Ezekiel 4, Picture The Affects Of Sin
1. Sin Separates Us From God (v1-3)
2. Sin Adds Up Over Time (v4-8)
3. Sin Starves Us (v9-17)
4. Sin Is Gross (v12-15)
Ezekiel 4, Picture The Affects Of Sin
Ezekiel 4, Picture The Affects Of Sin
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As we look at Ezekiel chapter 4 and the beginning of Ezekiel's prophecies here early in the chapters, Ezekiel is one of those profits that God often uses in acting out the prophecies that he was giving. Ezekiel is one of those that God used often, too.
Speak to the people, and in doing so he gave him some action to take some visual illustration of that and the the pictures that God gives.
As to his prophets in prophetic works and ministry are noteworthy and prominent, and Ezekiel has a.
Few that are.
And one of them for us to consider here is.
As equal chapter.
Four, I've titled the message this evening.
Picture the effects of sin.
Picture the effects of sin.
Now, that might not be something that we are eager to picture, but it is something that is important for us to picture.
It is something that is important for us to visualize and understand.
And the effects of sin upon the life of God's people.
At this time, as Ezekiel is prophesying, he is speaking to Jews who are in captivity sometimes.
He wasn't speaking.
You'll notice back in chapter three of Ezekiel that God actually took away his voice, made him mute, and said you're only going to be able to speak when I tell you to speak something, and so some of the prophecies that Ezekiel.
Lives are acted out. Some of them are spoken, and so he is speaking sometimes, but he's addressing these Jews who have been taken captive from Jerusalem and are in Babylon along with Ezekiel, but they're living in a state of denial you might remember in Jeremiah Chapter 25.
That Jeremiah wrote a letter to the captives in Babylon.
And he said, hey guys, you need to stop behaving like you are going to be coming back soon.
You need to figure out this is what the Lord has said.
70 years of captivity are ordained for Israel and so you need to build houses, you need to plant vineyards, you need to get married and have children.
And, you know, live a normal life, get settled down there in Babylon.
And but they were living in this state of denial, and so Jeremiah sent that prophecy to them, that instruction to them.
And it's during that time that Ezekiel is also there in Babylon, giving similar messages to the people but but they're still in this idea, believing the false prophets that Babylon is going to be overthrown.
You might remember in Jeremiah Chapter 28, the Hannaniah said within two years Babylon is going to be broken and jehoiachin and all those who were taken captive are going to be brought back here.
This was in that timeframe.
This was, you know, around that time Hananiah was talking about Ezekiel and the people there around him that he was prophesying, too.
But they were still not hearing from God.
They were still in this state of denial, even though denial is in Egypt.
They were in Babylon, but they were in denial.
And and they were refusing to accept the truth.
That what had happened to them was the work of God, the hand of God as a result of their rebellion against God.
And it's really appropriate to consider that, because this is the state that any of us can be in when we are living in sin.
When we have sin, that is.
Harbored in our life that is protected and fostered and hidden in our lives.
We live in a state of denial, just like the children of Israel did.
They're in captivity in Babylon, and so Ezekiel is.
Anointed by the Lord to try to address this really tough group of people who are convinced they are not wrong and they don't need to repent and that God is going to save them any time because they deserve it and they are worthy of that work and Ezekiel's message is no you need.
To listen to the Lord and repent and get right with him and settle in because that is what God has you here for.
Quick look at the outline of the book of Ezekiel. You can divide it into three parts. He first of all declares the fall of Jerusalem for the 1st 24 chapters, and we see that tonight in Chapter 4, as well as all of the surrounding chapters.
He spends a lot of time this is portraying and talking about the fall of Jerusalem under King.
Z, what's his name?
And so King Zedekiah, the final king of Jerusalem.
This was that fall of Jerusalem that Ezekiel is prophesying about, that when Babylon comes for the third time to conquer Jerusalem and take all the way, take the rest of the people away as captives, and so Ezekiel.
Like Jeremiah, he's prophesying during the same time period as Jeremiah, and as Jeremiah is inside the walls of Jerusalem during this.
Siege as equal is in Babylon, prophesying the same message but to those who are in captivity, and again seeking to convince them they have rebelled against God.
That's why they're in the condition they're in.
They're not going to be returned to Jerusalem.
In fact, Jerusalem is going to be conquered and completely wiped out because.
Of their rebellion against God.
Well then, in chapters 25 through 32, he looks beyond Israel and Judah and pronounces judgment on the other nations, the surrounding nations.
And so we'll see that. And then in chapter 33 through 48, he gives hope that there's hope of restoration, even though there is all this judgment and gods wrath has been stored up against them and is being poured out.
That there is going to be a restoring and a really glorious look at the millennial Kingdom and the things that God has in store for the nation of.
Israel, here's a quick look at those things on the timeline and looking at the time frame of Ezekiel. Jeremiah began to prophecy around 6:25 BC under the reign of Josiah, but it was downhill from there and those final kings, and so Babylon rises to power in 612.
In 605, Babylon conquers Judah the first time takes some people captive. The Prophet Daniel was probably taken captive during that first time in 605 BC. Then the King rebels again.
This Babylon again. So in 597 BC Jehoiachin we talked about him on Sunday, he rebels, and so he is conquered.
Or he he surrenders to the King of Babylon in 597, and Babylon takes more people captive, including Ezekiel at that time.
