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Then he said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice; for they say, ‘Yahweh has forsaken the land, and Yahweh does not see.’ Bible

“injustice.” The Hebrew word occurs only here in the Old Testament, and the exact meaning is uncertain. Logical suggestions include “injustice” (ESV; NIV; NLT); perverseness; perversity; perversions (KJV; NASB; NRSV), “lawlessness” (NAB); “corruption” (NET). We do know that the people were involved in egregious sin against God, and there were serious consequences for it.

“Yahweh has forsaken the land, and Yahweh does not see.” This sentence reveals how many of the ancient people thought about their gods. They usually thought their gods were local, not “everywhere,” like modern Christians think about God being everywhere. We see this in a number of places in the Bible such as 1 Kings 20:28, when the Syrian army thought they lost a battle because they fought where Yahweh lived but if they could fight it away from there then their gods would prevail and they would win the battle. Also, Jonah tried to run away from Yahweh by leaving Israel and going to Tarshish. Also, Naaman the Syrian wanted to take dirt from the land of Israel so he could worship Yahweh when he got back to Syria, thinking that the god went with the land (2 Kings 5:17). So here in Ezekiel 9:9, the people said Yahweh had left the land and did not see what they were doing.

It is reasonable to assume that part of the reason the people thought Yahweh was no longer in the land was due to the terrible things that had happened in Judah in their recent history, for example, being defeated by the Egyptians and Babylonians (2 Kings 23:31-24:20). What they were seemingly ignorant of, but certainly should not have been, was that it was their sin that caused the blessings and protection of God to be removed from Judah and brought the terrible consequences they were experiencing upon themselves.

The situation in which God can bless a land has not changed. The Devil constantly pushes society to be more and more ungodly so that he and his demons have a greater and greater influence in society, and he pushes his agenda through ungodly people. As a society increases sinfulness, including ignoring God’s commands, lawlessness, greed, sexual perversion, idolatry, etc., God’s blessings are removed from the country. Weather patterns change, disease and sickness, crime, and economic instability increases, and there are pressures and threats from enemies from within and without. The Bible makes this all very clear. It is difficult to stop evil, but it must be done for society to survive. There is no “low point” in society when the Devil is satisfied and will leave it alone—his goal is the annihilation of all godliness in society, which is why Christianity is illegal in so many countries, and godly men and women need to realize that and be willing to fight for godliness and freedom. In Judah’s case, the godly people were too few, and Judah was conquered: the Temple was burned, Judah’s cities burned, the men killed or carried away captive, the women raped and carried away captive, and what was left of the land was under ungodly governors. That is the Devil’s agenda for godly countries, and only godly people fighting against it will stop it.


Commentary for: Ezekiel 9:9