Today’s reading from Ezekiel 14 is particularly critical of the idolatry that lives in a person’s heart. It is evil to put on a facade of obeying God on the outside and loving something else more on the inside. D.A. Carson identifies this in the following paragraph:
…the peculiar expression “set up idols in their hearts,” repeated several times with minor variations in 14:1-8, reeks of duplicity. Publicly there may be a fair bit of covenantal allegiance, but heart loyalty simply isn’t there. To set up idols in the heart is to separate oneself from the living God (14:7).1
That is a harsh indictment from Ezek. 14:8 and it cause me to take inventory of my own heart. Carson goes on to say,
That danger is no less treacherous today than in Ezekiel’s time. Somehow we manage to adhere to our creedal profession, but if anything goes wrong our undisciplined rage shows that we maintain little real trust in the living God: our secret idol is comfort and physical well-being. We attend church, but rarely do we pray in private or thoughtfully read the Word of God. We sing lustily at missionary conventions, but have not shared the Gospel with anyone for years. And deep down we are more interested in our reputation, or in sex, or in holidays, than we are in basking in the awesome radiance and majesty of God. 2
I found the last section of Ezekiel 14 particularly interesting. God tells Ezekiel that even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were present in Jerusalem, judgment would still take place. (Ezek. 14:12-23)
The reasoning presupposes the theology of Genesis 18: God may spare a wicked city or nation for the sake of the just who reside there. But where wickedness overflows, not even the presence of Noah (spared from the Flood), Job (declared “blameless” and “upright,” Job 1:1), and Daniel (Ezekiel’s contemporary, serving in the Babylonian courts, renowned for his piety) will stay the disaster that God ordains.3
Psalm 55 is a beautiful and timely psalm for me this morning. Ps.55:1-3 is an expression of my heart. In my case, the enemy is Satan and his desire for my destruction.
Ps. 55:4-5 express the spiritual/emotional pain of the psalmist and Ps. 55:6-8 defines the panic of his heart. In spite of the pain and fear, the psalmist responds in faith in Ps. 55:16—
“But I call to God, and the Lord will save me” and the last part of Ps. 55:23—
“…But I will trust in you.”
The verse that I will carry with me today is from Psalm 55:22:
Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
1 D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: a Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word., vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998), 25.