Around 593 is when Ezekiel begins to prophecy, and then in 586 is that final conquering of Jerusalem by Babylon. And so he prophesized all the way up until that time and then beyond.
Into around 571 BC. So you can look at this and you.
Can understand there.
Was like a trio of prophets at work here.
You had Jeremiah in Jerusalem, you had Ezekiel amongst the captives of Babylon, and then you had the prophet Daniel, who is in the government of Babylon, in his position in authority.
There beside the king, and so all three of these God is using in different ways and speaking through and working through.
And if you had your choice, you know, which one would you want to be, would you want to be in, you know, under siege?
With Jeremiah or would you want to be with Ezekiel amongst the the general captives of the nation of Israel in Babylon, or would you want to be, you know, in the palace with Daniel?
All of them had their challenges, all of them had their difficulties, you know, that they would have to overcome to be faithful to the Lord.
And so we could look at them and kind of take.
But the point I'm trying to make is, you know, we could look and maybe prefer one of.
The other, but the important thing is that God had each one there for a particular reason, particular purpose, just as he has each one of us where we are.
And so, you know, we the the work of God does not depend on, you know, just Ezekiel or just Jeremiah or just Daniel.
And in fact, the work of God doesn't depend.
On just these.
Either there were other prophets and other ways.
That God was ministering to his people throughout this time as well, but he strategically places each one where they need to be.
They have different roles.
They do the ministry in different ways, but they all, in their faithful faithfulness to the Lord, delivered the message that God has for the people and fulfilled the ministry and the role.
That God has given to them.
And so here are the Jewish people in denial, and Ezekiel is prophesying to them.
And so God says they're not listening to your words.
So, Ezekiel, I'm just going to make you mute.
They're not listening anyways, and you're going to act out some things.
And so you're going to help them picture the effects of sin.
And so four points we'll look at.
Here in Chapter 4, as Ezekiel helps the people, helps us picture the impact, the effects, the devastation of sin in the lives of God's people. By #1 looking at verses one through three, sin separates us from God.
You need to know, you need to be reminded.
God wants to kind of refresh us in these things.
We could look at these things and understand we've heard all these things, we know all these things, but we need.
To be reminded.
Sometimes we kind of water down and forget about the sinfulness of sin and how bad sin is, and so it's really important for us to be refreshed.
In this and so that's why God has us here in Ezekiel, to remind us that sin separates us from God.
Look at verse one again, it says you also son of.
Take a clay tablet and leave it before you and portray on it a city, Jerusalem.
Lay siege against it, build a siege wall against it, and heap up a mound against it.
Set camps against it also, and place battering Rams against it all around.
Moreover, take for yourself an iron plate and set it as an iron wall between you and the city.
Set your face against it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it.
This will be assigned to the House of Israel.
Here the Lord.
Gives Ezekiel some very clear and specific instruction, and he is going to portray he's going to lay out as a picture before the people, a siege against Jerusalem.
Now we don't have the exact timing of when Ezekiel is giving this, but.
It's obviously before Babylon is conquered Jerusalem, and so it's possible that this is happening as the siege is happening, that it is concurrent, that they're in Jerusalem.
God knows exactly what's happening on, and so it could be that Ezekiel is acting these things out.
Like, like Live TV for them.
Like, here's what's happening back in Jerusalem right now and moment by moment, Ezekiel could be portraying that.
It could be that it happened, you know, a couple years before and that he is foreshadowing the seeds that will take place.
We don't know for sure, but but God gives him this picture and it's important to understand.
It's God who gave him the picture.
It's God who gave him.
You know, this is the kind of thing that sometimes the Lord wants to do something unique and deliver a unique message in a unique way.
And so when the Lord gives us that we need to be faithful to that I, I would suggest we should not look at this and say, OK, so I need to think of some creative.
You know, random way to deliver a message without the influence and the direction of the Lord and do something weird and crazy like this without the direction of the Lord.
I I don't think is necessarily the point or wise God gives him, he says you also said.
Of men take Ically tablet and lay it before you, and portray on it a city, Jerusalem.
And so I read verse one this morning, and I took it to heart.
And so I took a tablet and I drew on it.
I portrayed a city, and I don't know if anybody can guess what city that is.
But if you look closely, you see.
The circle, the crown.
And it's a very poor drawing of grand and main and 6th and the 91 and the 15 Lincoln all coming together with cross representing the church right there.
So you would understand that I could draw this, I could, you know, lay this in front of you, I could put it on the screen and there's some recognition that already.
Sparks in your brain right when Ezekiel is drawing Jerusalem on a tablet.
The same thing would happen for the Jewish people.
Jerusalem had a distinct.
It had a distinct shape.
It was not like every other city or not like any other city.
It was because it was built on Mount Zion as well as Mount Moriah.
It was, you know, distinct in its shape.
And so there there would be this immediate recognition as he draws out this city and portrays it, that people would understand.
That is the city of Jerusalem.
And so immediately they're going to know, they're going to see, they're going to visualize, they're going to have memories of Jerusalem.
They're going to think about the time they leaned against the wall and walked on top of the wall.
They're they're going to have those memories that are brought back as they see the picture here while they're in captivity in Babylon.
So he draws it out.
On this tablet.
And then God says to lesiege against it.
