By Roger Oakland
Chapter eight of the book of Ezekiel is a very revealing portion of the Bible when it comes to exposing the sins of spiritual leaders of Ezekiel’s day. The leaders were going about their ministries as usual believing their sins were hidden from the very sheep they were supposed to be leading and protecting. However, God sees all sin and showed the prophet Ezekiel through a vision their hidden sins. As we shall see, the unveiling of those sins, as recorded in the Word of God, were very revealing. God sees the true heart of man.
Further, this hole in the wall revelation is useful for understanding what is presently happening in the church. Considering the Bible teaches that history repeats itself, the Ezekiel revelation is very important in understanding how religious leaders covertly cover up sin. If the religious leaders of Israel covered their sins in the past and thought no one could see, what about the spiritual leaders now? Is it possible we will be able to uncover some parallels? The purpose of this commentary will be to show there is nothing new under the sun. Whatever has happened before, has, and will happen again.
With regard to the present, many facts prove the same sins of the past are being committed today. This shows that many so-called men of God, while respected by men, may have no fear of God. However, this does not fool God who sees all things. As in the past, God will expose the sins of the religious leaders in a public way today as He did in the past. If God revealed to Ezekiel what the religious leaders were doing then, it should be no great surprise that He would do the same for our generation.
Idol of Jealousy
The first clue to the sin scenario is the idol of jealousy that God revealed to Ezekiel in his vision. The idol of jealousy was located near the door of the inner gate that opened towards the north. This idol of jealousy is far more significant than you can imagine. While few spiritual leaders today would admit it, jealousy controls many of their ministries. They are driven by a desire to be someone great and respected. If someone crosses their path, they often see it as a threat to the building of their own kingdom. Those who may appear as a threat of being in competition with them have to be eliminated in some way. Leadership driven by jealousy is nt ministry at all; rather it is carnal and of the flesh, not of the Spirit. Often this type of leader has a way of demanding obedience, and as a result, cult mentality develops as a “follow me” leadership style of ministry is promoted. A ministry driven by jealousy and selfish ambition is accompanied by every evil thing according to James 3:14-15. This, of course, is not what God desires. Satan has cleverly deceived men into following after men, their methods and their movements. This follow-the-leader mentality has led many sheep astray. Click here to continue reading.