Thursday, January 08, 2015

Sin is Sin... Right?

In family worship, we have reading from the book of Ezekiel. There are a lot of deep and awesome truths found in that book, some of which unlock other controversies that we have yet to understand.

Throughout the coming weeks, I will write about the book of Ezekiel based on various points my family members bring out each night. I pray that you will blessed.

After a family reading of Ezekiel 8, my mom said that it seems there are some sins that God hates more than others. Note God's words to Ezekiel.
"He said furthermore unto me, 'Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations' " (verse 6).
Here is the background: Ezekiel, a civilian* captive in Babylon,was taken in vision back to Jerusalem. God wanted him to see the wickedness of Judah so that he could understand God's justice when Jerusalem was punished. The Lord takes his servant to each arena and shows him the sin being performed there.

But as God moves Ezekiel from place to place, He continues to say that the prophet will see greater abominations. So Ezekiel is shown Judah's sin in increasing order of evil. Each step was more and more abominable to the Lord.

Jesus did note that an inward sin is just as much sin as one physically performed. So hating is essentially killing, lusting is essentially cheating, etc. But the inward sin is less abominable to God than the outward one - according to Ezekiel's vision.

Furthermore, the inward sin has fewer repercussions than the outward sin. As my dad said, the consequences of hating someone and actually killing them are vastly different. Even our modern, secular government treats attempted murder differently from actual murder. In one case, the evil can be averted; in the other, the deed is done

One thing every young person should know is that there are indeed degrees of sin. One prime example is in the area of lust. Thinking it, pursuing it, and going through with it hold different consequences. If you ever find yourself down the path of sexual sin, remember - always remember - that it is not too late to turn back. There will be some damage done, but it does not have to be the worst sort.

A ray of hope is that God will not punish us for what we have not done; moreover that He will take us back no matter how far we have gone. Note that Judah is not yet punished. Crossing over to Jeremiah's book, we see that while Ezekiel sees impending doom, God is yet pleading with Judah.
"Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate (Jeremiah 44:4)." **
And He is yet pleading with you. Will you hear His voice, and harden not your heart?

*Ezekiel was not a part of or associated with the royal family like Daniel was. He was taken in the second round of captivities from Jerusalem, whereas Daniel was taken in the first. And thereafter, he dwelt as a civilian, not a royal official in the Babylonian government.
**This particular passage does not parallel with Ezekiel 8; but Jeremiah 38:14-23 and all of Jeremiah 32 do parallel with Ezekiel 8.

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