Now, I don't know how you picture this in your mind, but I picture this with a bunch of Legos that there is this city drawn on a tablet that's just laying there.
And then he has, you know, these contraptions that he's built out of Legos.
And so he's, you know, shoving some dirt up against it.
So there's a mound of dirt around the tablet, and then there is a, uh, A Lego, you know, siege battery.
Ram and, you know, all of these war machines that he's building and and pulling around.
And so when people come up, they see this tablet, they see a the mound of dirt, the siege wall around it.
They see all of these elements representing the the battle and the war that is going on in the camp against Jerusalem.
And this is picturing Babylon and its attack on Jerusalem and the seeds that will take place.
But then God tells him in verse three to take an iron plate.
And I think you could kind.
Of think of this like an iron skillet.
So if you're picturing, you know the the tablet there and the dirt built up and these various pieces of artistic, you know, creation to represent the the battle that is going on.
And then he takes a big.
Kill it and places it as an iron wall between himself and the city.
This iron plate was what they would use to bake bread on.
So if you don't want to think about an iron skillet, you can think about you know when you go to the pizza place and they stick the thing in there to pull the pizza out like that flat object that they.
Would put in there and then.
Just put it stick it in the ground in between the wall and Ezekiel.
And God says set your face against it.
So it's between you and the city and set your face against the city.
And it shall.
This will be a sign to the House of Israel.
This iron wall is noteworthy and interesting, and it's from here that I get the point to that sin separates us from God.
God because God says, put this in place and set your face against the city.
This phrasing, this idea of setting your face against something, is one that God uses a few times through his prophets, and it means to be opposed to.
To be distant from. It's talking about, you know, God's displeasure that is on display. Think about this.
In Jeremiah chapter 20.
One verse 10.
God says, for I have set my face against the city for adversity and not for goods, says the Lord shall be given into the hand of the King of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
And so God here is declaring, I have set my face against the city.
I am displeased with the city.
I am intent on harming the city for adversity and not for good, he says.
My face is against it.
Is in opposition to Azeka was a priest.
You know, in the book of Numbers the Lord gives the priest that instruction for them to bless the people and may the Lord's face shine upon you, right?
This is the opposite of that the Lord space is against you, the Lord says to the City of Jerusalem, to the people of Israel, because of their rebellion against God.
Well, this frees to have the Lord's feast set against is also used by the prophet Ezekiel in a couple chapters, Ezekiel Chapter 14.
And it's noteworthy the way that God uses it.
Here in verse seven of Ezekiel 14, he says 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, I will, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people.
Then you shall know that I am the Lord.
God there uses this phrase again to say, look, if someone has a divided heart and fosters sin in their life, that they put in their life things that cause them to stumble, that they allow to continue and allow to persist in their life, these idols in their hearts, and they're worshipping these idols there.
Allowing these stumbling blocks into iniquity in their lives, and then they still try to come and walk with the Lord also, God says, I'm going to answer that, I'm going to set my face against that.
This is the response of God to us when we.
Harbor sin when we foster sin when we engage in a lifestyle.
Of sin and what God says is there is a separation.
Now there is, and against an opposition that takes place.
No longer is there the fellowship that there once was, but now my face is set against.
Those who live in such a way and Foster and harbor those kinds of things in their lives, and so there is this separation that takes place.
We see it immediately from the very beginning.
In the Garden of Eden there is a separation that takes place.
When Adam and Eve partake of the fruit that was forbidden, and they realized that they were naked, they have an awareness of their issue.
Now they're sin and they're hiding from God, and so it is from the very beginning been a separating issue, and sin continues to separate.
People from God.
And so sin separates us from God, and God is having Ezekiel to portray this clearly, that there is this iron wall.
You can't cry out loud enough.
You can't inquire loud enough.
You know you can't there.
There is no appealing to God at this point.
You've pushed it so far that.
He will not respond, and he has his face set against this separation is final and complete, and the city of Jerusalem is going to be destroyed.
God is a holy God and a righteous God, and he will deal with.
And so there's always been separation.
You can think about the temple that they were holding onto and thinking that that was going to be their salvation.
The fact that the temple was there in Jerusalem and the temple speaks of this separation.
And every step of the way, the temple had the courtyard that was separated from the rest of the people.
If you go back to the Tabernacle, God had them, you know, put up this wall and the the fabric, the tapestry that would surround the fence that would enclose the courtyard that separated.
The Tabernacle from the camp.
In Jerusalem at that time they had the courtyard, but it was a little bit more structured or with the wall that would separate that.
There was always that separation, that it's not just a part of the city, it's not just a part of the common people.
There is this dedicated space, it's separated and then inside the courtyard you had another.
Area that was separated.
You had the sanctuary.
That was exclusive.
Not everybody could get into the courtyard.
But even among those who could come into the courtyard, not everybody could go into the sanctuary.
It was exclusive.
There was a separation.
Only the priests that were on duty and scheduled could serve in the sanctuary and enter the sanctuary.
There was a separation, and then even for those who would go into the sanctuary for the priests, there was another separation, that veil in the temple.
That separated the holy place from the most holy place, the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was.
Where the presence of God was.
There was a separation because.
Of the Holiness of God.
The people would not survive in the presence of God because of sinfulness, and so the temple speaks of this separation that comes from sin in its very structure.
