Willful Hardening

Journal Entry // October 28, 2021

And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.

Ezekiel 33:31 ESV

In my reading this morning, this passage was paired with Hebrews 3 which talks about the deceitfulness of sin in hardening our hearts. Which goes hand in hand with this passage from Ezekiel. For it’s the deceitfulness of sin and the hardening of my heart that brings me to a point where I am coming before the Lord to listen, but having no intention of obedience. Worse than that, I act out of my lust and desire for gain.

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Heart Idols

“Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?

Ezekiel 14:3 ESV

How do we separate ourselves from the Lord? By taking our idols into our heart and setting the stumbling block of iniquity before our face. This is a ominous passage that speaks to the seriousness with which God considers sin and iniquity hidden within and the lack of concern that we show with these hidden sins. What are the idols that I have taken into my heart? What is the stumbling block that is before my face?

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Room of Pictures

Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.'”

Ezekiel 8:12 ESV

I know this vision that God showed Ezekiel is much more complicated and detailed than what I am focusing on this morning, but this passage stuck out to me and started me thinking about my thought life and how I treat my mind. There are three phrases that I want to explore: in the dark, room of pictures, and the Lord does not see.

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Whoring Heart

then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from me and over their eyes that go whoring after their idols. And they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations.

Ezekiel 6:9 ESV

As the Lord is in the midst of pronouncing this judgement against Israel, he takes a moment to bring hope to the people. A hope that when God brings judgement and punishment, that the people will repent. The people will turn from their wickedness and embrace Jesus. A hope that I will see my sin as loathsome and an abomination before God. A hope that I will see that God has been broken over my sinful heart and that I too should be broken and turn back to him.

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Hard Forehead & Stubborn Heart

Ezekiel 3:7 ESV

But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.

As I’ve been thinking about this verse, there are a couple of perspectives that I can take to view this passage. I initially put this in the frame of reference of me being in the place of Ezekiel. That as the Lord brings opportunities for me to share his word of truth and speak into the lives of people, I should not be surprised when the words I speak are not heard or taken into account. That the rejection coming from my speaking God’s truth does not ultimately reflect on that person rejecting me, but on their rejection of God himself. It is my responsibility to speak God’s truth in obedience to his leading. It is not my responsibility to bring about change in a person’s life. Only God can change a person’s heart and bring about repentance and humility.

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