Here is another of Ezekiel’s visions: his “Temple Vision.” He is shown the abominations the people are doing in the temple, vile things, idolatry, and greater abominations still. The Lord instructed, “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” (9:4), that is, it appears Ezekiel is commanded to distinguish the faithful from the unfaithful. The guilt of the unfaithful was exceedingly great (9:9), and their punishment would be exceedingly harsh (9:10).
But the Lord is gracious. Oh, how he is gracious! He says, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (11:17-20). Isn’t this what God does for us! He graciously gives us new hearts so that we are called “the children of God.” And, so, we pray for ourselves and for others:
Come, Sacred Spirit, from above,
And fill the coldest heart with love;
Soften to flesh the rugged stone,
And let Thy god-like power be known. --Philip Doddridge