but we need to be sighing and crying for the abominations all around us. And making sure that we are not becoming or remaining complacent. That’s not God’s way.
Merciful Father, we see the crimes reported in our land—just the tip of the iceberg as to what really goes on, we believe. Help us to engage with this horror, Father, in that we can join with those who at least sigh and cry before your throne, waiting for better times. In Jesus’ name pray.
Study by John Stettaford
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