In the courtyard, in the sanctuary, in the division between the Holy and the Holy of Holies.
And you can even think about the separated, separated priesthood, that it wasn't even just anybody who could come and and serve in this capacity.
It had to be this special group and, and so there was this border, this boundary, this separation, that.
Listed again from the very beginning.
And this is a reality that we need to not forget.
We need to make sure that we grasp hold of and we don't lose sight of this reality that there is a separation that happens and as sin is persisted in, as it's continued in, there is an iron wall that can be placed that that there is.
A permanent division, a permanent separation in that way, in that we will experience the repercussions, the full consequences.
Is of the effects of sin and the judgment for sin when we pushed the Lord to that point.
Jeremiah tells the people of Israel in Jeremiah, Chapter 5, verse 25. Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you.
Being separated from God removes us from his protection and it removes us from his blessing.
Sin is a.
Devastating effect upon us.
It's not just like, you know, a little kind of not so bad thing.
It's not just like a little bit of a, uh, you know, you could be, you're blessed, you know, but you could be more blessed if you were engaged in sin and living in sin.
But it's it's much worse than that and we tend to kind of soften these things.
Over time and in our hearts and especially, you know, for our favorite sins that that we.
Want to think?
Of them and not affecting us that much, but.
But there is a real effect.
There is a separation that takes place.
Peter tells us in first Peter Chapter 3 verse seven he warns the husbands.
To be careful how you live with your wife and dwell with them, and how you honor them and treat them.
And he says that your prayers may not be hindered and it it kind of carries that idea that when you are behaving inappropriately in regards.
To your spouse.
That there is a separation, there is a hindrance that happens, and there's many more scriptures that we could look at that as well.
But it seemed to be David's biggest concern as he is coming to repentance after his crime against Bathsheba and Uriah in Psalm Chapter 51 in his Psalm of repentance.
He says create.
In me a clean.
Heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast.
Spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me by your generous spirit.
And here David sets the model for us, the cure for separation that is caused by sin and that is repentance.
And here David is concerned about don't cast me away from your presence.
I don't want to be left out of your presence.
I don't want to continue this separation.
Don't take the Holy Spirit away from me.
I want to continue to be immersed in the presence of God and under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
And so would create in me a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit in me, because as he describes the separation, it weighed heavy upon him.
And if you don't believe me, well, you can read the rest of Psalm Chapter 51, and I get that picture very clearly. But we need to move on here in Ezekiel Chapter 4. So point #1 sin separates us.
Secondly, sin adds up over time.
Picture the effects of sin and understand that sin doesn't feed away with time.
Probably 1000 times in my life I've offended Josh.
But it happened so long ago, he's forgotten about 999 of them. He probably only remembers 1.
Kind of fades over time, and so I've been forgiven just by default because he's forgotten and all is well except for that one.
But over time, you know, it's like, you know, an infraction on your driving record.
It just, you know, falls off after seven years or whatever and you know, it's just kind of washed away.
There's a statute of limitations and.
And we can try to picture.
Sin in this way.
But here, through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord shows us.
Helps this picture.
That's not what happens.
It doesn't just fade away, it doesn't just go away with time.
Sin adds up over time verses 4 through.
Six says this.
Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the House of Israel upon it, according to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity.
For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, 390 days. So you shall bear the iniquity of the House of Israel.
And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side.
Then you shall bear the iniquity of the House of Judah 40 days.
I have laid on you a day for each year.
Here the Lord adds to the picture.
Draw out the city.
Put it on a tablet, put in front of you.
Build up a mound of dirt all around it to represent the siege, and make Your Lego War machines come against it.
And to lay siege to the city of Jerusalem.
But now, during this time, while you're laying siege and portraying all of this, you're going to be laying on your side for the duration of the time, and he leaves out specific time frames here.
390 days he is to lay down on his left side, and so he is there with the.
City in front of him, in the dirt, probably in front of his house.
We don't know exactly, but and he's on his left side.
Just portraying this with the iron wall in front of him, laying siege to the city and prophesying against the city of Jerusalem in this way.
And then after those 390 days are filled, he's to switch sides. And so for 40 days he's to lay on his right side.
And continue the same thing to stand there, to lead there, laying siege to the city of Jerusalem.
Now these numbers.
These are interesting and mysterious.
There's been lots of study and ideas and concepts and discussion and debate over exactly what these numbers represent.
390 days plus 40 days. God says each day represents a year, so we're talking about 430 years.
What is the 430 year time period that God is referencing? Some suggests that it is in regards to the nation of Israel was 430 years in Egypt and it's interesting that those numbers aligned.
But I can't see how that connects to them being in iniquity, God delivered them out of Egypt already.
That seems like an interesting connection, but not super clear in my head.
Many would look at this and say, well, you know, as you counts the number of years between all the rulers after Solomon.
It's been about 390 years since Rehoboam took the throne, and so maybe that 390 days represents the 390 years of the nation of Israel and the nation of Judah since that time.
And, you know, perhaps there's some merit to that because we see, you know, the the nation of Israel.
Reached its peak under King David and then kind of by inheritance under King Solomon.
But then later in his life, King Solomon turned away from the Lord and then his son, and ever since then they were in a decline.
They were in a downward spiral in their walk away from the Lord and rebellion against the Lord.
And so possibly the 390 relates to that, but then you have the question or but then what's the 40?
