Monday, September 10, 2012

judgment on leadership

Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.
Ezekiel 22:26

God takes the leadership of Jerusalem to task, holding them accountable for not teaching the nation to obey the covenant and worship the Lord. He will judge the guilt of everyone, but specific judgments will come to the leaders, especially the temple priests. That is the message Ezekiel has for the leaders' sinful misdirection.

The prophet holds the priests accountable for sins, specifically four ways in which they misled the people. The first was the way in which they personally disregarded the law of God. The indictment is that they violently disobeyed the Word of God and deliberately profaned all that which God called holy. There was no respect for God's Word, for the truth that He revealed, of for His prescribed manner of worship or conduct. This was shown by their overt idolatry in the temple.

The second indictment was their loss of distinct holiness. The holy and the common were no more separate because nothing was holy anymore. And God cannot be worshiped without His primary virtue of holiness. If He is common, He is not God. This fits with the third charge against the priests, that they no longer made a distinction between the clean and the unclean. There were no more lifestyle requirements when there was no more worship commitment.

The final charge was that the priests no longer kept Sabbath. They stopped seeing the Sabbath Day as holy to the Lord. In every command and teaching of the Law, they profaned the name of God. That is why they would be severely judged and held accountable to Him because they did not act alone. They led the nation to do the same things.

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