The following passages are what happen when we forsake what God has established as a holy place; a place of covenant, sacrifice, offering, peace, rest, and calling.
Ezekiel 6:13 “And they will know that I am the Lord, when their people lie slain among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and on all the mountaintops, under every spreading tree, and leafy oak – places where they offered fragrant incense to all their idols. And I will stretch out my hand against them and make them a desolate waster from the desert to Dibloah – wherever they live. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
- The Lord brought judgment on those who had taken those sacred places – the places set apart by the Lord – and turned them into places of pagan worship.
- They had set their idols up in places with God and God won. He spread his wrath upon them because they chose to forget that He is Lord. He made them remember.
Isaiah 2:12-13 – “The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Labanon , tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan”
- All these great and lofty things that men have celebrated in and made, will be brought low.
- They will be humbled before the Lord.
- Bashan was a place of great victory for the Israelites, great beauty and majesty. Something that the Israelites celebrated in because of their pride.
o Numbers 21:33-35 the great defeat of Og king of Bashan
o Numbers 32:33; Deut. 1:4, 3:1-13, 4:43-47, 29:7, Joshua 9:10 – all retellings of this great defeat (they were PROUD of this place and the victory there)
- They forgot who gave them the victories and the beauty of that place, they celebrated in themselves. Not in the Lord, so the Lord said he would destroy that which man had exalted for himself and not for God.
- God would humble that place so that “the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear.” (verse 17)
- “you burn with lust among the oaks” another reference of where when we distort something the Lord has given us, it turns ill for us.
- It said that “the idols…are your lot” to “you sons of a sorceress” later on it says “I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you.”
- Back in reference to when he will humble even the oaks of Bashan, when we assume we are righteous on our own, without following God’s word or his direction for our life he will expose it.
- He will expose our faulty thinking and humble us and show us that what we had done in our own strength was for not. It will not benefit us.
- BUT if we follow his decrees, his direction then the righteousness HE bestows on us will benefit us.
Hosea 4:10-13 “They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, terebinth, where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitutions and your daughters-in-law to adultery”
- More idol worship, twisting God’s sacred places of worship into something perverted. Where “the spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God.” V.12
Isaiah 1:29-30 – “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks in which you have delighted; you will be disgraces because of the gardens that you have chosen. You will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water.”
- Oaks which the Lord had used as his places of remembrance and offering for his people were distorted into false religion, a defiled thing that is detestable to God.
- When God brings his judgment against us, we will be ashamed of what he made good which we distorted. When we should have delighted in him, we delighted in a distorted image.
- Now we “will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water.” Bare, dead, unable to grow.
- We may delight in them for a moment but that will be all we have. It will not last and it will leave us dead.
Isaiah 44:14 – “He cut down cedars, or perhaps, took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow. It is man’s fuel for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it.”
- The idol maker had to obtain the materials he was going to use.
- Again an example of when we distort something God gave us to glorify him
- We foolishly use the wood we cut down for both warmth and kindle for a fire with which to cook but then the rest we make a god from it. Makes sense, right? WRONG-O!
- Don’t take that which the Lord has set before us for his glory for granted, don’t distort it into something that is detestable to the Lord.