For an introduction to this series, click here.
Sept. 28, 2006
In this passage, God shows Ezekiel a vision of the sin of Israel. God reveals to him very specific details about the idolatry that was going on in Jerusalem. Ezekiel even mentions one man, Jaazaniah the son of Shaphat, by name that he saw participating in a pagan ritual in a secret chamber below the temple in Jerusalem.
I honestly don't know who Jaazaniah was, but he was apparently quite prominent. Remember the context of Ezekiel's prophecy: he is writing to exiles, to people who experienced the devastation of the fall of Jerusalem. They wondered why God was allowing such terrible things to happen. They thought God was being unjust. In effect, God says, "Am I unjust? Look at what was happening: pagan rituals beneath the temple! You abandoned me long before I abandoned you."
One important passage comes immediately after Ezekiel mentions Jaazaniah:
Then he (God) 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)
These people thought God had forgotten them and their evil deeds, but He had not, and God was planning to destroy the people for what they were doing, which He describes beginning in chapter 9.We cannot hide our actions from God, and one day He will reward us for what we have done, and because He knows all and sees all, our reward from Him will be perfectly just. That's a sobering thought, but it is true, and it is something we have to come to grips with.