Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?
“Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.” ’
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations. For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the LORD will answer him by Myself. I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
“And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I the LORD have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired, that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”
Psalm 139:23 – Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
comes to mind as this passage is read and sinks into the soul. Are there idols set up in our hearts that have displaced the Lord from our awareness, have we put anything before us that would cause us to stumble into sin? He promises to illuminate our knowledge and understanding that we can see and repent and turn from that which separates us from him. Two requirements given here, repent and turn away from that which separates us from him. The promise that follows is that we then become his people and he will be our God.
Who does the work? He has, does and will. The blood of Jesus on the cross cleanses us from all sin. We see our sin condition, we repent and turn from it and we confess that he is Lord, the rest is his doing and in that we can rest for then we become his people and he becomes our God.
“…(they) may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”…”