Ez 9:4 "And the LORD said to him, 'Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.'" ESV
There was some really bad stuff going on in Israel. God wanted Ezekiel to see the things that the people were doing that profaned who He was so He took Ezekiel on a tour. He wanted him to get a sense of what was going on. The idolatry. The violence. The defilement. (Ch 8) Apparently, this sickened some of the people in the country. Some of the people sighed and groaned and cried over what was happening to Israel. They weren't blind to it. It impacted them. I am sure that they wanted to do something about it, but just did not know what to do. God told Exekiel to mark these people because judgment was coming and these people were going to be protected.
If I were in Israel, I wonder if I would have received a mark? I mean, I am not blind to all of the junk that is going on in the United States today. I see that God's name is mocked. I see that our culture is going down the sewer. I see the garbage that is being fed and eaten up by people in our society. I see a system of politics that is corrupt and powerhungry and frankly, bankrupt. The question is, do I sigh? Do I groan? How many tears have I shed because of what is happening around me?
Now I realize that the United States is not like Israel. We are not the chosen people of God…so it may be a little different. So I need to break this down to a group of God's chosen people…the church. What do I see there? Does my heart break for people in the church who seemingly ignore God? People who once walked with Him, but have now gone a different way? Where is the groaning? Where are the tears? Where is the prayer?
I know one thing, my heart needs to be tenderized because I am not where I should be. Am I concerned? Sure. But it has to go beyond concern. It has to impact me so that I am begging God to do something. It has to move my heart. Look at Paul's heart for other Jews. He had great sorrow. He had continual grief. Rom 9:2 His heart was so moved that he wished that he could take the Jew's punishment to set them free.
I wonder if God is just waiting for hearts like this in me, in all of us to get going where we are at? It doesn't take some slick presentation. It doesn't require a PR campaign. All it takes are people whose hearts love those around them and grieve for them. I need to be there.