A Hole in the Wall

  • Pete Johnson
Circular scope of rock wall on coastline

“And he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, there was a hole in the wall.” (Ezekiel 8:7).

In 586 B.C. the city of Jerusalem was razed and the Jewish Temple destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. The book of Jeremiah, chapter 39 describes this event. Yet years before this fateful day, a man named Ezekiel, one of many Jewish exiles taken from his homeland by Nebuchadnezzar in 598 B.C., was given insight by God why this event was going to happen.
Ezekiel was a priest among the exiles that were in Babylon. God gave Ezekiel the job of being His spokesman, Ezekiel was to be the “Watchman for Israel.” God, through visions, shared with Ezekiel that Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed and why. One particular vision in chapter 8 of the book is very alarming, in fact, it could be used to describe the spiritual attitude of churches and Christians today. God allowed Ezekiel to see what was going on in the Temple back in Jerusalem but more importantly what was going on in the heart of the nation’s leaders and the people.

In the four scenes depicted in Ezekiel’s vision in chapter 8:1-18, he saw the following, each scene a worse abomination than the last: 1.) Just outside the altar gate, in the entrance was an idol. 2.) Inside a “secret” room in God’s Temple, there were 70 elders of Israel worshiping pictures on the walls of all kinds of idols. 2.) In the next scene, women were publicly worshiping, weeping, pleading, begging mercy from a pagan god. 3.) The last scene is the summation of the failure to trust and have true faith in God:

“And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east, worshipping the sun toward the east.” (Ezekiel 8:16).

God’s Glory soon departed from the Temple, it was destroyed, and pandemonium prevailed.

The nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, was guilty of playing the role of a believer, expecting God to bless them because of their nationality and outward ceremonial acts. However, their hearts had been captured by their true desire and they chose to worship idols in secret. Then they became so brazen as to worship their idols in the house of God. The progression of Israel’s sin was slow; it didn’t happen overnight, little by little, compromise by compromise. 

Jeremiah, who lived through the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, received a message from the LORD concerning this fact about the nation

“As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed: they, their kings, their officials, their priest, and their prophets, who say to a tree, ‘You are my father’, and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their back to me, and not their face. But in the time of trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us!’ Jeremiah 2:26-27

The problem with compromise, regarding living godly, is that you know when you are compromising yet you refuse to confess and repent of your sin.

A man or woman who claims to be a Christian yet secretly holds on to sin, falsely believes that no one knows and that no one will find out. This goes to show you how deceiving sin is. While living this duplicitous life they become the most condescending, and most judgmental “Christians” in the church. Unable or unwilling to remove the “log’ from their eye, they consistently point out the “faults” of others and either attempt to radically correct everyone else’s “sin”, or at least talk about it to others.

Matthew Henry notes that “Where there is one abomination it will be found that there are many more. Sins do not go alone.”

What’s going on in your Temple?

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19–20).