And so some would say, well, you know, Judah lasted longer, Israel was the northern Kingdom was conquered by Assyria and so maybe the 40 represents.
A portion of the time.
But it wasn't just 40 years that Israel lasted or Judah lasted longer than Israel.
So there's there's questions, is the point, there's things that you could be propose or consider. There's 40 years in the wilderness, 430 years in Egypt, or 390 years since ribbon, and also many other ideas.
That I won't bother to get into.
All of that really doesn't matter.
Those are curiosities.
Those are interesting things.
One day, the Lord will connect all the dots and it'll make sense.
And there's no no real quandary or no real issue here, though. We don't know the whole story, but God tells us the purpose and the meaning of it, so it really doesn't matter what time period God's alluding to, because he says.
In verse five, according to the number of the days, 390 days, so shall you bear the iniquity of the House of Israel.
He says I've laid on you the years of their iniquity, so he's told us clearly this represents years of iniquity.
And so whatever years God is counting and looking at, you know, we look at, well, maybe it's this block or maybe it's that block.
And God might be taken like every 4th one, you know, from this time period at that time here.
Like, we don't need to know the formula, the calculation that God is doing.
Here's what we need to know.
All of those years of iniquity have added up.
They haven't gone away.
Because sin doesn't go away, it doesn't just fade with time.
An easy way to picture this and illustrate this is to think about dishes in the sink.
I've tried multiple times in my life to just let them get clean over time and if you wait long enough.
In theory, all of that stuff will be gone in decay and the dishes will be clean without me having.
To wash them.
But all the times that I've tried it, it's never happened.
They don't get cleaner and cleaner and cleaner over time, even if you just wait long enough.
The dirt hardens, the grime hardens it.
Attracts more dirt and other filth and the air gets stuck to it and it gets worse and worse.
It adds up.
It doesn't get subtracted over time.
And sin is much the same way.
It doesn't just fade.
It doesn't just, you know, hey, it's been six months, you know, since I did that.
So I don't have to repent.
I don't have to confess.
I don't have to, you know, deal with it.
I can just keep moving on and just the further away that I get the less impact it will have, but.
That's not the way that sin works.
Therefore you shall set your face toward the Siege of Jerusalem.
Your arms shall be uncovered, and you shall prophecy against it.
And surely I will restrain you so that you cannot turn from one side to another till you have ended the years of your siege.
God says, look, this is so serious.
I'm going to restrain you in this position.
You are going to be forced onto your side for this duration of time.
390 days on one side, 40 days on the other side. You will be forced. This is the reality. This is.
The seriousness of sin and the ******* that sin brings.
And so these four.
130 years of iniquity represented.
The sin had added up and added up and added up. And yes, 430 years have passed.
But that sin from the first year added to this picture.
Yeah, it wasn't lost.
It wasn't gone.
It didn't just disappear.
The prophet Isaiah in Isaiah, chapter 30.
Says thus says the holy one of Israel, because you despise this word and trust in oppression and perversity.
And rely on them.
Therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall.
A bulge and a high wall whose breaking comes suddenly.
In an instant.
Isaiah prophesying a couple.
100 years earlier.
Here foretold of this, there was this building up of iniquity, and it was mounting up, and the pressure was rising.
And so the the wall that was holding back the judgment, the wrath of God, it was feeling the pressure and it was starting to bulge.
And so there was.
About to be a breach.
As Isaiah is prophesying those things.
Because it was adding up and adding up and.
The pressure was getting more and more.
Remember a couple of years ago?
The water level was rising high and it was starting to seep through, and there was all this concern about the potential damage 'cause once it starts.
It could just.
Push and then there would be great damage and devastation.
That's that's the way that sin works in our lives.
It builds up and builds up and builds up and there's more and more pressure and.
And it's the.
Mercy of God, that is the breach.
That holds back the judgment for what we deserve because of our sinfulness.
But he's giving us opportunity to repent.
He's giving us opportunity to get right with God.
But the nation of Israel had pushed the Lord so far to now that breach was let go, and God says your chance for repenting and escaping this judgment is over.
It wasn't that they didn't have a chance to repent and get right with God anymore, but they were going to experience the consequences.
Of their sin in the judgment that would come through Babylon.
And God says your chance is up, your time is up.
The breach, it's open.
Here comes Babylon and the destruction that.
They will bring.
Sin adds up over time.
It builds up against that wall of.
While he waits for us.
And and confession and repentance is like a a release valve.
That's the way to deal with sin, because then it's washed away.
And it and then the the pressure against the wall is removed.
The Lord in his mercy forgives us as we repent and call out to him in confession, Paul tells us in Romans Chapter 2.
In accordance with the hardness.
Of your hearts.
Your hardness and your impendent at heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of Wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
In a lifestyle of sin, in a life of rebellion against God, in a persisting, in sinfulness, there's a treasuring and so like, you know, picture your storehouse and every.
Sin that is going on every occasion of sin, and and the continuation of sin goes into that storehouse, and it grows, and it grows, and it grows, and none of it is forgotten.
None of it is lost.
It doesn't feed.
Every sin will be accounted for and judged, and either that judgment is executed fully upon Jesus.
On our behalf, because we have believed in him and confessed our sin turned to him for forgiveness, and so that sin is accounted for because Jesus took it, or that sin is accounted for because we receive the penalty for that sin because we refused the offer of forgiveness that was.
