Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”
To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple. Then He said to them, “Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!” And they went out and killed in the city.
The more I study the holy writ, the more I get the impression that God is very clinical in His operations. He is a holy God; whose chief guiding principles are love, order and equity.
Good morning friends. These traits (although to a lesser degree) can also be found in the people He partners with over the course of history. For instance, He gave Noah the exact measurement and details of the ark; He gave Moses precise details of the ark of the covenant; He gave Joshua clear strategy for the campaign to dispossess and claim the promised land; He gave Jeremiah dates of the captivity and return from exile, He gave Daniel indicators and time stamps for future events… Even though they staggered in faith sometime, I get the feeling that these people where the best in their time for His missions. He said concerning Abraham:
For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”
With that in mind, let’s have another look at our opening scriptures. First, a quick timeline of events; the prophets had warned, mercy had been exhausted, and it was time for judgement to run its course. And in the spirit of equity; judgement will begin in His house first. Even then there had to be accountability, so a witness was nominated (the man with the Inkhorn); with clear instructions to mark the foreheads of those that were not at ease with the status quo. Those that cried unto The Lord day and night in prayer for Justice for the poor, widows, oppressed; those that stood up and spoke against the ills of their time; those that denied themselves any part in the worship of the gods of this world and the fleeting pleasure they had to offer. Finally, their time of vindication had come.
In closing this thought, let’s consider a parable that links seamlessly with our opening verses by Jesus:
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
The last sentence is worth pondering upon.