The Man With The Writer's Case
He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.” Ezekiel 9:4
We're probably all familiar with the mark of the beast talked about in the Book of Revelation. It is a mark no person following Jesus would ever want to get. Revelation 14:19-10 tells us that anyone receiving that mark would "drink the wine of God's anger."
I can tell you for certain that I do not want to experience that.
But, Ezekiel 9 tells of a different mark--a mark of the saints. This mark is to be placed on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh over the detestable sins committed in their city. The man with a writer's case, dressed in linen, is responsible for finding those people and placing the protective mark on their foreheads. He is accompanied by six men carrying deadly weapons to wipe out those who do not have this mark. It is the opposite of the mark we read about in Revelation.
As the story continues, the Lord tells the six men to start at the entrance to the Temple. The six executioners kill seventy leaders there--before ever leaving the Temple!
There is a lesson for God's Church in this story, and it is more obvious than ever before.
Where are the church leaders who weep and sigh over the detestable sins going on all around them? Where are the ones called to preach repentance, obedience and purity? Where are the real followers of our Lord in His Church today?
I look around and see many in church leadership who are cowardly and complacent. They care more about their own quality of life than the salvation of lost souls. They would sooner pad their own retirement than give to a soul in need on a street corner. They preach grace, grace, but never utter the word repentance or the word obedience. These words are nowhere in their vocabulary. They train their children in the ways of the culture rather than the ways of God. There are no callouses on their knees and no wear on their Bibles. They don't give a single thought to the judgment that awaits them.
It awaits us all if we are complacent and cowardly, too.
Zephaniah 1:12 says, "I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners to punish those who sit complacent in their sins. They think the Lord will do nothing to them, either good or bad."
And, 1 Corinthians 5:12 tells us, "It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning."
If the man with the writer's case was in your town tonight, would he put a mark on your forehead?