Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the leaders of Israel are doing with their idols in dark rooms? They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see us; he has deserted our land!’”Ez 8:12
When we are going through challenges and it seems like the Lord is not helping us, we turn to other things for comfort. often in the privacy of our own homes where no one can see us.
“Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and groan because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.” Ez 9:4
Our only hope is to be humble and grieve over our sins, and the sins of those around us. “Have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” (Luke 5:20-21)
The Pharisees weren’t grieving over anyone’s sins. Instead, they were indignant and condemned Jesus. They missed the point, how desperately people needed to be healed, and the real need was forgiveness of sins.
I am consumed with the need to be healed of certain things right now, but what I really need is to remember what my resolution was at the beginning of the year — to start each day with the recognition that I was a sinner, and Jesus rescued me from the slimy pit that I couldn’t get out of. I am still a sinner. If nothing else, my trials reveal the crassness of my sinful nature.
“Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him….But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with such scum? Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.'” (Luke 5:27-31)
I need to look for those who know they are sinners, and need to repent. How many grieve over their sin? There is always a balance between living without condemnation in the grace of God and having Godly sorrow, praying daily, “forgive me of my trespasses.”
Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God…And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses.” Hebrews 5:1-2
It was important for a high priest to understand the pressures and the agonies of being tempted with sin.
“While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” (Hebrews 5:7)
Notice that Jesus takes the same action as was mentioned in Ezekiel 9:4 — he was weeping and groaning. When trials reveal sins in my life, let me not go to worldly comforts. Here is the way I should grieve over my sin.
1. Recognizing the seriousness of my transgressions and my temptations, I need to plead to God with cries and tears to save me from this path that will lead to my spiritual death. There needs to be much more fervency in this, not just a checklist mentality like,” Okay, I prayed for God to forgive me, let’s move on.”
2. I need to be deeply reverent towards God.
3. I need to find a way to learn obedience from my challenges.