Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”
To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple. Then He said to them, “Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” And they went out and killed in the city.
So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?”
Then He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, ‘The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!’And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head.”
Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, “I have done as You commanded me.”
There was a mark placed on those who wept over the evils they saw in the city.
“…put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”…”
That mark spared them.
“… do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.”…”
Believers have a mark that spares them the final judgment brought by sin. They have the blood of Jesus shed to cover their sin. Those who do not have the mark are destroyed.
And they had to begin with the church, in the sanctuary. How sad!! Is there a parallel today? Is there need to cleanse the church? Sin practices had crept into the temple and spread from there. The cleansing began there with destruction of those who did not have the mark. It began with the elders who led the people astray.
“… they began with the elders who were before the temple. …”
Judgment was meted out to those who did not accept the knowledge of God and his ways. They knew and rejected him to turn to other gods. They said,
“…‘The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!’…”
We hear this today, taught to our children if we do not watch, that God is not here, He created and left us. Or, God may or may not exist. There is knowledge of God that is rejected and be sure what is sown will be reaped.
“…I will recompense their deeds on their own head.”…”
In the beginning, the penalty for disobedience and rejection of God’s words was given and it stands for eternity, the penalty of death.
We also see, however that those who accepted that knowledge of God and lived by it received the mark that allowed the destruction to ‘pass over’ them. And the same is true for all eternity, the ‘mark’ of the blood of Jesus covers us giving us freedom from the curse of death. Life begins for eternity when we accept the mark of Jesus’ blood. We have not rejected the knowledge of God, we have received it and it is based upon faith, not whether or not we ‘feel’ him, or ‘see’ him. He is in the land and He has not forsaken us. His promises are true and amen. Final. And so judgment was carried out even against the plea of Ezekiel.
“… My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head.”…” and “…“I have done as You commanded me.”…”
God is not mocked – what he says he will do he does. Another trait, another facet of the nature of God. He says he will pardon those who accept his son, he says he will judge those who reject him.
“…My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head.”…” and “…do not come near anyone on whom is the mark…”
Are we covered by Jesus’ blood shed for our sins? If so we do not have fear of God’s judgment. Say with Paul in Philippians 1:21 NKJV –
“For to me, to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.”