Restoring Covenantal Worship

Ezekiel 20:33–44 (NKJV)

33 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. 36 Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the Lord God.

37 “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

39 “As for you, O house of Israel,” thus says the Lord God: “Go, serve every one of you his idols—and hereafter—if you will not obey Me; but profane My holy name no more with your gifts and your idols. 40 For on My holy mountain, on the mountain height of Israel,” says the Lord God, “there all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, shall serve Me; there I will accept them, and there I will require your offerings and the firstfruits of your sacrifices, together with all your holy things. 41 I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles. 42 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers. 43 And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings with which you were defiled; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight because of all the evils that you have committed. 44 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel,” says the Lord God.’ ”

This passage speaks of the judgment coming to Israel, but also the restoration.  The particular focus of this passage is the worship, profane and holy, that God will observe.  He reminds them of the covenant between God and man, and reminds them that they will be measured.  He calls them from profane worship and calls them to the righteous worship that occurs on the holy mountain in the temple of God.  He warns that their idol worship will send them into captivity, but that He will call them back to the land of promise where they will worship Him and Him alone.

What is the object of your worship today?  Are you a workaholic that worships at the altar of commerce and profit?  Are you a sports addict that cannot miss a game?  Are you a hobbyist that invests heavily in something to occupy your time?  Do any of these get in the way of your worship of the Almighty God?  If so, God is calling to you put Him first and lay aside your idols.  Perhaps you do not literally bow down or offer sacrifices to a molded image or a shrine, but to give anything more of your time and love than God borders on idolatry.  Don’t give anything or anyone more of yourself than you give the Lord.

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