Extended to us.
Well, moving on to point #3 verse 9 through 17, sin starves us. This picture continues to grow and develop here in Ezekiel, verse 9 says also take for yourself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, Millet, and spelt. Put them into one vessel and make bread of them.
During the number of days that you lie on your side 3.
190 days you shall eat it.
And your food which you.
Eat shall be by weight.
20 shekels a day.
From time to time you shall eat it.
You shall also drink water by measure 1/6 of a hin.
From time to time you shall drink.
Here God speaks to Ezekiel about his diet, and he says Ezekiel and putting you on.
Your diet is going to be.
Well, let's call it a siege diet.
You are going to represent to the people.
What the people in Jerusalem?
Are living like and what they are surviving on?
And so it was this combination of various.
Grains that he was to put together.
And he was to just have a meager portion.
Every day, just like those in Jerusalem who are under siege.
Remember when they would lay siege to a city?
It was basically starving the people out.
And so they would be scrambling for whatever ingredients they could get, for whatever food they could survive on.
And, you know, in chapter five of his ego, it goes on to get even more ******** in this talking about sons will be eating their fathers and fathers will be eating their sons like they are going to be so desperate for food in the starvation that is going on.
And so he says, Ezekiel, I want you to display that, to portray that, to help the people picture this starvation that is happening back in Jerusalem because of this siege.
And so he gives him these special.
Ingredients wheat and barley and beans and lentils and Millet now.
If you go to the grocery store.
You can find.
In the bread aisle, some Ezekiel bread.
Said and made from these ingredients and they quote this verse, you know, on the packaging and on their website and stuff.
And I find that kind of interesting. I don't know if it's a valuable thing or what. I mean, I it's kind of the portrayal is like, this is really healthy, you know, like this is God's ingredients, but in a way you could put the label, get a taste of God's judgment, like that's.
Kind of what the Lord is saying here, like, and so I go to Taco Bell instead of having his echo Brandon.
Tastes a different kind of God's judgment, but anyways. But but. So the idea here was this was to be like the poorest kind of poor person bread you could ever have, and it was to be representing like this is living off of hardly anything.
He says your your food shall be by weight and so you have to ration it out.
You're just going to have the the poorest substance for food that is possible and and you're only going to get a small portion.
Of it, 20 shekels a day, which by many calculations comes about 2-8 ounces of the bread a day.
So I challenge you to live on that 8 ounces of bread a day, and from time to time you shall eat it.
So don't need that 8 ounces.
All at once.
But spread it out.
So a couple Oz here, a couple oz there throughout the day, and you get 8 ounces of bread and just a little bit of water by measure.
1/6 of a hint, which works out to be about 20 ounces of water SO1 bottle water 8 ounces of bread.
Said this is what Ezekiel was going to live on now.
It's kind of a bum deal for Ezekiel, I feel like because he wasn't in Jerusalem so he didn't have to starve, like the people in Jerusalem were starving.
But God said, even though you have food plenty, and you?
Can live off much more.
For this year you're going.
To live like they live.
And for 390 days, you're going to live on 8 ounces of bread a day and 20 ounces of water. And and and the people think about the people around Ezekiel as they're watching him just waste away.
I mean, I don't know if he was a chubby guy to start, but he wasn't a chubby guy at the end, right?
Like he he was experiencing the same starvation.
That the people in Jerusalem were experiencing as he was representing to the people, this this is what sin does.
And as they watched him waste away, they had pictured before them the realities and the effects of the rebellion against God, the effects of their separation from God, that spiritually speaking, there is this starvation that happens because of sin jumping down.
In verse 16 it says, moreover he said to me, son of man, surely I will cut off the supply of bread in Jerusalem.
They shall eat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall drink by measure and with dread, that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and waste away because.
Of their iniquity.
I don't know if you experienced any of the panic at the beginning of COVID.
But there was a panic, right?
Are we going to eat?
And where are we going to get toilet paper?
Right there is this panic.
This is the idea here.
They're going to eat with anxiety.
They're going to be anxious.
I mean, should I eat this couple ounces of bread?
Because if I eat this, then what am I going to eat next time?
And what am I going to eat after that?
I don't know if I should eat and and and so there's this anxiety and and this dread, like, oh, I'm so thirsty, but I don't want to finish off my water 'cause then there's no water left and what am I going to do?
I have nothing to drink.
And so there's this anxiety and dread from these people who are starving if you ever want to get a picture.
For this, there's a TV show called Alone where people go out and they just put them in these like places and.
And it it.
Sets itself up to be like a survivalist show.
And it sounds like really cool, like these guys are going to live off the land, but it usually turns out to be just whichever one can survive starving.
The longest where where none of them are getting enough food, none of them are able to really provide for themselves in the land that they're in.
None of them have the nutrition that they need.
None of them can find the water like they're all starving to death and so it's almost like and happened a couple seasons.
And where it was the chubbiest to start is the one who survived to the end because they had the most stores and reserves that they could live.
Off of for longer.
But but to see that transformation, and it is an interesting transformation to watch, you know that that person who started out with, with a healthy body and then just just skin and bones and and the unhealthiness.
Of that that.
Starvation that happens is such a visual.
For spiritual life.
When there is sin that is going on.
