V4. “He (YHWH) said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all those who weep and sigh because of the sins they see around them.”
Ezekiel had a vision and witnessed the punishment of the nation for idolatry and turning their back on the Most High. The punishment started in the Temple and with the leaders. Ezekiel saw a man in linen clothing and carrying a writer’s bag being sent forth by YHWH to mark the people that showed remorse and were asking for forgiveness for the sins of the nation. In Exodus 12 we read that the nation of Israel were to mark the posts of their homes with the blood of an unblemished lamb. In verse 13 of this chapter we read, “And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I shall pass over you and the plague not come on you to destroy when I strike the land of Mitsrayim (Egypt)”. So the Most High marking His chosen ones is not a new concept.
Going back to Ezekiel’s vision of this man marking the foreheads of those that were weeping and sighing because of the sin of the nation. This Scripture is deeper than a little sigh that we may utter in frustration. This sigh implies a heart-action. If we stop for a while and tease this out it should evoke thoughts and lead to actions that you may take in your own life. Let us consider what happens when you turn on the News. We are bombarded by the consequences of sin…that is a bit dramatic, but it is reality. Sin is getting great coverage, and at times being sensationalised to such an extent that we become numb to sin unless it is horrific. We start to overlook little things and compromise, we look away and turn a blind eye, umm…did Eli not turn a blind eye to the sins of his sons? News is broadcast across the globe in every language, the juicer the story the more people follow it…sin sells media.
You should be asking questions by now, one asks questions to get to the core of statements, to clarify your understanding. Let’s step back a few steps to make it more practical. You sit down, sometimes with your family and a meal on your lap, the TV goes on and it is News. We are confronted by a stabbing, shooting or assult and for a split second we are stirred, what stirs you? The sin? Empathy? Is it the audacity of someone that dare perform such an act? Are there racial slurs that come to the forefront of your mind and end up in an articulated insult? Is there a thought for the victim, or annoyance at their ignorance, carelessness – they should have…. Is there any feeling of compassion? Above all is there any sense of grief for the sin that has been committed? Grief without judgment?
YHWH sent forth this man ahead of five others that were to kill the unmarked people. He was punishing the nation for their lack of heart-action. The grief of the marked people was demonstrated by sighing and weeping. They were not judging and pointing fingers, they were not tutting from their couches or making racial slurs and taking offense for the victims. These people were weeping, grieving before the Most High and asking for forgiveness. It was this heart-action or attitude that aroused the Grace of the Most High and He instructed that a mark be placed on their foreheads to set them apart, to indicate that they had found favour and were not to be harmed.
These sighs and weeping were more than an exhale of breath, more than a tear. This heart-attitude portrayed a true grieving of the inner being for what man had become and destroyed, for the lost and those that turned from God. It was a grieving of the loss of a loved one, these brothers and sisters had turned from serving the Most High and this weeping and grieving was heart-felt compassion. It was not an attitude of offense for the blatant disrespect given to Elohim.
Shane Willard has a sermon called “The Authority of the Rabbi” and in this he makes referrence to the fact that Yeshua can deal with being offended, He does not need us to take offense for Him. After all He was crucified like a criminal, yet He showed grieving and weeping by speaking blessing from the Cross and asking YHWH to have mercy and forgive the very people that mocked and hurt him. It is this kind of sighing and weeping that the marked people showed. Not judging or taking offense on behalf of Elohim, but they were asking for forgiveness and for mercy and grace for those around them.
There is a distinction to be made between judging and seeking true forgiveness with sighing and weeping. Jesus made referrence to the Pharisee that was in the Temple asking for forgiveness, while pointing to a tax collector and saying that at least he was not as full of sin. This Pharisee was so full of pride that he could not recognise his own sin, however he was arrogant enought to judge the tax collector and elevate himself above this ‘sinful’ man. The tax collector on the other hand was facedown because he felt unworthy to approach the Most High, he was weeping and sighing, a heart-action and attitude, humility. The Pharisee was blemished, the tax collector was marked. A blemished man can be marked if he is remorseful and humble before the Most High. The moment you use the sin of another to measure your own ‘righteousness’, to soothe your conscience or qualify an action/thought or attitude you are being judgmental and this makes you blemished and unmarked.
When you grieve and sigh you realise you are just as sinful, just as unworthy as the next person, but by the Grace of the Most High and His loving-commitment, through the Blood of Yeshua, you are able to approach His Throne. It is the realisation that you can come to a place of repentance and receive forgiveness, that you are no better than anybody else and that this mercy and grace cost a Life. From this realisation comes the love of Yeshua for all people, it allows you to love the blemished and desire for them to be marked, like yourself, by the Blood of the Lamb. You desire these blemished people to come into a relationship with the King and this causes you to sigh and weep in petition for their salvation.
The heart-attitude and heart-actions are what the Most High sees and desires. A heart that carries the mark of the Lamb is blemish free. The blemishes are removed as far as the East is from the West and thrown into the depths of the deepest sea. If you carry the mark of the Lamb you are set free and can approach the Throne of the Most High. Yeshua said, “I am the way, the truth and the LIFE. Nobody comes to the Father but through Me.” In the Temple only the priest could enter through the gates of Way, Truth and Life to reach the Holy of Holies – Jesus is the gate and you are marked, set-apart and redeemed and you may approach the Most High because you carry the mark put upon you by the Lamb of the Most High.
It is time to make a mark, get facedown before the Most High and weep and sigh for the nations, for the blemished people around you. To love them and not judge them.