Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,
Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations.
I. THAT SIN IS ESSENTIALLY VILE IN ITS CHARACTER. The sins of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were "abominations" in the sight of God. David says of the wicked, "They are corrupt, they have done abominable works;" "Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity." And Jehovah said to the Jews, "Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate!" In its own nature sin "is an evil thing and a bitter" It is a polluting thing, defiling the soul; it is a degrading thing, dishonouring the soul. It is an infraction of the order of God's universe, and is inimical to its true interests. Sin is evil "in every respect - hateful to God, hurtful to man, darkening the heavens, burdening the earth."
II. THAT SINNERS OFTEN FAIL TO RECOGNIZE THEIR OWN SIN. The inhabitants of Jerusalem at this time were sadly corrupted by sin, but were so oblivious to the fact that the prophet is summoned to bring them to a knowledge of their abominations. David did not recognize as his own the foul crimes which he had committed when they were set before him parabolically. It was not until the Prophet Nathan said unto him, "Thou art the man!" that he saw himself to be the sinner he really was (2 Samuel 12:1-14). The Pharisees in the time of our Lord's ministry were really great sinners, but they regarded themselves as the excellent of the earth. We are quick to behold the mote that is in our brother's eye, but we take no notice of the beam that is in our own eye. This failure of sinners to recognize their own sin may arise:
1. From the subtlety of sin. Sin approaches the soul in dangerous disguises. "Were the vision of sin seen in a full light, undressed and unpainted, it were impossible, while it so appeared, that any one soul could be in love with it, but all would rather flee from it as hideous and abominable." Wickedness veils itself in the garb of what is harmless, respectable, or excellent. Avarice hides its hard and hungry features under the name of economy. Harsh censoriousness wears the cloak of honest plain spokenness, etc.
2. From the proneness of men to excuse sin in themselves. Until man is brought to see and feel his sins aright, he is ready to palliate or to extenuate them. Men are cruelly indulgent to themselves in this respect. And in some cases pride and self-flattery blind men to their own offences.
III. THAT THE MINISTERS OF GOD SHOULD ENDEAVOUR TO BRING SINNERS TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR SINS. To this duty Ezekiel was summoned in our text. And this is incumbent on the ministers of Jesus Christ.
1. For the conversion of the sinners. "Without the knowledge of sin, repentance and conversion are not to be thought of." "As a physician, when he wishes to heal a wound thoroughly, must probe it to the bottom, so a teacher, when he wishes to convert men thoroughly, must first seek to bring them to a knowledge of their sins."
2. For the deliverance of their own souls. (Cf. Ezekiel 3:17-21; Ezekiel 33:7-9.)
3. For the vindication of the Law and government of God. Sin is an outrage of his holy Law, and it should be exhibited as such. Persistence in sin calls down Divine punishment, and the sin should be set forth unto men, that they will recognize the righteousness of the punishment. If sin be not properly estimated by men, how shall the Divine dealings in the punishment of it be justified unto them? Therefore the ministers of Jesus Christ should endeavour to cause sinners to know their sins. - W.J.
Parallel VersesKJV: Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,