When there is sin that is being harbored and not being dealt with.
What's interesting about that is it kind of has a similar picture that.
That there is for those who are physically heftier.
They can kind of last for a while without it really being noticeable that they're starving.
And spiritually, I would suggest it's similar that there can be that spiritual history, that kind of masks and disguises.
Starvation that could be going on.
And we need to understand and and especially if if it's us in that place that.
That we can't get by like that and and it doesn't go away over time and then we'll start to experience nutrition again that that it adds up.
And so the starvation steepens it intensifies over time.
The separation doesn't just get removed over time it.
It has to be addressed, it has to be dealt with.
Unless we continue on in that spiritual starvation in our separation.
From God Jesus said in John, Chapter 6, verse 35, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he believes in me shall never thirst.
That that we have a spiritual hunger and a spiritual thirst that is only satisfied by the Lord.
But when we try to live a double life, when we try to hold on to sin and and pretend like everything is OK, and we we were really being separated.
We're we're really adding up.
Up the consequences of that sin and we're actually starving.
We're withholding ourselves from the bread of life.
It brings us spiritually to a place of.
Malnutrition and starvation.
You know, there's the classic saying sin will keep you from this book.
And this book will keep you from sin.
It's a similar.
Statement A similar concept, the nutrition that we need from the Lord found in the word of God.
As we invest ourselves and involve ourselves in the word of God and have a a relationship with God as we walk with him through his word, there's a nutrition, there's there's a strengthening that God provides that helps us to turn from sin and to to avoid sin from the get go, but to repent.
Love it as it's exposed, but if we allow sin to persist then.
It hemp, hemp, hemp and tempers.
Anyways, it hinders the nutrition that God wants to provide in his word.
Even if we are still going through the motions of reading the word, we're still.
We're missing out on the nutrition because of the sin that we are harboring and holding onto and the separation that is there.
It's a starvation that is going on that's preventing us.
All that the Lord has for us in a spiritual sense, and so we need to understand that sin starves us, as equal here is picturing for the people.
This is the reality of what is what Jerusalem is going through because of their rebellion, and again, the people of.
Israel that were in Babylon.
They were in denial, still thinking that no, it's not an issue of sin.
We don't need to repent, we don't need to turn.
Everything is going to be fine.
We're going to be released and set back to Jerusalem pretty soon.
It's just going to be great.
It's all going to turn out good, and as ego saying no, look at this picture.
Look at the separation that is there.
Look at the build up of iniquity, and and and demonstrated by how long I have to lay on my side.
And I've got bed sores all down my side because I've been laying here on one side for 390 days representing all of the iniquity that is added up.
And at the same time, I'm wasting away and there's hardly anything left to my frame because of the starvation that they're experiencing as a result of sin.
Pictures that spiritual starvation that is going on as well.
Well, finally I want to finish up in verses 12 through 15 for point #4.
And point #4 is sin is gross.
This is an important one.
And sometimes we forget this.
Thin is gross.
It's not just.
Kind of shouldn't do that.
It's not a big deal, but you probably shouldn't do that sometimes we.
Soften sin to such a degree that we forget.
How gross it is.
And so God wants you to picture how gross sin is.
You ready for this picture?
Verse 12 and you shall eat it as barley cakes and bake it using fuel of human waste in their sight.
He was barely eating any of it.
But God says, here's how to cook it.
Use poop to cook your food, Ezekiel.
For a year, you're going to eat food cooked with poop.
And that is going to.
Be what you live off of.
1st 13 then the Lord said, so shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them?
So I said, oh Lord God, indeed, I have never defiled myself from my youth until now.
I've never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beast.
Nor has abominable flesh ever come into my mouth.
Then he said to me, see, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste.
And you shall prepare your bread over it.
The sequel doesn't complain about laying on his side for a year.
He doesn't complain about playing with Legos and pretending to do battle against Jerusalem.
But now cooking his food with poop, he says, ah, well, that really is hard.
I've really done my best to follow the Levitical law and not, not consume those things.
And so God says, OK, I'll give you a break.
Instead of human waste, you can use cow poop.
And I don't know how much of it you know better.
I maybe we should try it, you know, doing a little science experiment.
I don't know how much better that is, but Ezekiel accepted it and did it.
And pictured for the Jewish people.
The grossness of sin now.
It's not just the grossness of sin.
This is an accurate siege picture.
Again in verse 13 then the Lord said, so shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the gentiles, where I will drive them?
Like it's not just some random thing that God did for you.
Back in Jerusalem in their desperation.
They're going to be doing things like this again in Chapter 5.
It goes on to talk about, yeah, they're going to be resorting to cannibalism.
They're going to be so hungry, so starved, they're going to do all kinds of gross things because sin is gross and we need to be very careful that we don't sanitize.
That we don't soften it to the degree that we.
Don't look at it as.
Something that is gross and so let this picture.
Kind of develop and resonate in your mind.
Have you ever been eating a bowl of soup?
And then you feel that hair, that one hair that was in.
That bowl of soup.
And you look.
And you're trying to, like, get it out, then you're trying to wonder, is this my hair or is this my wife's hair?
It's not a big mystery in my house, but.
You go to a restaurant.
I've been in restaurants.
Having a meal with people.
Hair is found in the food and there is this explosion of drama and disgust and horror and I'll never eat here again.
