What are you passionate about? A hobby? A sports franchise? Your family? Your barbershop? Passion can manifest itself in different ways depending on who you are and what you value. We can passionately rate that new taco joint or we can completely rip it to shreds because we had a bad experience.
In our passage today, we see God’s passion for His people in the form of a lament. A lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. God is grieved by the way His chosen people have turned their backs on Him and pursued other idols and gods. They have exchanged their relationship with the holy and perfect Creator for something much less. Therefore, God decides to remind them of who He is.
Through punishment, God would remind His people that He alone is Lord and God. In fact, seven times throughout these passages, it says, “They will know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 6:10). When something is repeated that many times in such a short time, we need to take note. God was making it known that the the people of Judah had forgotten who their God was. They had become so inundated with worshipping other physical idols that they lost sight of Him. They gave up the invisible, almighty God for something physical, that they could see and hold.
How much is that true of our lives every day? We consistently trade our relationship with a holy God for the pleasures of this world because they are tangible. We can physically see and feel them and that appeals to all our senses. It’s why God’s people chose to worship a golden calf when Moses was up on the mountain (Exodus 32). It’s why God’s people repeatedly chose to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord in the Old Testament. It’s also why Church still struggles with temptations of every kind (James 4:1–6).
Therefore, there must be discipline when we sin and run away from God. God does all of this to remind us that He alone is Lord and God (Ezekiel 6:10). He doesn’t do it because He hates us, on the contrary, He does it because He loves us. But He wants us to remember that He alone is Lord and God.
Take a moment to think about your life right now. How are you giving other objects the time, energy, and attention that only God deserves? How are you making concessions in your walk with God in order to worship something physical? What changes do you need to make today to give God priority in your life?