Paul wrote it, 2 Timothy 3:13, to a young preacher. “Evil men and seducers shall wax (become) WORSE AND WORSE, deceiving, and being deceived.” Today Ezekiel chapter 9 illustrates that truth perfectly!
There, by means of His Glory, God “transports” Ezekiel from Babylon to Jerusalem, to the Temple there, prior to its destruction by the Babylonian army. By the way, a distance of nearly 900 miles.
And Ezekiel is shown (by the Lord God Nonetheless) the sins of Judah!
The chapter is a veritable catalogue of some of the wicked practices in which God’s people were participating. And here God’s Heart is broken, His Holy Anger aroused, and His Message to future generations cemented.
By the way, if one has ever seen the “Glory of God” (Ezekiel did in the Book’s opening chapter) … he will immediately know the “Glory of God” if he ever sees Such again! Ezekiel 8:1-4 beautifully illustrates that fact! (“Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of FIRE: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of BRIGHTNESS, as the colour of AMBER. And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north …. and, behold, the GLORY OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL was there, ACCORDING TO THE VISION I SAW IN THE PLAIN”) At least this is true if a man is “right” with God.
Four “stages” of degradation are now shown to Ezekiel, God being appalled! God emotionally affected? Yes! (Five times in the Gospels we are told that “Jesus marveled!” He also at times rejoiced, wept, and became angry!)
In Verse 5 God points to an “idol” (“image”) placed in the very Temple of God! God calls it an “image of jealousy” because that’s the feeling it stirred within His Spotless Heart! (The Hebrew noun here translated “image” is twice translated “idol” in the Old Testament, “semel.”) God is a Holy, Jealous God … Exodus 34:14 teaches. “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is JEALOUS, is a jealous God.”
In verse 10 a group (some of whom Ezekiel gives their names) is seen worshipping “animals!” Filthy animals! Creations of God! Read Romans 1:25 … “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.” Precisely! (We are on the verge of this sin in America today, some are. For example … valuing whales more than unborn babies!)
In Verse 13 a god’s name is given, only here in all the Bible, “Tammuz.” Representing a filthy, vile religious system that believed their deity died and rose again, in fact … does so every year with the changing of seasons. Winter (death) into spring (life)! “He (the Lord) said also unto me (Ezekiel), Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations (worse and worse) that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat WOMEN WEEPING FOR TAMMUZ.”
Then finally, in verse 16, sun worship! Heathen to the core! “And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty (25) men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and THEY WORSHIPPED THE SUN toward the east.” Abominable, to the dear Lord!
So, what can God do?
Judgment … “Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.” The chapter’s last verse, 18.
The downward spiral, digression, of iniquity!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
What a graphic chapter!