For a hair in the food.
What if it was poop?
What if the chef came out and said, sorry to tell you, our oven's out. And so I cooked your lasagna with poop. Like, what? What if that was the case? And and I.
Captured the article, but I forgot.
To include it in.
My slides, but just today there was an announcement back in Michigan.
There's a an urgent warning that went out.
Hey, if you bought fruits and vegetables from this location, it's been tainted with human waste.
There's poop on it.
Don't eat those fruits and vegetables.
Rules and there's this urgency, there's this panic.
Because it's poop that's on the food that's gross.
And that's sin. Sin is.
And you go to that really nice Mexican restaurant, you're eating the abundius soup, and then you realize that's not a meatball.
We soften sin.
But we need to understand.
When? When we?
Allow and Foster and harbor sin in our lives.
And we try to come and walk with the Lord.
We try to come and pretend like everything is OK.
We try to go on as if God is.
Seeing that and and offended by it, it's gross.
It's like serving him a bowl of soup that has poop in it.
Reminds me of what the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah chapter 64.
'cause we are like an unclean thing.
And all our righteousness is are like filthy rags.
We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
And there is no one who calls on your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of you, where you've hidden your face.
From us, and have consumed us because of our iniquities.
It says we're all unclean, we all have poop all over us.
And our righteousness is like filthy rags.
And so the the best that we can do our righteousness we're presenting to God, look how good I am and and this is how delusional we can be that that we are.
Thinking yeah, I you know, I know I have this issue, I don't have this thing going on, but but it's not so bad.
And God understands.
And so, you know, I can still, you know, just carry on.
I can still ask God for things and and expect God to bless me.
I can still seek the Lord, I can still hear from him and serve him and and and do all of these things, and we're presenting our righteousness.
To the Lord, but it's tainted by.
The waste by the sin by the poop.
That we are living in the uncleanness.
And it's offensive.
We we need to understand the picture correctly.
God is is abundantly merciful and gracious.
And we too often take that for granted and count that as acceptance with our poop.
And God does not put up with our poop.
Accept it and just say yeah, just don't.
Don't even think about it.
Don't worry about it.
It's not a big deal.
It's just a little poop in my soup, you know?
That's that's that's a filthy rag.
Why would you?
Present that to me.
God has given us.
Are we to cleanse ourselves?
From the poop.
But we need to recognize it for what it is.
We need to confess it as what it is.
And so we come to confess and we go.
You know, it's probably not a big deal, Lord, but you know, there was a sin thing and I know you understand it's not a big deal.
It's not really poop, you know?
It's just kind of like a bad meal I made and so no.
No big deal.
So you forgive me?
We're good, right?
Now, that's not a real confession.
To confess it means to agree with.
That we need to come to God and say but I I agree.
Sin is gross.
This is gross.
This is not good.
And now I.
I'm starting to understand.
I'm starting to see it the way that you see it.
So, Lloyd, forgive me.
And this confession?
Coming to God, acknowledging how gross our sin is and how we should know better, but did it anyways.
How we ignored God calls to repentance and ignored the warnings and and jumped over the fences that that God, you know, set up there to try to help us come to our senses before we engage and ran down that path.
Right like to come with a clarity and an honesty about our hearts and say.
Yes, it is gross and I knew better and I went down that path anyways and I've lived in that condition anyways and I've held onto that idea and harbored that bitterness and and carried on that's in and and stayed on that activity and and I've just even though I all of the things.
I knew better and it's I just all, man, I'm so ashamed, so gross.
I've just been living in sin.
I've been living in poop.
I've been fostering it every day.
I've been engaging it in every day.
You know, we're thinking it's just like a little lie.
It's not just like a a little bit of, you know, this or that.
Sanitizing it, watering it down and not remembering, not picturing.
Picture the effects of sin.
It's not a good picture.
Sin separates us from God.
It adds up over time, causes us to be in a condition of starvation spiritually.
We're malnourished, we're weakening and and getting worse and worse over time.
And don't forget, it's gross.
That's why we need a savior.
That's why God calls us to stay away from sin.
That's why we need to confess quickly.
That's why we call people to repentance.
Is gross, it's disgusting and it destroys lives.
Picture the effects of sin.
Would we pray that you would help us to grasp, hold that our minds?
Clearly picture the reality and our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked, and we're really good at tricking ourselves, deceiving ourselves into thinking it's not so bad.
What I pray that you would remove all obstacles and blinders, and that you would give us that clear picture to understand and to recognize.
The devastation of sin and Lord.
You call us out of it.
Because this is the effect that it has.
Because it is so bad for us.
Why you named it thin?
It destroys lives.
And so, Lord, may we believe you at your word.
And respond to your calls out of sin.
And into right relationship with you.
Help us, Lord, to come quickly.
Like David to call out openly, honestly, genuinely.
To forgive us.
To restore your presence and your holy Spirit's work in our lives.
What would you do that in our hearts?
You tell us as we confess our sin, your faithful and just to cleanse us, and so Lord.
We confess to you.
Our gross sin.
And we ask Lord, that you would restore and renew.
And by your spirit to a fresh new work.
It's not deserved.
But Lord in your mercy and grace.
Would you prove yourself faithful to your word as we come to you?
Turning from sin.
And surrendering to you once again.
I pray this in Jesus name.