Ezekiel 14 & 15
As we get older, the temptation to cling to empty endeavors grows. There are more things that claim to offer us a sense of security and comfort, and sometimes we take the bait. The elders of Israel let an idol into their heart. God asks Ezekiel if He should let the elders ask Him for advice.
It’s a rhetorical question and while I thought the answer would be no, God surprises me. He again, 14 chapters deep, shows that He desires to “lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel.” He wants them to turn their hearts back to Him and abandon their worthless idols.
Then, He goes on to list the consequences of what happens if they don’t turn to Him. God suggests that the righteousness of Noah, Daniel and Job would not be enough to save the city of Jerusalem. Why does He suggest this? Because He is calling a stubborn people to be accountable for themselves not to rely on the righteousness of other noble individuals the Bible mentions.
But… there is usually a but with God. There will be some sons and daughters left that are righteous and will console Ezekiel. There will be some whose ways and their deeds are becoming of the children of God, and they will be spared. As for the rest of Jerusalem, it is likened to a useless vine. It was useless when it became disconnected from the trees and it is just as useless consumed in the fire.