"Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King."
Isn't the juxtaposition of Psalm 48 and Ezekiel 9 shocking? Psalm 48 is a joyful praise to the great King and His city, the City of God, the city He would establish forever. After just reading what God is planning for Jerusalem in Ezekiel 9, it seems inevitable to ask "What happened?"
Ezekiel 8 explains the reason for God's judgment described in Ezekiel 9. The Spirit brought Ezekiel to Jerusalem to show him the great abominations taking place both in the temple and in the city. The worship of other god's in His temple and royal city provoked God's jealousy. In Exodus 34:14, God warned, "You shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." The elders were worshiping the god's of Egypt with the censer's and incense designed for the exclusive worship of YHWH, the women wept for Tammuz, a Syrian idol, and men were worshiping the sun between the temple porch and the altar.
In Ezekiel 9:3 we see the beginning of the glory of God leaving the temple by moving from the cherub surrounding the ark of the covenant to the door. In Ezekiel 11:22-23 the Spirit departs not just from the temple but the city itself. But before He goes, He pronounces judgment on Jerusalem. The executioners were to kill everyone who did not have the mark on their forehead. Ezekiel's vision is the destruction of Jerusalem which Jeremiah lived through. Just as Jeremiah mourned for Jerusalem so, too, did Ezekiel. He was concerned the wrath of God would destroy even the remnant of Jerusalem.
In Ezekiel 9:4, those who sigh and groan over the abomination of Israel were to be spared. God protected those who actively grieved for the sin of their nation. Does the sin in your life, and the sin of our country cause you to mourn? In Matthew 5:4 Jesus promised, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
Psalm 48:11 says, "Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of your judgments!" But the description of the coming judgment in Ezekiel 9 brings none. We know God's judgments are just and right but as Hebrews 11:31 says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
LORD God whose name is Jealous, may we be as jealous for Your name as You are. Holy Spirit, please convict and cause us to mourn the sin in our lives. Please do not let us become apathetic to the sin of our nation. Lord Jesus, we know You are the great King of Psalm 48. Thank You for the promise of a new Jerusalem in which will dwell those on whom You write Your name. The holy city You have prepared is like a bride adorned for her husband.