While in Babylon, the prophet Ezekiel was shown a vision of the temple back in Jerusalem. In it, the religious leaders of the day had abandoned worship of the Lord who had brought them out of Egypt and had planted them in their land. Instead, they were worshiping a host of idols and praying to them, mere created things, rather than to the Creator who made them all. Throughout the Bible, of all the infractions people commit against God, worship of other gods seems to anger Him the most.
In his vision, the Lord instructed Ezekiel to peer into the hidden rooms built into the wall of the temple.
9 “Go in,” he said, “and see the wicked and detestable sins they are committing in there!” 10 So I went in and saw the walls covered with engravings of all kinds of crawling animals and detestable creatures. I also saw the various idols worshiped by the people of Israel. 11 Seventy leaders of Israel were standing there with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan in the center. Each of them held an incense burner, from which a cloud of incense rose above their heads.
12 Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the leaders of Israel are doing with their idols in dark rooms? They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see us; he has deserted our land!’” Ezekiel 8:9-12 (NLT)
The vision went on to uncover other instances of idolatry, such as group worship of a harvest god or of the rising sun. Much of this worship of false gods was taking place behind closed doors in darkened rooms. As with many who participate in false idol worship today, there was a belief that God either does not see or does not care about it – both assertions are highly incorrect. The Lord has included many such examples throughout scripture to make crystal clear His vehement objection to all idolatry.
Many, if not all, of us still have dark corners in our own lives where we, too, try to hide things from God. We know these dark thoughts, actions, or habits are not consistent with God’s pure nature – the nature of the Holy Spirit who lives within believers – but we still fall short.
5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5 (NASB)
There is a purity and innocence to the holy light of God. We may sometimes fail to reflect this in our own nature, but the good news is that God is a fountain of selfless love, grace, and forgiveness for all who would seek Him. Jesus, the Word of God, brings this light to us:
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:4-5 (NLT)
The light of God helps us to recognize our own sins and shortcomings, and this is for our own good. When we recognize and humbly confess our faults to Him, the Lord will bring us peace through His amazing gift of mercy and forgiveness. All blots on our record and on our character are expunged through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. He bore it all for us.
One big step we can take in our transition from living in darkness to walking in the light is a prayerful and honest self-appraisal. What are the areas of darkness in my life? Some of these we already know quite well, such as long-term bad habits, addictions, and selfish or angry actions, but others are more subtle and easy to miss or to skip over. In fact, many shortcomings I have are easier to recognize in others than in myself.
God wants us to be totally honest with ourselves and with Him. That is necessary if we are to experience His complete healing and reconciliation.
When we recognize a character flaw or failure, we take it to the cross of Christ. He is right here with us and will lift the burden from us as we offer it to Him. If we take this simple step, God will carry us along on our journey to the other side of darkness, to walk with Him in His wonderful light.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:6-9 (NASB)
If we seek to walk in the Light, He will never let us down. He will cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. He is always perfect, even as we are not.
May you enjoy the blessing of His peace and forgiveness today.
What is on my conscience that I need to take before the Lord?
Lord, we bring our brokenness, failures, and shortcomings to the cross of Christ. Help us to turn away from darkness and walk towards the Light of Christ. Thank You for forgiving us and help us to make amends for the wrongs that we have done to others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.